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Thread: America's New Ministers

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    Senior Member Greg Crofford's Avatar

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    America's New Ministers

    I found this article fascinating at multiple levels:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society...-new-ministers

    Is the day of the full-time pastor coming to an end?
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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Crofford View Post
    Is the day of the full-time pastor coming to an end?
    Yes, for two main reasons:

    1) Finances. As the middle class shrinks due to jobless, their cashflow which employs fulltime pastors will disappear.
    2) Anti-intellectualism. Who needs experts when all you need is #jesus? Everything we need is written down in plain English text for us to interpret on our own.

    So, we're going to have to get creative. As a general model, bivocational pastoral ministry doesn't work (I'm sure I'll get flack from some for making this statement but the data doesn't lie. Feel free to PM me or start another post if anyone wants to discuss; I don't want to derail this conversation). Multi-point charges seems to be more promising.

    But there's an opportunity here. Many full-time jobs are disappearing. The church has a chance to help its laity figure out how to deal with these pending changes.
    "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 Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    We have been talking about this for awhile at our church.

    Of the six members of the pastoral staff, only myself and our school director are full-time.

    Our Associate Pastor, who is an NTS graduate and ordained, is part-time at the church and a full-time stay-at-home mom.
    Our youth pastor is part-time at the church and full-time as a PE/Health teacher and coach in our area schools.
    Our compassionate ministry director is part-time.
    Our minister of worship arts and administration is part-time at the church, and full-time music teacher with her own studio.

    As we begin to prepare for my retirement 5-10 years down the road (unless they kick me out first), we have begun the conversation of a bivocational lead pastor. At first, there was a lot of shaking of the heads, especially from the older board members. They saw this as indicative that we were resigning ourselves to plateau and maintenance rather than growth. However, they are beginning to come around, and the younger generation of leaders see the benefits and opportunities it presents.

    Not saying our church will replace me with a bivocational pastor, but they will certainly consider it.
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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    We have been talking about this for awhile at our church.

    Of the six members of the pastoral staff, only myself and our school director are full-time.

    Our Associate Pastor, who is an NTS graduate and ordained, is part-time at the church and a full-time stay-at-home mom.
    Our youth pastor is part-time at the church and full-time as a PE/Health teacher and coach in our area schools.
    Our compassionate miistry director is part-time.
    Our minister of worship arts and administration is part-time at the church, and full-time music teacher with her own studio.

    As we begin to prepare for my retirement 5-10 years down the road (unless they kick me out first), we have begun the conversation of a bivocational lead pastor. At first, there was a lot of shaking of the heads, especially from the older board members. They saw this as indicative that we were resigning ourselves to plateau and maintenance rather than growth. However, they are beginning to come around, and the younger generation of leaders see the benefits and opportunities it presents.

    Not saying our church will replace me with a bivocational pastor, but they will certainly consider it.
    You are irreplaceable Mike.
    "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."
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    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    You are irreplaceable Mike.
    Not even my dog thinks that.
    "Fully embracing the Gospel, fully engaging the world"

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Living so rural, as we do, I truly cannot imagine the idea of most ministers being full time employees of a church. Some have been lucky enough to receive a portion of the offering, some are bivo, and some I've known were just strictly volunteer staff.

    Not so at all anti intellectual. Rather, the educated set couldn't honestly afford to live on such scanty pay. If you have maybe 10 families in an area, only half of them saved, you cannot support a pastor. You may not be able to afford to travel to church. You may find the live church venue far better than watching some great preacher online or on tv.

    And you may find under those circumstances the laity, or laity and volunteer uneducated (seminary level. May have engineering Ph.D's) function just fine.

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    Senior Member Benjamin Hobbs's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    This isn't the first time this has been brought up. I can't remember the details but there was a projection that in the next ~30 years only metropolitan areas will have full time pastors.

