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New Pastor do's and dont's

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Gina B, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B Active Member

    Dec 30, 2000
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    How do you pastors handle taking on a new church without making it seem like a hostile takeover? [​IMG]
    Perhaps you could list tips for each other.
    I'm posting this because at one church I attended there were a number of small things changed that most of really aren't that big of a deal and actually might seem pretty petty, but for some of the members who hadn't had ANYTHING change for years it made him look like an ogre. Here's some of the things.

    Changed all the tracts to chick tracts , which our former pastor refused to use.

    His wife moved the whole chapel around.

    Stated that children were a distraction to the service and would no longer be in their. On the other hand he started a children's church, which was ok, but we'd always had whole families together for worship.

    And the major thing that got me was the jump start into heavy preaching on soul winning, which would have been fine if he'd gone to each member (extremely small church and very possible) and got an idea on where they stood in their spiritual lives to see if they were even saved and prepared to handle a sudden jump into this type of evangelism. IF it would have been done it would have prevented the teaching of the salvation message later every single sunday to a group of people in which all were saved instead of teaching. It felt like we were being "practised on" for his future dream of having the place packed.

    One other thing, is if a member, EVEN A FEMALE ONE, starts having a major problem with your theology and asks to talk to you about it don't say yes and then avoid them like the plague and start having your wife teach women's silence in the church during the new ladies meetings. ROFL

  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
    Site Supporter

    May 4, 2001
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    This is a tough situation. I will give two perspectives.

    1) Don't make changes too quickly. Get the people's trust and make changes as you teach them. This can apply to things like philosophy, changing tracts, changing schedules, etc. Teach them to separate doctrine from tradition. Tradition is not bad; we just must realize it is tradition. It has no binding authority. Most churches are hesitant to change tradition becuase they are uncomfortabl with something else. This can be changed slowly.

    2) Make some changes quickly. If there are theological or ethical problems, make the change. Once you begin to tolerate something, you will give tacit approval and it will be hard to change later. Later changes will be met with, "If it is so bad, why did you continue to do it for X number of months?" If you are going to make sudden changes, make sure you are up front in your candidating procedure.

    For instance, if I decided to leave here (which I am not even thinking about) and candidated at a church that used the KJV, I would be up front about my use of the NASB, especially with the deacons and pulpit committee. Changing the church would be a long term goal, accompanied by teaching through the subject for a number of weeks or months to show the biblical case for modern versions. However, if I candidated at a church that participated in ecumenical events (such as city prayer breakfasts, men's or women's meetings, evangelistic efforts with disobedient evangelists, etc.) that would be a sudden change. All such efforts already on the calendar would immediately be cancelled and no further efforts would be scheduled. I would teach the church the biblical principles so they would understand.

    In the former case, I would teach the church why we "will do" that; in the latter case, I would teach the church why we "did" that. The first is not a matter of obedience but preference; the change can be made over time without being disobedient. The second case is a matter of obedience and continued participation will be sinful. That is a distinction that must be kept in mind. Above all, the candidate needs to be up front about his positions and let the sovereignty of God dictate his call, rather than his own political machinations. If you hide your beliefs and then try to institute them later, you will have all kinds of trouble.

    Of course finding the balance between these two is the eternal quest of leadership (whether in a church or anywhere else). It sounds good on paper. Who knows what to apply where? :D

    Whatever changes you make, do it with consistency and grace, always holding the teaching of God's word up and out front so people know the theological/biblical basis for change.
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    I would suggest a detailed outline of what a candidate would do/want to do IF he was called to be the pastor.

    For instance, if I were to be pastor of the church I now interim (which I can't; another story) I would want the people to know up front that I would change the music program dramatically. I would change service times and order. I would change Bible versions (I'm LVO you know - Latin Vulgate only). I would definitely change the constitution/flow chart.

    I would carefully go over with the elders and pulpit committee my 1-month, 6-month and 5-year goals and visions. IF they would agree generally with that vision, I would feel that we would be a good fit.

    If not, why fight it or (worse yet) try to force MY will on them in these matters of preference. I think churches don't have enough time and do their homework.

    Martyr complex - I've talk to many pastors who KNEW what the church was like and yet came in with their agenda hidden from the people and have years of fighting, folks leaving, etc, until the pastor finally felt "called" to leave . . and do the same thing all over again.