Questions to ask a prospective pastor

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    In a thread about a (physical) foot problem of pastor - the discussion was hijacked into the divorce of the pastor.

    So, lets discuss it all here.

    The title is questions to ask a pastor. This comes from two directions - first when a church is interviewing a pastor, and second, when an individual member is joining a church - would he ask the same questions of that pastor?

    Ok here are some of the questions:

    1. Have you or your wife ever been divorced
    2. Have you or your wife ever had pre-martial s*x with each other or other partners
    3. Have you ever been arrested, including motor vehicle violations
    4. Why don't you and your wife have any children?
    5. How rebellious are your children?
    6. Has your wife ever had an abortion?
    7. Have you ever assisted a woman to have an abortion
    8. Do you own a TV?
    9. How do you edit programs
    10. Do you have any [email protected] friends -
    11. How often do you and your wife have loud arguments?
    12. Do you now or have you have had any alcoholic, wine or apple cider?
    13. Have you ever voted for a pro-abortion (aka pro-choice) political candidate?
    14. Do you subscribe to L.E.F.T

    So in the words of Eagle:
    HTML:
    Where do we draw the line? 
    So how many of these questions would you ask of a pastor. Would it make a difference if you were individually joining a church, or if your church was calling the pastor.

    Salty

    ps - what questions did I forget to include
     
  2. HAMel

    HAMel
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    Would you hire this man as your pastor? I know you've seen this before.

    *Arrested many times.
    *In and out of prison.
    *Often run out of town.
    *Never built a building.
    *Never spoke on television.
    *Never had a website.
    *Never had a Facebook page.
    *Never owned his own home.
    *Had to work on the side to support himself.
    *Never stayed very long in one place.
    *Not a skilled public speaker.
    *Unimpressive appearance.
    *Sometimes preaches for hours at a time.
    *Seems to get involved in public controversies.

    Most churches would take a pass on a man like that. After all, you can’t trust your pulpit to just anyone who comes along. And that’s why the Apostle Paul would not feel at home in many of our churches today.


    I was involved once in the calling of a man to preach. There are many in church who absolutely expect perfection in an imperfect world. My decision would be based on a mans dedication to the Lord. Course, you do need to check out his references and background and if some of the women in the church don't like the style of shoes his wife wears they need to get over it.

    I attended a church once where this man and his wife walked the isle for Salvation and after a few months he began teaching in Sunday School to the children.

    He made a slip one day to our pastor that he had been married and divorced in his early 20's and that ended his Sunday School teaching right on the spot. That hurt this guy so bad it took many years for him to overcome it.

    I always thought that if the Lord could throw our sins as far as the East is from the West..., then why not a local church. When you're lost who cares? Once you come to know the Lord....
     
  3. gb93433

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    Some of those questions should be asked of all leaders in the church too.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    My questions.

    Would you share with us how you came to Christ?
    Could you please tell us about your family?
    Could you share with us your reasons for desiring to come to this church?
    How is your devotional life?
    What has God done for you and your family recently?
    How do you feel about our statement of faith and constitution?
    How does your life match up with Titus 1v5-9? How has God worked to bring you to this point?
     
  5. Ruiz

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  6. Tom Bryant

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    Good questions. :thumbs:

    The others might have to be asked at some point, but they seem to be majoring on negativity.

    What may be more important may be asking his references for someone else who knows the person. After all, the references can be counted on to say nice things about the person.
     
  7. HankD

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    This is a tough one but do we really want to be guided by the word of God?

    Blameless.

    There is more than one koine word which is translated by the English word "blameless".

    Look it up in a Strong's or a good lexicon.

    Look at the other qualifications which go along with being "blameless".

    Out of necessity, I believe we can "stretch" the rules, that was even allowed under the Law but within reason. The local churches must decide latitude.

    As the day grows darker and that darkness abounds it has become more difficult for any person to remain "blameless".

    HankD
     
  8. abcgrad94

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    The questions you ask a candidate tells him what is most important to your church. If you ask about his salvation experience, his daily walk with God, his reasons for wanting to come to your church, and his thoughts about your church constitution, some of the "negative" questions won't even need a separate answer.

    I can tell you from experience, a bunch of questions NOT to ask:
    What can your wife do?
    Does your wife work outside the home? Why or why not? If so, is she willing to stay home if you pastor this church?
    Are either of you in anything less than good health?
    Height, weight, race, and other physical info for the candidate and his wife!
    Can you and your wife teach in our Christian school?
    Do you let your wife wear slacks?

    Questions like these are guaranteed to make the candidate run away from your church!
     
  9. Salty

    Salty
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    Depends - There are pastors out there who are legalists...
     
  10. GBC Pastor

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    I've pastored three churches and I've only ever been asked #1 on this list.
     
  11. PastorGreg

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    Ditto. Not that there aren't a lot of good questions that should be asked.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11 are good questions, though the wording certainly needs some work. In most cases, the answers are not "dealbreakers" depending on what they are, but they might be.

