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Thread: America's New Ministers

  1. #81
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Richardson View Post
    We need a dislike/eye roll button on Naznet. I cannot begin to tell you how condescending those comments appear to one who is bi-vocational, not by choice, but by reality. To demean what we, who are in this situation, do as "less than" what real clergy, who are "full-time" is ignorant at best. I still preach, run board meetings, meet with people, do hospital and home visits, counsel, plan, meet with the city on building things, help out with benevolence requests, attend the required district events and all the other stuff my "real" pastor colleagues do. What I don't do is have a lot of office hours where my secretary keeps tabs on me. Thanks for sticking up for us Ben. I really do appreciate that.
    I mean no disrespect to those who make their living in some other field and receive little or no compensation for performing pastoral duties part-time.

    I do feel compelled to point out that performing valuable work on a volunteer basis (or nearly volunteer) is not helping your cause. If you feel disrespected by your full-time colleagues, it's partly because your efforts serve to devalue their ministry as well as your own.

    In their minds, they have to resolve the disconnect; why do I get paid $xx,xxx for doing what Roy does in exchange for $x,xxx (or $0)? The easiest and most likely way that they answer the dilemma is by concluding that the content and/or kingdom value of your ministry is not equivalent and thus does not merit the same $xx,xxx in compensation. Is it then hard to understand why your full-time colleagues don't hold you in high esteem?

    You could say that your reward in heaven and the satisfaction of serving the people of God is more than enough compensation, but your post seems to reflect that you are not satisfied with the part-time arrangement. You're absolutely entitled to feel this way, but don't be surprised if some people see it differently.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

  2. #82
    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    Of course, this is assuming that what we've come to call "pastoral care" is, in fact, what a pastor should be doing. I might (will) argue that pastoral care is the work of the congregation and perhaps the pastor's role is to supply the theological underpinnings for a congregation to be its own pastor. I much like "lead theologian" as a description of pastor, as it can really mean a variety of actual tasks, but involves more the shaping and maintenance of mission as opposed to specific duties.
    Yes, we are assuming that pastoral care is what pastors should be doing. If it weren't it wouldn't be pastoral care -- it would be some other kind of care. This is not just some kind of recent development or modern innovation. It is what the clergy does, and has always done. It is what Jesus did: provided care to those he loved and was responsible for. And to set up the issue as a false dichotomy where pastoral care is somehow opposed to being the parish theologian just defies logic. Surely all theology must be embodied. Surely being theologian means doing theology, not in some kind of abstract academic way (not that there is anything wrong with that), but in preaching of the word, the administration of sacraments, the anointing of the sick, the visiting of the imprisoned, the clothing of the naked, the feeding of the poor, and the deathbed celebrations. And this confronts yet another false dichotomy between shaping/maintaining mission and doing specific duties. Parish theology is embodied in these specific duties because it is in the doing of these specific duties that the mission is shaped and maintained. And without doing these specific duties the mission cannot be shaped or maintained.
    “Martyrs rather than the pastors of megachurches might now become our evangelistic exemplars, and the ‘excellence’ of evangelistic practice’ will be measurable not by numbers but rather by obedience to a crucified God”

    - Bryan Stone Evangelism After Christendom
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  3. #83
    Senior Member Benjamin Hobbs's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    I mean no disrespect to those who make their living in some other field and receive little or no compensation for performing pastoral duties part-time.

    I do feel compelled to point out that performing valuable work on a volunteer basis (or nearly volunteer) is not helping your cause. If you feel disrespected by your full-time colleagues, it's partly because your efforts serve to devalue their ministry as well as your own.

    In their minds, they have to resolve the disconnect; why do I get paid $xx,xxx for doing what Roy does in exchange for $x,xxx (or $0)? The easiest and most likely way that they answer the dilemma is by concluding that the content and/or kingdom value of your ministry is not equivalent and thus does not merit the same $xx,xxx in compensation. Is it then hard to understand why your full-time colleagues don't hold you in high esteem?