    If it's know by the denomination and known by those outside of the denomination, why aren't we gearing meetings, trainings, education, etc towards bivocational folks?

    (I'm speaking as a bivocational pastor who has a district that does a decent job at accommodating bivocational folks)
    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 Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Smith View Post
    Rather, the educated set couldn't honestly afford to live on such scanty pay.
    I'm confused by this. Why would educated people be unable to live on the same pay as others? Do you mean people that have lots of debt? There are educated folks with lots of debt, but this is a very different thing than saying educated folk can't live on that pay.
    "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 Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    If it's know by the denomination and known by those outside of the denomination, why aren't we gearing meetings, trainings, education, etc towards bivocational folks?
    If I had to guess, it is because those meetings, training, etc. are not run by bivocational folks.
    "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
    Thanks Benjamin Hobbs, Rich Schmidt - "thanks" for this post
    Laughing Benjamin Hobbs - 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 Greg Crofford View Post
    I found this article fascinating at multiple levels:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society...-new-ministers

    Is the day of the full-time pastor coming to an end?
    No but there is a big shift as well as significant loss. The loss is simple, less people attending church in general combined with less giving per person and higher costs for having a full time pastor. The shift is that they will be in larger population centers and a lot more will be associates in larger churches.
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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Tim--good question. The answer is in the number of families in the church. If you have five families, and each tithes, given that we usually have single wage earner families, even if they are engineers those five families will not be able to pay the recent seminary grad what it takes to support him or herself, family, and pay the student loan debts. Even with no debt, it usually won't support them. And most oilfield and ranch workers are not engineers or Ph.D's. What does work quite well is when someone from one of those five families is called to preach and gets the needed additional training, either formal education or by being mentored from a distance by another pastor. They won't be paid much or at all but the pulpit is filled, often very well. Of course this means the church people must ALL step up and do much of what is often left to the pastor.
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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Smith View Post
    Tim--good question. The answer is in the number of families in the church. If you have five families, and each tithes, given that we usually have single wage earner families, even if they are engineers those five families will not be able to pay the recent seminary grad what it takes to support him or herself, family, and pay the student loan debts. Even with no debt, it usually won't support them. And most oilfield and ranch workers are not engineers or Ph.D's. What does work quite well is when someone from one of those five families is called to preach and gets the needed additional training, either formal education or by being mentored from a distance by another pastor. They won't be paid much or at all but the pulpit is filled, often very well. Of course this means the church people must ALL step up and do much of what is often left to the pastor.
    Thanks for the example. I agree; that's the type of creativity needed in many situations.
    "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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    Host Book, Movie & GA forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    We're moving to a model where there will either be large churches with many full-time staff to meet the religious needs of a large consumer base, or we'll have very small congregations with no building or staff. That just seems to be the trend. People will have to stop thinking of ministry as something you do to make money. I'm not sure how long it will take, but I'm very convinced it will happen. If you're a pastor, you'll either work at a mega-church or you'll work another profession.

    I'd say we're not preparing for this future because we're largely in denial.

    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing.
    ...just my $.02.

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    We're moving to a model where there will either be large churches with many full-time staff to meet the religious needs of a large consumer base, or we'll have very small congregations with no building or staff. That just seems to be the trend. People will have to stop thinking of ministry as something you do to make money. I'm not sure how long it will take, but I'm very convinced it will happen. If you're a pastor, you'll either work at a mega-church or you'll work another profession.

    I'd say we're not preparing for this future because we're largely in denial.

    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing.
    When pastoring, I was invited to join with other pastors and meet with the regional university to discuss ministry prep for students. Having a money-making profession was the elephant in the room that no one was talking about. Finally, I asked the unversity team what they were doing to make sure their ministry students were prepared for a bi-vocational career. All I got was blank stares.

    The bi-vocational ministry model has been long coming. The younger generations coming into the church will probably demand this model more and more as they expect that the church spend more money outside the walls instead of maintaining the home base.

