Mommy, Where Do Pastors Come From?
In a healthy home under normal circumstances, people make their own babies. Those babies grow up and take on more and more responsibility, surpassing their aging Parents to carry on the Family legacy. That’s how it normally works. Babies grow into children, children grow into adults, and adults become Mom’s and Dad’s.
But consider this scenario: People make babies, the Parents continue to age but the babies mature much slower. In fact, by the time the Parents are ready for their children to take up the Family legacy, they are still struggling to take out the garbage and clean their room. Babies grow into children, but eventually need new Parents because their Parents die of old age. I think we can agree that this would be an unhealthy and abnormal circumstance. But not in the average Church!
Answer this question: Where do Pastors come from?
If you think Pastors should come from Seminaries, then I think babies should come from the stork. The Church that must hire a Pastor from outside of her ministry is not a healthy Church.
Why am I saying this?
Churches who find themselves in a routine of hiring Pastors from the outside over and over again are starting to believe that is a normal way to live. They actually come to expect the Pastor to be the exclusive adult. If he ever dares to lay any Pastoral responsibilities on anyone, they scream “child abuse!” We pay you for that! When he finally burns out, he looks for another daycare to manage and the Church starts all over again.
My hope and prayer is that Churches recognize that this cycle prevents Churches from growing to full maturity and naturally multiplying! Healthy Churches aren’t Day Cares! They’re Families! Families were meant to mature and multiply. Now before someone accuses me of being against Seminaries that would be unfounded. I earned my MA from Shepherd’s Theological Seminary in Cary, NC. But I went to that school to be more useful to the Church that I was raised in, not to Pastor a Church I was not.
Pastors, you are responsible for recognizing and discipling the young Pastor that must take up your legacy of leadership (Titus 1:5).
Churches, if you are looking for a Pastor you are in an unhealthy state of existence. This does not mean you have to stay unhealthy. My advice: Find a healthy Church that disciples their own Pastors and politely ask them for one. Maybe they’ll send more than one! Get your Pastor from a healthy Church. A seminary is not a Church.
This unhealthy cycle is far too normal. But it’s not too late. The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. Let’s get healthy so that God gets the glory!
“I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your Father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.”
1 Corinthians 4:14-17