    You could say that your reward in heaven and the satisfaction of serving the people of God is more than enough compensation, but your post seems to reflect that you are not satisfied with the part-time arrangement. You're absolutely entitled to feel this way, but don't be surprised if some people see it differently.
    I'm going to be *that guy* and refer to St Paul here. There are times and situations were working another job so that the ministry can be done without money is necessary and fruitful. To ignore the cultural, economic or philosophical context of your ministry is just plain stupid. Yes, there are communities that won't pay a pastor enough because they don't want to (rather than can't), but even in those situations the sacrifice of the pastor to minister to his congregation should be lauded rather than ridiculed.

    Additionally equating someone's ministry impact/importance to the salary (or lack of) is one heck of a pride issue. One might want to compare the salary of a mega church pastor to his DS, is that a good comparison? Or is making a comparison a bad idea?

    Edited to add: This isn't directed at you Billy.
    It is time the Church Jesus Christ overcame the disjunctions created by the 16th-century Reformation. What is called for is the 'evangelical catholicism' of John Wesley's 'middle way' in which two historic traditions were synthesized. In this sythesis the English Reformer not only recovered for the Church a viable doctrine of holiness but also pointed the way to a scriptural view and practice of the sacraments that is both apostolic and catholic. ++William Greathouse
    Thanks Lucas Finch, Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

  4. #84
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    I'm going to be *that guy* and refer to St Paul here. There are times and situations were working another job so that the ministry can be done without money is necessary and fruitful. To ignore the cultural, economic or philosophical context of your ministry is just plain stupid. Yes, there are communities that won't pay a pastor enough because they don't want to (rather than can't), but even in those situations the sacrifice of the pastor to minister to his congregation should be lauded rather than ridiculed.

    Additionally equating someone's ministry impact/importance to the salary (or lack of) is one heck of a pride issue. One might want to compare the salary of a mega church pastor to his DS, is that a good comparison? Or is making a comparison a bad idea?
    I don't disagree, with what you are saying. My response to Roy is framed by the idea that any accolades he deserves are nullified by the apparent chip on his shoulder about his part-time status. I don't have much respect for someone who willingly volunteers their time or accepts lower compensation and then complains about the pay and the lack of respect.

    Since we are talking about 'the cultural, economic or philosophical context of one's ministry', and cautioning that ignoring it is stupid, let's eat our own dog food and acknowledge the economic context in which we all exist. Value is measured in dollars. Someone who performs a valuable service for little or no money will find that their service is not valued.

    Sure, it would be heavenly if we lived in some ancient near-eastern culture where teachers and pastors hold the place of honor and filthy bankers and finance people are held in contempt, but alas, it is what it is. We can light a candle or we can complain.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

  5. #85
    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    Yes, there are communities that won't pay a pastor enough because they don't want to (rather than can't), but even in those situations the sacrifice of the pastor to minister to his congregation should be lauded rather than ridiculed.
    Not always. Sometimes the pastor is being obedient and should be commended. Other times the pastor is in an abusive relationship (with the congregation) and doesn't know to leave.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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  6. #86
    Senior Member Roy Richardson's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    If you're reading my comments as condescending, I apologize. The point I try to make to everyone is that there is a hidden cost to bivocational ministry. Far too many laity and church leaders who are not bivocational view this model as means to an end regarding clergy pay and do not recognize its impacts elsewhere. When describing bivocational as someone who works multiple jobs, it suddenly clicks for many folks that there is a tradeoff, and that pastoral presence may be on the losing end. There is no condescension here - simply analysis and pontification on ways forward.
    Apology accepted. There are tradeoffs, but some of them involve training the laity for jobs that should not have been professionalized by the clergy
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  7. #87
    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Richardson View Post
    Apology accepted. There are tradeoffs, but some of them involve training the laity for jobs that should not have been professionalized by the clergy
    I absolutely agree with you. Some of the problems of today are very much result of choices we collectively made years ago.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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  8. #88
    Senior Member Benjamin Hobbs's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    I don't disagree, with what you are saying. My response to Roy is framed by the idea that any accolades he deserves are nullified by the apparent chip on his shoulder about his part-time status. I don't have much respect for someone who willingly volunteers their time or accepts lower compensation and then complains about the pay and the lack of respect.
    I get what you're saying. But at the same time it's not okay for there to be two classes of pastors.
    Since we are talking about 'the cultural, economic or philosophical context of one's ministry', and cautioning that ignoring it is stupid, let's eat our own dog food and acknowledge the economic context in which we all exist. Value is measured in dollars. Someone who performs a valuable service for little or no money will find that their service is not valued.