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    Site Manager G R 'Scott' Cundiff's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Just to toss something else into the mix...the USA has had an extended period of stagnant wages with a slow recovery from a major recession. Is it possible that an uptick in the economy might have a positive impact on church finances resulting in better wages for clergy?

    While I agree with the assessment that the big churches are getting bigger while the small churches are, at best, struggling to hold their own, I also think that the economy has had a negative impact on local church finances.

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    We're moving to a model where there will either be large churches with many full-time staff to meet the religious needs of a large consumer base, or we'll have very small congregations with no building or staff. That just seems to be the trend. People will have to stop thinking of ministry as something you do to make money. I'm not sure how long it will take, but I'm very convinced it will happen. If you're a pastor, you'll either work at a mega-church or you'll work another profession.

    I'd say we're not preparing for this future because we're largely in denial.

    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing.
    One other wrinkle to consider...

    Let's say that a group of 10-20 households, most with household income of $100-200K, decides to start a congregation, buy a building and pay a full-time pastor. The rule of thumb says that a church of 50ish people can't afford to hire a pastor, but this group can do so and employ one very lucky pastor or maybe even two.

    In short, I can see the small congregation, with a full-time pastor and building, persisting well into the future in affluent communities and mixed income neighborhoods where 2-3 wealthy families are able to anchor that sort of congregation.
    "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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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by G R 'Scott' Cundiff View Post
    Just to toss something else into the mix...the USA has had an extended period of stagnant wages with a slow recovery from a major recession. Is it possible that an uptick in the economy might have a positive impact on church finances resulting in better wages for clergy?

    While I agree with the assessment that the big churches are getting bigger while the small churches are, at best, struggling to hold their own, I also think that the economy has had a negative impact on local church finances.
    Yes, the economic impacts are coming into play with this issue. But we have to ask ourselves what is the likelihood of wage growth in the community which trickles down into wage growth for pastors. Frankly, I don't see this happening.

    94% of job growth since 2005 is in the gig economy. (https://qz.com/851066/almost-all-the...are-temporary/)
    Studies project 47% of jobs will be automated by 2034 (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014...n_4616931.html)

    As stable careers disappear and more Americans have temporary jobs, the cashflow that allows for funded ministry dries up.

    This affects bivocational ministry, too. The premise of bivocational ministry is that a secular job meets day to day needs when pastoral roles do not. Bivocational however assumes that there are secular jobs to be had - and if nearly half of all jobs will disappear, the opportunities for bivocational pastors will diminish accordingly.

    Wired also has a great article on automation and how it will end the middle class. https://www.wired.com/2017/02/ai-thr...-middle-class/

    Bottom line - the church needs to imagine what church and ministry look like when the coffers are empty and there is massive social instability for the laity. We have a small window of opportunity to head off these challenges and set an example for the rest of the world to follow. However, most of the talk I hear in this and other forums is about solving yesterday's problems, not tomorrow's problems.
    "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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    Host Book, Movie & GA forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    Yes, the economic impacts are coming into play with this issue. But we have to ask ourselves what is the likelihood of wage growth in the community which trickles down into wage growth for pastors. Frankly, I don't see this happening.

    94% of job growth since 2005 is in the gig economy. (https://qz.com/851066/almost-all-the...are-temporary/)
    Studies project 47% of jobs will be automated by 2034 (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014...n_4616931.html)

    As stable careers disappear and more Americans have temporary jobs, the cashflow that allows for funded ministry dries up.

    This affects bivocational ministry, too. The premise of bivocational ministry is that a secular job meets day to day needs when pastoral roles do not. Bivocational however assumes that there are secular jobs to be had - and if nearly half of all jobs will disappear, the opportunities for bivocational pastors will diminish accordingly.

