Unreasonable request?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by abcgrad94, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    When dh and I were in Bible college, it was customary for ministry teams to go to different churches and sing, play handbells, do drama, etc. It was not uncommon, and sometimes expected even, that one of our "boys" would be asked to teach Sunday School or preach the service. Some of the guys would prepare "just in case" they were asked. They looked forward to it to gain experience.

    Fast forward 16 years. This Sunday we have a drama team coming from the school from which we graduated. Dh asked if one of the guys could teach Sunday school. This is a simple request, as we are a tiny church and don't expect much from a newbie but maybe a testimony or short lesson. The request was met with a no. The young man asked was "too busy" and didn't have enough time (one week) to prepare. He is due to take finals in one MONTH and needs to study.

    The drama team also has certain demands: they need a meal after the service, they need certain rooms including bathrooms at certain times for costume changes and make up changes. We're doing our best to be very flexible for what we thought should be a simple service. I'm not sure why they need to have costumes and make-up. This is something new that we didn't do as students. It wasn't necessary to get the message across.

    For some reason, this isn't sitting well with me, or with dh. I'm especially getting the feeling that this is some grand production instead of sharing in ministry, instead of being meant to minister and reach others. Maybe I'm wrong. I certainly hope so.

    So, my question is this: Is it unreasonable for a pastor to ask a Bible college student, who is studying for ministry, to teach/share/testify for Sunday school?
     
  2. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    I don't think it is unreasonable to ask, at all. But alot of these groups now go out more for publicity for the school than for ministry.

    Most drama in churches is more involved with make up and costume. We may not like it, but it is the way things are. That's not to say they short change the message, but for the most part, people expect a higher degree of performance than we used to expect.
     
  3. annsni

    annsni
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    It seems times are changing and not always for the better.

    What you're getting is a performance with 'professionals' instead of a necessary ministry. I agree that it's not an unreasonable request at all.
     
  4. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Thanks. I guess it's hard for me to understand their point of view when my dh is a full-time pastor, working a full-time job, with a family, while this student is too "busy" for a simple hour of Sunday School. I'm also irritated that not only will I be footing most of the bill for the food required to feed this team, but I also have to put more effort into planning and preparing the food as at least one member has diabetes. Usually I have no problem being hospitable, but it just seems like it's all about "THEM" instead of about ministry.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I hope and pray this Sunday goes well and God will give me grace to handle all the inconveniences.
     
  5. StefanM

    StefanM
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    When I was in college, I always appreciated the chance to preach or teach. One would think that a ministry student might have a "fallback" sermon or familiar lesson just in case a situation like this presents itself.

    I don't know the details of the situation, but I do know that the ministry students are missing a good opportunity.
     
  6. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
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    Sister,
    I hear you! The opportunity that was being offered used to mean a great deal to people in these ministry teams. Usually, you have young men who are looking to enter the ministry and value the experience. Not only is it a perfectly appropriate request; it is surprising to think about the response you received. The argument about finals sounds phony...perhaps he is simply nervous. My first opportunity to preach came at a nursing home...I was very nervous and tried everything that I could think of to get out of it...Praise God that He would not let me.
    As to the "performance", I have also noticed this more and more today. We had a group come in from out of state last year. They were not what we expected...it seemed that their attention was not placed on what we believed were the proper priorities(the message of Jesus Christ). They had coordinated moves, outfits and vocals...yet the message seemed absent. We will certainly not be having them back. It reminds me of that line from one of Casting Crowns' songs about trading the altar for a stage.
    Anyway, I appreciate what you said about your husband. Far too many pastors are having to work a full-time job to support their family and their ministry which are also both full-time jobs in and of themselves. When you are truly busy, it is definitely hard to put up with ministry slackers. Keep your chin up...I am thankful to know that there are fellow servants such as you and your husband out there.
     
  7. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
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    Amen! I the early days of my ministry...I always had a back-up sermon just in case a supply opportunity arose. You rarely get much notice if someone gets sick or has an emergency. I know of one young minister who put his name on an associational supply list, was called, turned down his first two opportunities, and never got called again. When the opportunity arises, you need to be prepared to take it. The Lord does not need more slackers in His service, but men dedicated to serving him whenever the chance occurs. Thank you for pointing out this very important truth.
     
  8. exscentric

    exscentric
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    "it just seems like it's all about "THEM""

    now you got it you can close the thread now it is answered. :laugh:
     
  9. TomVols

    TomVols
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    When I was a young Bible college lad or seminarian, I always had "one in the chamber." Instant in season and out of season. And I often needed it due to being asked at 6:58 if I'd preach the 7pm service. I still to this day am ready to preach at whatever service I'm at, be it on vacation, etc.

    That said, let's not pounce on the boy too hard. 1., he may not feel called to preach/teach. 2) These drama teams are what they are. You're getting what you asked for. Don't be surprised that, when you want what you want, you get what you get.

    I don't know all the details. But that's just my one and a half cents worth, adjusted for inflation.
     

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