    Sure, it would be heavenly if we lived in some ancient near-eastern culture where teachers and pastors hold the place of honor and filthy bankers and finance people are held in contempt, but alas, it is what it is. We can light a candle or we can complain.
    Isn't that giving into a paradigm instead of fighting it with another?
    It is time the Church Jesus Christ overcame the disjunctions created by the 16th-century Reformation. What is called for is the 'evangelical catholicism' of John Wesley's 'middle way' in which two historic traditions were synthesized. In this sythesis the English Reformer not only recovered for the Church a viable doctrine of holiness but also pointed the way to a scriptural view and practice of the sacraments that is both apostolic and catholic. ++William Greathouse
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  9. #89
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    I get what you're saying. But at the same time it's not okay for there to be two classes of pastors. Isn't that giving into a paradigm instead of fighting it with another?
    Playing devil's advocate... Why shouldn't there be two or more classes of pastors? The world is a diverse place and a diverse corps of pastors seems like a good prescription. Some will live in prosperity and comfort while others will have to hustle every crust of bread.

    I agree that there has to be a better way - an approach that accepts our economic context without being subservient to the prevailing economic powers.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

  10. #90
    Senior Member Roy Richardson's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    I don't disagree, with what you are saying. My response to Roy is framed by the idea that any accolades he deserves are nullified by the apparent chip on his shoulder about his part-time status. I don't have much respect for someone who willingly volunteers their time or accepts lower compensation and then complains about the pay and the lack of respect.

    Since we are talking about 'the cultural, economic or philosophical context of one's ministry', and cautioning that ignoring it is stupid, let's eat our own dog food and acknowledge the economic context in which we all exist. Value is measured in dollars. Someone who performs a valuable service for little or no money will find that their service is not valued.

    Sure, it would be heavenly if we lived in some ancient near-eastern culture where teachers and pastors hold the place of honor and filthy bankers and finance people are held in contempt, but alas, it is what it is. We can light a candle or we can complain.
    You have made quite a leap from me asking people not to degrade what bi-vocational pastors do to me complaining about my salary, which I have not done. My point was simply that just because one serves in a ministry where one cannot be fully compensated and has to have a job to keep the family unit intact, his/her ministry is no less valuable to the people that are served. It may look different, but lives are still changed and the Kingdom is still advanced, even without a full-time salary. As to the apparent chip on my shoulder, I just don't appreciate people who are not in a bi-vocational situation taking shots at those of us who are. What one makes is his/her business. I have enormous respect for some full-time pastors who are doing yeoman's work in tough situations. I also respect the daylights out of Kyle Borger and Pete Vecchi, who are/were laboring for the Kingdom in some financially tough waters. Would I prefer to have only 1 job, sure, who would not? Am I making both of my jobs work for the Kingdom, yes I am.
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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    . We can light a candle or we can complain.
    Yeah, but you gotta admit that there are numerous situations where darkness cursing is far more therapeutic emotionally than lighting that blasted candle for the umpteenth time.
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    Laughing Craig Laughlin, Jim Chabot, Billy Cox, Gina Stevenson - thanks for this funny post

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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    I might (will) argue that pastoral care is the work of the congregation and perhaps the pastor's role is to supply the theological underpinnings for a congregation to be its own pastor. I much like "lead theologian" as a description of pastor, as it can really mean a variety of actual tasks, but involves more the shaping and maintenance of mission as opposed to specific duties.
    I prefer Thomas Oden's description of pastor:

    [T]he pastor uniquely accepts the call of God to take full responsibility for soul care wherever needed. The minister is "set apart" for a vocation of shepherding souls.
    Oden is specifically speaking here against the trend for pastors to be co-opted by "administrative, political, therapeutic, and teaching" vocational roles.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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  13. #93
    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    I prefer Thomas Oden's description of pastor:



    Oden is specifically speaking here against the trend for pastors to be co-opted by "administrative, political, therapeutic, and teaching" vocational roles.
    Bingo
    “Martyrs rather than the pastors of megachurches might now become our evangelistic exemplars, and the ‘excellence’ of evangelistic practice’ will be measurable not by numbers but rather by obedience to a crucified God”

    - Bryan Stone Evangelism After Christendom
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  14. #94
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kennedy View Post
    Yeah, but you gotta admit that there are numerous situations where darkness cursing is far more therapeutic emotionally than lighting that blasted candle for the umpteenth time.
    Yeah, if complaining wasn't immensely satisfying in the moment, very few people would bother to do it.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis
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    Host Book, Movie & GA forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Frey View Post
    Surely being theologian means doing theology, not in some kind of abstract academic way (not that there is anything wrong with that), but in preaching of the word, the administration of sacraments, the anointing of the sick, the visiting of the imprisoned, the clothing of the naked, the feeding of the poor, and the deathbed celebrations.
    I'd say you're describing the duties of the Christian and not the clergy. Yes, we absolutely need trained and gifted people assigned to specific tasks within the Church, but I am less and less enamored with the notion of the clergy/lay divide. The notion that what we call "pastoral care" is something reserved for pastors just doesn't make sense theologically. A pastor should not be any more or less responsible for these duties than anyone else.
    ...just my $.02.
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    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    I'd say you're describing the duties of the Christian and not the clergy. Yes, we absolutely need trained and gifted people assigned to specific tasks within the Church, but I am less and less enamored with the notion of the clergy/lay divide. The notion that what we call "pastoral care" is something reserved for pastors just doesn't make sense theologically. A pastor should not be any more or less responsible for these duties than anyone else.
    And yet you still have to square your claims with the biblical existence of priests, apostles, bishops, elders, and deacons. You still have to square them with the reality of the sacrament of ordination as it is traditionally and historically understood and practiced. You can just dismiss reality as some kind of artificially contrived divide. You can make all the claims you want about what does or doesn't make theological sense, but it doesn't change reality. It doesn't change the biblical witness. It doesn't change the theological precedent. It doesn't even change the practical truth that every healthy organization has some kind of person that gives oversight to what the organization does and is responsible for the health of the organization.
    “Martyrs rather than the pastors of megachurches might now become our evangelistic exemplars, and the ‘excellence’ of evangelistic practice’ will be measurable not by numbers but rather by obedience to a crucified God”

    - Bryan Stone Evangelism After Christendom
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  17. #97
    Senior Member Benjamin Hobbs's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Frey View Post
    And yet you still have to square your claims with the biblical existence of priests, apostles, bishops, elders, and deacons. You still have to square them with the reality of the sacrament of ordination as it is traditionally and historically understood and practiced. You can just dismiss reality as some kind of artificially contrived divide. You can make all the claims you want about what does or doesn't make theological sense, but it doesn't change reality. It doesn't change the biblical witness. It doesn't change the theological precedent. It doesn't even change the practical truth that every healthy organization has some kind of person that gives oversight to what the organization does and is responsible for the health of the organization.
    I'm gonna take a stab and say you guys might be talking past each other rather than taking sides in the Roman/Protestant views of clergy.

    I think what Ryan is saying is that the reservation of "pastoral care" to be primarily the responsibility of clergy makes no sense as all in Christ should be treating each other as family. Sure, those called to be clergy should be concerned with the care of those in their parish, but they shouldn't be alone in that care even if they are held to a higher standard.

    The use/sense of the episcopacy is to care for the orthodoxy of teaching, which extends (at least in my mind) to why clergy and not laity are to care for the sacraments. But neither does the charge for clergy of being local theologians give laity the ability to be lax in their theology.

    It's a both/and issue. Clergy are responsible for the care of the parish, but so is the laity. Clergy are responsible for the theology of the parish (and by extension the sacraments) but so is the laity. The difference in emphasis on one or the other holding more responsibility is causing the problem, we happen to lean on the clergy responsibility too much.