    Wired also has a great article on automation and how it will end the middle class. https://www.wired.com/2017/02/ai-thr...-middle-class/

    Bottom line - the church needs to imagine what church and ministry look like when the coffers are empty and there is massive social instability for the laity. We have a small window of opportunity to head off these challenges and set an example for the rest of the world to follow. However, most of the talk I hear in this and other forums is about solving yesterday's problems, not tomorrow's problems.

    This is what I was going to say - to me, even "bi-vocational" isn't something that's likely to persist into the future. I see the future economy as one where people (or at least a sizable number of people) make money doing lots of different things. I suspect there are just as many ways of pastoring and supporting a family as there are pastors; if we're working on enabling future pastors, it shouldn't be to push a second career, but to help engage their creativity for participation in the emerging economy.
    ...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
    help engage their creativity for participation in the emerging economy.
    Well said. I want to focus on this last bit, though.

    Churches are institutions. One way of looking at the church's institutional problems might be to say "we need to train pastors to fill pulpits." Helping people match their creativity to new economics does not at all help solve today's institutional problems. I expect the lack of return on solving immediate concerns is why we don't call for creative solutions. Much like what is happening at ENC, it often takes an institutional crisis before people are willing to think outside the box.
    "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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    Host Book, Movie & GA forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    Well said. I want to focus on this last bit, though.

    Churches are institutions. One way of looking at the church's institutional problems might be to say "we need to train pastors to fill pulpits." Helping people match their creativity to new economics does not at all help solve today's institutional problems. I expect the lack of return on solving immediate concerns is why we don't call for creative solutions. Much like what is happening at ENC, it often takes an institutional crisis before people are willing to think outside the box.
    Denominations are institutions, as are some local congregations. I'm not sure it has to be that way, though, especially as people explore with smaller groups, which are naturally less permanent. You usually don't get to be a real institution until at least the third generation of leadership. We may very well see congregations springing up and ending within a five or ten year time span. We already are in small numbers. With the polity of the denomination with regards to church plants these days, there's no incentive to ever officially organize unless you're planning to be around for multiple generations.
    ...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
    Denominations are institutions, as are some local congregations. I'm not sure it has to be that way, though, especially as people explore with smaller groups, which are naturally less permanent. You usually don't get to be a real institution until at least the third generation of leadership. We may very well see congregations springing up and ending within a five or ten year time span. We already are in small numbers. With the polity of the denomination with regards to church plants these days, there's no incentive to ever officially organize unless you're planning to be around for multiple generations.
    A benefit of institutions is the ability to provide consistency and accountability. Of course, not all institutions provide these sufficiently...but I digress. Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
    "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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    Re: America's New Ministers

    I may well be stoned for bringing this up, but as someone who grew up in a Nazarene parsonage one of the ginormous (my spell check even accepted 'ginormous') white elephants hanging out in the room is the fiscal impact of district and general commitments. Please try to keep the discussion from veering into the 'we'll have to bring home the missionaries and kill all the DS's '. (let me hasten to say at this point that my father would've heartily disagreed with my position - he regarded district and general budgets as a sacred obligation).
    So far in talking about the 'brave new world' why hasn't this even been mentioned?
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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kennedy View Post
    I may well be stoned for bringing this up, but as someone who grew up in a Nazarene parsonage one of the ginormous (my spell check even accepted 'ginormous') white elephants hanging out in the room is the fiscal impact of district and general commitments. Please try to keep the discussion from veering into the 'we'll have to bring home the missionaries and kill all the DS's '. (let me hasten to say at this point that my father would've heartily disagreed with my position - he regarded district and general budgets as a sacred obligation).
    So far in talking about the 'brave new world' why hasn't this even been mentioned?
    I think, on most districts, even not yet organized congregations pay budgets. We're already moving to a mostly volunteer missionary corps and our institutional administriation seems close to collapsing on itself. I think so long as those organizations help a local body live out its mission, there will be support there.
    ...just my $.02.
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    Full Member Jim Stephenson's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Reading through all the comments I am puzzled that so much is made of a move toward part time ministry staff.....my father was a bivocational minister throughout his whole ministry in the 60's and 70's. It left little time for true ministry, less time for his family....at my current church this move toward part time staff constitutes at least half the staff. This move was made by our current minister as a way of reaching those marginalized groups that need some staff member to be a connecting point. Even with that if you do not have good leadership from your lead pastor the staff are ill equipped to meet the needs of expanding ministries.