    Failure to ask (and research #3) is why a lot of childmolesters are still in church ministry. It may also reveal financial impropriety. A person who has a ton of traffic tickets is revealing an impatient spirit that is unwilling to obey the law. Other issues could be seen through this.

    The answer to 4 might reveal a selfish and materialistic mindset that has avoided children becuase they cost too much and are inconvenient.

    The answer to a question like 11 could reveal the state of a man's marriage, and whether or not he has self-control and treats his wife and family with respect, being able to manage them.

    Certainly some questions about entertainment choices are appropriate. Failure to ask them is asking for trouble.

    Of course there are other areas that need to be explored. You certainly want an overview of his financial state. It tells a lot about his values and his self-control. Asking about drinking alcohol is not a bad thing, depending on your context and church.

    Remember, when you call a pastor, you are not calling a public speaker. You are calling a model who will demonstrate by his life what it means to be a Christian. So you should explore whether or not his life expresses what it means to be a Christian.

    This is actually pretty easy: Because the Bible says to consider these areas of a man's life. It gives qualifications for a reason. It is what God expects from everyone; it is what God demands from a pastor.

    And citing Paul's story is hardly helpful since the vast majority of that stuff was for the sake of the gospel, not for the sake of sin. That is a cheesy way to try to make a point.
     
  13. HAMel

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    This is actually pretty easy: Because the Bible says to consider these areas of a man's life. It gives qualifications for a reason. It is what God expects from everyone; it is what God demands from a pastor.

    And citing Paul's story is hardly helpful since the vast majority of that stuff was for the sake of the gospel, not for the sake of sin. That is a cheesy way to try to make a point.

    Yep..., Pastor Larry..., I guess you're right. Pretty cheesy to say the least.

    I think back to my days before coming to know the Lord. My life wasn't consumed by any criminal activities but I certainly wasn't a choir boy either. Many things for sure I would never want to repeat in any company but certainly thankful the Lord took care of those sins.

    ...cheesy indeed.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    That's true about my life after becoming a Christian. I don't want to repeat a lot of stuff I have done. But that's hardly the point.

    Look at your list: Nothing you give in that list is about Paul's life before becoming a Christian, and nothing in that list disqualifies one from being a pastor if we follow the NT list.

    So, yes, it's cheesy to make a list like that as if it is a serious contribution to a very serious topic.
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    I would list the qualifications/character of an elder in I Tim 3, Tit 1 and then ask them to describe how they match each one.

    BUT . .

    Before they ever got to that stage, when just doing telephone interviews with 2-3 men at the "top of the list" of potential elders, I would have done a full credit check, police check, banking check, education check (men lie about their training/lack of it), background from 5 people (unrelated) that he gave, then ask each of them to give names of 5 people (unrelated) that knew him, etc etc. Takes about $100 and some time but oh is it worth it!!
     
  16. HAMel

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    Pastor Larry, one thing I've realized over the years is that pastors very rarely take the time to listen. They are to busy preaching and there's simply no time to listen. The idea is that most all laymen are stupid as the pastor has all the answers.

    What I posted is not something I made up. It's been around for years. It's purpose is to cause ones to realize the pettiness of their demands when it comes to selecting a preacher. I consider it to be of a serious nature.

    I'll tell you what..., go ahead and ban me from posting on here again. Please. That way I won't be tempted.

    In the meantime why not consider a section on this forum reserved strictly for the Pastors and a section for us surfs. That way you won't have to mingle with the riff raff.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    That's not an idea that you have ever gotten from me, and I certainly haven't gotten it from the pastors I know. But perhaps we just know different pastors.

    I know it's been around for years. I have a copy of a long letter form of it in my top left hand desk drawer. And I think it is cheesy. It wasn't about you. It had nothing to do with you. I think some churches have petty demands and others churches are way too lax. But your list doesn't further the discussion at all.

    I don't have the power to ban you and I wouldn't do it if I did have the power to ban you. You haven't broken any rules here. You have probably been a bit oversensitive though.

    My life as a pastor is about "mingling" with the "surfs" (serfs, actually) and the "riff raff." But those are terms I would never use for them.

    I just spent the last couple of hours (since I posted last time) out walking the streets looking for people to engage in conversations about the church and the gospel. I came home to get a little water and cool off a bit, and am headed back out.

    So please don't be oversensitive. As I said, the list you posted has nothign to do with the topic. Those are all things that Paul did for the sake of the gospel. I know people who have been in jail for the sake of the gospel. They are not disqualified.

    I think a lot of churches have bad lists of things they want in a pastor (some too strict and some too loose).
     
  18. DHK

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    I also believe that #1 is the only legitimate question on that list.
     
  19. gb93433

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    There is a good reason why an elder is elder. Too many churches today want an elder who is younger to make up for their laziness in hopes of drawing in young people. I was discpiled by a man who had so much energy and life that he made most of those in their 20's look slow and dead.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    That's strange since #5 and #11 (at the very least) are explicit biblical requirements for a pastor, and some of the others certainly are connected with explicit biblical issues. Your statement means (unintentionally I am sure) that we cannot even ask a man if he meets the biblical qualifications for being a pastor.
     

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