    I apologize if I've misunderstood you Ryan.
    It is time the Church Jesus Christ overcame the disjunctions created by the 16th-century Reformation. What is called for is the 'evangelical catholicism' of John Wesley's 'middle way' in which two historic traditions were synthesized. In this sythesis the English Reformer not only recovered for the Church a viable doctrine of holiness but also pointed the way to a scriptural view and practice of the sacraments that is both apostolic and catholic. ++William Greathouse
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    Senior Member Benjamin Hobbs's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    Playing devil's advocate... Why shouldn't there be two or more classes of pastors? The world is a diverse place and a diverse corps of pastors seems like a good prescription. Some will live in prosperity and comfort while others will have to hustle every crust of bread.

    I agree that there has to be a better way - an approach that accepts our economic context without being subservient to the prevailing economic powers.
    If you're an elder, then you're an elder. We have different roles (DS, GS, Lead Pastor, Associate, Missionary, Educator), but there's no Elder 1st class, Elder 2nd class, Elder 3rd class....

    I think if certain folks are going to be treated differently within their vocation (lead pastor to lead pastor) then we need to start being clear about it and give them ranks. The pastor of a congregation of a thousand needs to be a 1st class presbyter, the pastor of 50 needs to be 2nd class presbyter and the bivocational pastor gets 3rd class presbyter. Lets also be open and give female pastors their own ranks as they aren't considered as equals in plenty of places.

    It's the same idea behind making congress wear patches of their sponsors like NASCAR drivers. If we're going to do something we might a well be open and honest about it.
    It is time the Church Jesus Christ overcame the disjunctions created by the 16th-century Reformation. What is called for is the 'evangelical catholicism' of John Wesley's 'middle way' in which two historic traditions were synthesized. In this sythesis the English Reformer not only recovered for the Church a viable doctrine of holiness but also pointed the way to a scriptural view and practice of the sacraments that is both apostolic and catholic. ++William Greathouse
    Thanks Lucas Finch - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    If you're an elder, then you're an elder. We have different roles (DS, GS, Lead Pastor, Associate, Missionary, Educator), but there's no Elder 1st class, Elder 2nd class, Elder 3rd class....

    I think if certain folks are going to be treated differently within their vocation (lead pastor to lead pastor) then we need to start being clear about it and give them ranks. The pastor of a congregation of a thousand needs to be a 1st class presbyter, the pastor of 50 needs to be 2nd class presbyter and the bivocational pastor gets 3rd class presbyter. Lets also be open and give female pastors their own ranks as they aren't considered as equals in plenty of places.

    It's the same idea behind making congress wear patches of their sponsors like NASCAR drivers. If we're going to do something we might a well be open and honest about it.
    The reality though is that there are multiple classes of pastors. You've got NTS vs NBC grads. You've got male vs female pastors. You've got boomer vs millennial pastors. The stats in all these areas are skewed, suggesting we in practice treat members of each group different from the other.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW

  20. #100
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    If you're an elder, then you're an elder. We have different roles (DS, GS, Lead Pastor, Associate, Missionary, Educator), but there's no Elder 1st class, Elder 2nd class, Elder 3rd class....

    I think if certain folks are going to be treated differently within their vocation (lead pastor to lead pastor) then we need to start being clear about it and give them ranks. The pastor of a congregation of a thousand needs to be a 1st class presbyter, the pastor of 50 needs to be 2nd class presbyter and the bivocational pastor gets 3rd class presbyter. Lets also be open and give female pastors their own ranks as they aren't considered as equals in plenty of places.

    It's the same idea behind making congress wear patches of their sponsors like NASCAR drivers. If we're going to do something we might a well be open and honest about it.
    Whether we have formalized rankings or not, ranking can and does happen based on competency and relative organizational value. This is how organizations work.

    Those who believe they are not assessed a fair value by the organization can seek to increase their value, or they can try to change the system of assessing value. I can't see much value in pretending that we are all valued equally.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis
    Thanks Roy Richardson, Eric Frey, Gina Stevenson, Bud Pugh - "thanks" for this post

  21. #101
    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    The reality though is that there are multiple classes of pastors. You've got NTS vs NBC grads. You've got male vs female pastors. You've got boomer vs millennial pastors. The stats in all these areas are skewed, suggesting we in practice treat members of each group different from the other.
    Don't forget the special pastors that get special invites to things like cruises and retreats...
    “Martyrs rather than the pastors of megachurches might now become our evangelistic exemplars, and the ‘excellence’ of evangelistic practice’ will be measurable not by numbers but rather by obedience to a crucified God”