    Another concern is the current state of employment law wherein a church just can't give a part time title to a person and expect more than a part time involvement. For that reason Lay Ministers will always be a vital need and if the lead pastor fails to groom involvement and volunteerism then the church will slowly die. I have observed that in our own church....we are down 200-300 over the past year. We have lost 3 full time staff for a variety of reasons but it all connects to the leadership, or lack thereof, example of the lead pastor.

    Eventually your volunteers burn out...just as staff do.....and the church is left with a void in ministries. There is no longer a strong emphasis on discipleship and training lay leaders at our church. It has lead to many regular attenders finding other churches where they feel they can be used by God to minister and disciple others.

    Just my 2 cents worth and I always call them as I see them.
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    Full Member Jim Stephenson's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    I think, on most districts, even not yet organized congregations pay budgets. We're already moving to a mostly volunteer missionary corps and our institutional administriation seems close to collapsing on itself. I think so long as those organizations help a local body live out its mission, there will be support there.
    Gavin Raath, our lead pastor until his untimely death, always told his board that the budgets should never get in the way of local ministry, that it was at the local ministry where people are touched, commissioned, and disciples. The district is just an organizational level that takes in much of its money for use in bureaucracy. The educational budgets to our universities is cash that could better be spent educating lay ministers to serve.

    I watched our church bloom under his leadership. The church board was more concerned with having that "mention" in the district minutes showing it paid its budgets. Fortunately the church never had to make the choice NOT to pay its budgets.

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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Stephenson View Post
    Reading through all the comments I am puzzled that so much is made of a move toward part time ministry staff.....my father was a bivocational minister throughout his whole ministry in the 60's and 70's. It left little time for true ministry, less time for his family....at my current church this move toward part time staff constitutes at least half the staff. This move was made by our current minister as a way of reaching those marginalized groups that need some staff member to be a connecting point. Even with that if you do not have good leadership from your lead pastor the staff are ill equipped to meet the needs of expanding ministries.

    Another concern is the current state of employment law wherein a church just can't give a part time title to a person and expect more than a part time involvement. For that reason Lay Ministers will always be a vital need and if the lead pastor fails to groom involvement and volunteerism then the church will slowly die. I have observed that in our own church....we are down 200-300 over the past year. We have lost 3 full time staff for a variety of reasons but it all connects to the leadership, or lack thereof, example of the lead pastor.

    Eventually your volunteers burn out...just as staff do.....and the church is left with a void in ministries. There is no longer a strong emphasis on discipleship and training lay leaders at our church. It has lead to many regular attenders finding other churches where they feel they can be used by God to minister and disciple others.

    Just my 2 cents worth and I always call them as I see them.
    You've highlighted a weakness in all models of ministry - a tendency to ignore sabbath. Lead pastors who do not model sabbath implicitly train staff and laity to reject sabbath as well. I've known some workaholic pastors and overburdened pastors who live life as if there are 7 days in which to accomplish all their tasks, but for Christians there are only 6. My wife was teaching the youth at a previous church once about sabbath and one student asked his parent, a pastor in the church, if they believed in sabbath. The parent replied "Yes, Mondays are my sabbath. That's when I run all my errands." Sabbatth is a day of rest, not a day of catching up.
    "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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    Host Book, Movie & GA forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Stephenson View Post
    The educational budgets to our universities is cash that could better be spent educating lay ministers to serve.
    I'll just add that the education budget to our colleges and universities is being used to educate (mostly) lay ministers to serve. I know its true for ENC and I think it's true for all of our US schools, but 100% of money that comes in from local congregations goes directly to scholarships.
    ...just my $.02.

