Opening up the pages of the newest publication among the churches of Christ, I always flip to the back to read the newest listing for congregations seeking a minister. As I read through each one, I am intrigued and at the same time, find it comical due to the wide variety of listings.
“…at least 17 years experience needed.”
“…must be married. (Children preferred)”
“…must be sound in the faith.” (By the way I have yet to read an advertisement for an unsound minister.)
“…must hold office hours and visit the brethren daily.”
“…wife must be willing to teach classes.” (Who are we hiring here?)
Reading through the list makes me wonder how many churches today would hire Peter, John, Matthew, Paul, Andrew or even Jesus?
While some of the requirements might be helpful, I question the wisdom of making the majority of our ministers into pastors and placing the responsibility of the entire congregation on one man’s shoulders. I wonder who many congregations passed up a growing young man, because he was “too young” for them. I think Timothy and Paul ran into the same problem. (See 1 Timothy 4.12)
So, I came up with an advertisement I would like to see; in fact, I will be the first to toss it out there and see who calls.
Minister Seeking a Congregation
An imperfect minister seeks an imperfect congregation of the Lord’s people who are willing to live for Christ each day. The size of the congregation does not matter, only the size of their hearts.
The congregation must be willing to be challenged, loved, taught and share the love that Christ had for the world in their daily lives. This is not a Sunday only request, but a daily one.
The membership must not be apathetic; if there is, let it not be the majority. If it is the majority, let them be prepared for an honest discussion centered around the sacrifice of Christ.
The membership should be ready to open a Bible and discuss the greatness of God, the life of Christ and the purpose of the Spirit. The membership should be ready to have people of all races, nationalities, backgrounds, social status, economic status and jobs enter into Bible study together. The congregation must be ready to reach outside of their comfort zone to assist others in knowing Christ.
The deacons, if applicable, must be willing to serve as Christ served us. There should understand their work is not only a physical work, but a spiritual one as well. Their work will help to take care of members, the physical building, the teaching program and many other needful areas to assist with the growth of the congregation.
The elders, if applicable, must be willing to shepherd. They should not be bill payers, but leaders of the flock. They must understand they are accountable to the flock God has called them to shepherd. They should lead the congregation from the front, not beat them from the pew. They should visit the flock to know them by name.
As a whole, the congregation should be trying – trying to serve God every day. They do not need to be perfect, just willing to reach for perfection. It is Christ which makes us perfect, not ourselves.
The congregation should strive to rejoice and cry together often.
Regarding a building…not necessary.
Regarding Powerpoint…not necessary.
Regarding love…ready to grow.
Regarding hope…only in Christ.
No resume or references necessary.
To make this discussion even deeper, if these qualifications interest you, feel free to call me at 843-437-8772. Ask for Chris, I just might be looking for you.
Just some thoughts,