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    Thanks Tim Troxler, Benjamin Hobbs - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Frey View Post
    Don't forget the special pastors that get special invites to things like cruises and retreats...
    Are you implying there's a criteria that specifically excludes some pastors as not being "good enough"? Say it ain't so! smh
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW

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    Senior Member Roy Richardson's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    If you're an elder, then you're an elder. We have different roles (DS, GS, Lead Pastor, Associate, Missionary, Educator), but there's no Elder 1st class, Elder 2nd class, Elder 3rd class....

    I think if certain folks are going to be treated differently within their vocation (lead pastor to lead pastor) then we need to start being clear about it and give them ranks. The pastor of a congregation of a thousand needs to be a 1st class presbyter, the pastor of 50 needs to be 2nd class presbyter and the bivocational pastor gets 3rd class presbyter. Lets also be open and give female pastors their own ranks as they aren't considered as equals in plenty of places.

    It's the same idea behind making congress wear patches of their sponsors like NASCAR drivers. If we're going to do something we might a well be open and honest about it.
    Let's do it like baseball. There is "the show" - the Big leagues, AAA, AA and A and Instructional League. Just be honest and tell us where we stand

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    Senior Member John Reilly's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Interesting thread! I add this quote to the discussion.

    Todd Wilson and Gerald Hiestand in the introduction to "Becoming a Pastor Theologian."

    "There is probably not another profession [than pastor] that suffers from such lack of clarity as to what the job itself is all about. The net result is that your average pastor has been reduced to little more than what Stanley Hauerwas calls "a quivering mass of availability."...For centuries, the church held out a clear and compelling vision of what a pastor is and what a pastor does. In short, a pastor is a theologian. But, this ancient vision has been obscured by the separation of the roles of pastor and theologian - a tragic division of labor that continues to bedevil the Christian ministry and the church."

    Todd Wilson and Gerald Hiestand in the introduction to "Becoming a Pastor Theologian."
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    Host Book, Movie & GA forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Frey View Post
    And yet you still have to square your claims with the biblical existence of priests, apostles, bishops, elders, and deacons. You still have to square them with the reality of the sacrament of ordination as it is traditionally and historically understood and practiced. You can just dismiss reality as some kind of artificially contrived divide. You can make all the claims you want about what does or doesn't make theological sense, but it doesn't change reality. It doesn't change the biblical witness. It doesn't change the theological precedent. It doesn't even change the practical truth that every healthy organization has some kind of person that gives oversight to what the organization does and is responsible for the health of the organization.
    And I'm not denying any (well most) of that. What I challenge is that the people we call and empower to administer, preach, teach, clean, pray, manage finances, cook, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, or visit the prisoners should be divided into clergy and laity. I don't think there's anything in the Biblical witness that moves in that direction. We see people assigned to specific tasks, with hands laid on, and authority given, but I don't think the clergy/lay divide we've been given is the only way to expand that tradition.

    Personally, I'd prefer we ordain every Christian who commits to God's call in their lives, whether it be as pastors, doctors, janitors, child care workers, or musicians - not ordained as clergy, but as Christians. We should be recognizing the call of God in the lives of every Christian and letting the job description be adapted to the context in which they work.
    ...just my $.02.

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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    Personally, I'd prefer we ordain every Christian who commits to God's call in their lives, whether it be as pastors, doctors, janitors, child care workers, or musicians - not ordained as clergy, but as Christians.
    I think we call that baptism.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    I think we call that baptism.
    Beat me to it. This is exactly right.
    “Martyrs rather than the pastors of megachurches might now become our evangelistic exemplars, and the ‘excellence’ of evangelistic practice’ will be measurable not by numbers but rather by obedience to a crucified God”

    - Bryan Stone Evangelism After Christendom

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    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    And thus, our lack of a clear and compelling ecclesiology leads us to assign to the clergy what Eugene Peterson calls the "concern of shopkeepers:" keeping the customers happy and competing with the shop down the street.