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    One of those "for what it is worth" when I think about it, our rural tiny church pastors are not what many think of as bivo. Maybe supply preaching is a better term. They "supply the pulpit" for one or two services a week. The rest of the work of the ministry is done by the laity. And we tend not to expect church to be the sum total of our social lives, or source of personal counseling, or social service agency. Makes a huge difference.
    Thanks Tim Troxler - "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 Sarah Smith View Post
    One of those "for what it is worth" when I think about it, our rural tiny church pastors are not what many think of as bivo. Maybe supply preaching is a better term. They "supply the pulpit" for one or two services a week. The rest of the work of the ministry is done by the laity. And we tend not to expect church to be the sum total of our social lives, or source of personal counseling, or social service agency. Makes a huge difference.
    I wouldn't be surprised if the so-called "new ministers" look suspiciously like ministers that already existed in some contexts, perhaps like your own.
    "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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    Site Manager G R 'Scott' Cundiff's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    I still think this discussion is under-estimating the impact of a vastly improved economy on church finances.

    Also, I was thinking the other day about a conversation I had with my DS some years ago. I was pastoring a smaller church and I asked him why Nazarenes didn't circuit ride as the Methodists do. He said that his churches wanted pastors of their own and didn't like the circuit riding model. I think the same thing is true when it comes to "sharing" a pastor with secular job. If push comes to shove, they will do it, but over time the realization that the pastor isn't as available because he or she is "at work" will cause them to find ways to enable a person to serve the church full time.

    If we take the very real possibility of a considerably improved economy and add to it, a desire to have someone pastoring full time, I think the supposed trend is less likely to happen than might be thought.
    Thanks Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by G R 'Scott' Cundiff View Post
    If we take the very real possibility of a considerably improved economy and add to it, a desire to have someone pastoring full time, I think the supposed trend is less likely to happen than might be thought.
    The idea that our new President can bring back American manufacturing to 1950s, at labor-intensive levels, purely by the force of his personality is ridiculous. The present resurgence in American manufacturing (starting during the Obama presidency) is driven by robots and high tech. The days of earning a middle class income with little no education is long gone and it's not coming back.

    More likely, our President will blunder his way into a trade war with the rest of the industrialized world. There are no winners in that scenario.
    "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 Craig Laughlin, John Kennedy - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    The idea that our new President can bring back American manufacturing to 1950s, at labor-intensive levels, purely by the force of his personality is ridiculous. The present resurgence in American manufacturing (starting during the Obama presidency) is driven by robots and high tech. The days of earning a middle class income with little no education is long gone and it's not coming back.

    More likely, our President will blunder his way into a trade war with the rest of the industrialized world. There are no winners in that scenario.
    The middle class wage job is the guy working on the robots. Any job or part of a job that is even slightly repetitive is pretty much doomed. Innovate or die.

    I have a guy in my church that has been involved with Asian manufacturing for a long time. He said the cost of shipping back to the US combined with automation of manufacturing is pretty much killing the overseas markets. Everything is moving back this way because it is cheaper to make it here with a robot than their with cheap labor. (Not to mention the cost of labor has gone up around the world)
    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
    The middle class wage job is the guy working on the robots. Any job or part of a job that is even slightly repetitive is pretty much doomed. Innovate or die.
    Have you been looking at my reading list?

    https://www.wired.com/2017/02/progra...ue-collar-job/
    "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
    Thanks Craig Laughlin - "thanks" for this post

  34. #34
    Senior Member Lucas Finch's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    The idea that our new President can bring back American manufacturing to 1950s, at labor-intensive levels, purely by the force of his personality is ridiculous. The present resurgence in American manufacturing (starting during the Obama presidency) is driven by robots and high tech. The days of earning a middle class income with little no education is long gone and it's not coming back.