    And this is the struggle. We spend the majority of our time training our future ordinands in what we wish pastoral ministry was about, and scarce little time preparing them for the reality. For example, often it is the spiritually least mature or the most carnal (we still believe in that, don't we) in our fellowship who attempt to set the agenda for the life of the pastor. This is what reduces many of us to that "quivering mass of availability" of Hauerwas' observation.
    "Fully embracing the Gospel, fully engaging the world"

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    Senior Member Roy Richardson's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    And thus, our lack of a clear and compelling ecclesiology leads us to assign to the clergy what Eugene Peterson calls the "concern of shopkeepers:" keeping the customers happy and competing with the shop down the street.

    And this is the struggle. We spend the majority of our time training our future ordinands in what we wish pastoral ministry was about, and scarce little time preparing them for the reality. For example, often it is the spiritually least mature or the most carnal (we still believe in that, don't we) in our fellowship who attempt to set the agenda for the life of the pastor. This is what reduces many of us to that "quivering mass of availability" of Hauerwas' observation.
    Preach brother, Preach

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    So what are the tasks... duties... that require a member of the clergy? Why is ordination necessary for these tasks?
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    So what are the tasks... duties... that require a member of the clergy? Why is ordination necessary for these tasks?
    Authority and accountability come to mind, without which you might have lay leaders who speak their mind and inveigh against the doctrines of the church. Another thread in Naznet comes to mind...
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
    Laughing Craig Laughlin - thanks for this funny post

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    Authority and accountability come to mind, without which you might have lay leaders who speak their mind and inveigh against the doctrines of the church. Another thread in Naznet comes to mind...
    I think both of these are super important but I'm really thinking about specific tasks. (Authority and accountability being more positional and two sides of the same coin, well except for some folks that want authority without accountability... but that is another thread )

    There seems to be an assumption in play that some task require a member of the clergy. I'm just curious as to what those are, and in many ways more important for me, why it requires someone who is ordained? (One of my lifelong patterns is that I am almost always more interested in the why than the what) BTW- I agree that some tasks do require ordination, I just suspect my list is shorter than some.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    I think both of these are super important but I'm really thinking about specific tasks. (Authority and accountability being more positional and two sides of the same coin, well except for some folks that want authority without accountability... but that is another thread )

    There seems to be an assumption in play that some task require a member of the clergy. I'm just curious as to what those are, and in many ways more important for me, why it requires someone who is ordained? (One of my lifelong patterns is that I am almost always more interested in the why than the what) BTW- I agree that some tasks do require ordination, I just suspect my list is shorter than some.
    "Why" is a good question to ask. I don't think it's necessarily a very long list either, and as with most things, there are exceptions to every rule. I expect things like administering the sacraments would be on the list, but things like handling facilities or finances would not be.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    I think both of these are super important but I'm really thinking about specific tasks. (Authority and accountability being more positional and two sides of the same coin, well except for some folks that want authority without accountability... but that is another thread )

    There seems to be an assumption in play that some task require a member of the clergy. I'm just curious as to what those are, and in many ways more important for me, why it requires someone who is ordained? (One of my lifelong patterns is that I am almost always more interested in the why than the what) BTW- I agree that some tasks do require ordination, I just suspect my list is shorter than some.
    Manny Silva's dad was a Nazarene Pastor in Cape Verde before he emigrated here. Manny tells me that he was out in a rural area one day when he came upon a group of Catholic believers meeting in a small Church. While talking with them, they said that they weren't able to share communion because there was no priest available. This opened the door for him to share how they could have a personal relationship with God.

    http://www.dacb.org/stories/capeverde/silva_ilidio.html
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    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

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    Senior Member Greg Farra's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Preach the Word, Administer the Sacraments would be my top ones. I've always been involved in some sort of visiting homebound members, going back to my days as a Lutheran. I'd say the Pastor is also the chief theologian in the congregation, and should have the final say in what educational materials are used for groups and Sunday School, especially if what is being used comes from outside our theological stream.
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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Ok, boggles my rural mind to think we cannot baptize or have communion without clergy. Folks in my culture tend to do so all the time, both as a church when one is available and as a family when one is not. If we are really going to follow that rule, the necessity of clergy for those things, we need some parsons willing to hit the trail again I guess
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  37. #117
    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Farra View Post
    Preach the Word, Administer the Sacraments would be my top ones.
    Yes. I think this is where we would start this conversation. One other thing about that, I think we too narrowly define sacrament in the Prot. tradition. In this discussion sacrament needs to at least also include unction and reconciliation. Within (at least) these four -- baptism, eucharist, annointing, and confession/reconcilliation -- we have the backbone of all pastoral care. Eucharist and unction form the impetus for what we call visitation. Confession/reconciliation forms the impetus for what we call pastoral counselling, and imho requires a much stronger sacramental seal than what is currently given.