    More likely, our President will blunder his way into a trade war with the rest of the industrialized world. There are no winners in that scenario.
    But he promised he'll make America great again!

    (Mods, no need to edit for political commentary. My post is purely tongue-in-cheek and is not meant to either support or mock the new POTUS.)
    StrengthsFinder Top 5: Input ---------- Intellection ---------- Connectedness ---------- Context ---------- Belief

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Finch View Post
    But he promised he'll make America great again!

    (Mods, no need to edit for political commentary. My post is purely tongue-in-cheek and is not meant to either support or mock the new POTUS.)
    Hey, as long as Dolly Partin can win another Grammy, anything is possible!
    Laughing Lucas Finch - thanks for this funny post

  36. #36
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by G R 'Scott' Cundiff View Post
    I still think this discussion is under-estimating the impact of a vastly improved economy on church finances.

    Also, I was thinking the other day about a conversation I had with my DS some years ago. I was pastoring a smaller church and I asked him why Nazarenes didn't circuit ride as the Methodists do. He said that his churches wanted pastors of their own and didn't like the circuit riding model. I think the same thing is true when it comes to "sharing" a pastor with secular job. If push comes to shove, they will do it, but over time the realization that the pastor isn't as available because he or she is "at work" will cause them to find ways to enable a person to serve the church full time.

    If we take the very real possibility of a considerably improved economy and add to it, a desire to have someone pastoring full time, I think the supposed trend is less likely to happen than might be thought.
    I think you could well be right Scott. Regardless of the reasons, the American worker is still the best in the world and the American people the most adaptive and resilient. I don't believe that we can be kept down forever and once unleashed, the economy will rebound.

    Message to Churches, buckle down and weather the storm. Whatever you do, hang on to your building. Buildings are relatively inexpensive to keep and maintain, they are really hard to replace. Things will get better and you will once again be able to hire a full time pastor at a good wage. And remember you do owe a good wage, once you are able to.
    -Jim

    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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  37. #37
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Bourland View Post
    Hey, as long as Dolly Partin can win another Grammy, anything is possible!
    Considering the dismal showing of pretty poor talent last night, Dolly had better win a few more Grammy's!

    Mercy! Even Neil Diamond was lost on his own song!

    We watched the Library of Congress Gershwin Award presentation to Smokey Robinson earlier in the day, much, much better!
    -Jim

    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.

    Garrison Keillor

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    Site Manager G R 'Scott' Cundiff's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    The idea that our new President can bring back American manufacturing to 1950s, at labor-intensive levels, purely by the force of his personality is ridiculous. The present resurgence in American manufacturing (starting during the Obama presidency) is driven by robots and high tech. The days of earning a middle class income with little no education is long gone and it's not coming back.

    More likely, our President will blunder his way into a trade war with the rest of the industrialized world. There are no winners in that scenario.
    Yeah, we can only hope he's a dismal failure who blows up the economy. Right?

    Any optimism I have is based more on the enormous amount of pent up economic energy that has been stifled since the 2007-09 recession and is just starting to loosen. Gallup reports that economic confidence numbers are the highest they've been since tracking began in 2008.
    Thanks Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Whatever you do, hang on to your building.
    I'd be careful with this. Sometimes when a church holds on to long while deferring maintence they can get to the place where the building isn't worth what they owe on it. Then when they can't make the payments the district is on the hook. If a good number of churches did this it could be very bad for a district. Wisdom is as important as faith in these situations.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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  40. #40
    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: America's New Ministers

    Quote Originally Posted by G R 'Scott' Cundiff View Post
    Any optimism I have is based more on the enormous amount of pent up economic energy that has been stifled since the 2007-09 recession and is just starting to loosen.
    What specifically is economic energy?
    "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
    Thanks Gina Stevenson - "thanks" for this post

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