    And the why is wrapped up in relationship. This is a much longer conversation that is helpful here. But it works is several regards. Ordination creates a new matrix of relationships. And not only does it create new relationships, it sets the ordained apart from other vocations to a vocation of maintaining those relationships. A life of Prayer and the study of scripture maintain and deepen the relationship between the ordained and God. A life of walking with the people of the parish maintain and deepen the relationship with the ordained and the church. And it is only in the context of (out of) these deep relationships that cannot happen outside an ordained vocation, that the clergy can even begin to fulfill the ministry of word and sacrament. I know this is much to abbreviated a response, and I know many will not agree with me here, but it is where I start thinking about and answering these what and why questions (and incidentally, this is the primary reason I am not a fan of bivocational ministry -- it works counter to the vocation of prayer, study, and service that ordination initiates).
    “Martyrs rather than the pastors of megachurches might now become our evangelistic exemplars, and the ‘excellence’ of evangelistic practice’ will be measurable not by numbers but rather by obedience to a crucified God”

    - Bryan Stone Evangelism After Christendom
    Thanks Craig Laughlin, Greg Farra - "thanks" for this post

  38. #118
    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Farra View Post
    Preach the Word, Administer the Sacraments would be my top ones. I've always been involved in some sort of visiting homebound members, going back to my days as a Lutheran. I'd say the Pastor is also the chief theologian in the congregation, and should have the final say in what educational materials are used for groups and Sunday School, especially if what is being used comes from outside our theological stream.
    I think we are pretty close. I'm with you on preaching and approval of teaching materials. Both of these functions require more extensive theological training and ultimate endorsement by the church that the minister accurately represents the teaching of the church.

    I would also agree that the Sacraments require involvement by clergy but the older I get the more I think that pretty loose. For instance, I encourage my small groups to take communion together. I walk the leaders through how to do it and they are doing it under my authority but I am not physically present nor do they keep me abreast of when they do it. It is hard for me to see why I would need to have active control of the Eucharistic moment.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Senior Member Greg Farra's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Craig,

    I think part of the reason we have clergy oversight and administration of our two sacraments come from scripture and tradition. Does a layperson administering them make the sacraments null and void? No. But we have order, and I think the main reason for having clergy do it is from the early church-the Apostles were the only ones doing the baptisms. Does this mean lay people aren't involved? No, they assist. I think pastors can consecrate the elements and send out lay people with them, but that has been more for those that can't get out. One suggestion I'd give is maybe you (and/or other clergy on staff), could go to the group gatherings and administer the sacrament. Of course, the best way to experience it together is as one body.
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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Farra View Post
    Craig,

    I think part of the reason we have clergy oversight and administration of our two sacraments come from scripture and tradition. Does a layperson administering them make the sacraments null and void? No. But we have order, and I think the main reason for having clergy do it is from the early church-the Apostles were the only ones doing the baptisms. Does this mean lay people aren't involved? No, they assist. I think pastors can consecrate the elements and send out lay people with them, but that has been more for those that can't get out. One suggestion I'd give is maybe you (and/or other clergy on staff), could go to the group gatherings and administer the sacrament. Of course, the best way to experience it together is as one body.
    I agree that the administration of the elements exclusively by the clergy is the long and deep Tradition. What I'm curious about is why? And why is it necessary today? Why is it necessary for an ordained person to consecrate the elements?

    Post Pentecost we have no special spiritual powers... we do have education different from laypeople but some of this is a little tricky for me beyond the Tradition argument. I don't think the argument from Tradition is bad but it is not a strong argument on it's own and like Reason, Experience and Scripture is it not above critique.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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