Can a church call a pastor without the D.S. permission?
Can a church call a pastor without the D.S. permission?
Sure, they can do it...but when caught they will probably get their rears kicked.
(I am aware of a case where an associate pastor was hired by a COTN without going through the D.S. or advisory board. When discovered, that associate was told by the D.S. that he must leave (even though the D.S. respected this associate and offered to help him get another position.)
I don't know that it's a RULE that a congregation MUST go through the DS, but in practicality, but my understanding is that the congregation is supposed to issue a call with the advice of the DS. Technically, I suppose that this can be interpreted as a congregation saying, "We asked the DS for his/her advice, but we didn't like what he/she said, so we went out and called someone else." On the other hand I believe that this would make things bad in a practical way with the congregation and the DS. After all, we're supposed to be on the same team.
115.An elder or licensed minister (412) may be called to
pastor a church by two-thirds favorable vote by ballot of the
church members of voting age present and voting at a duly
called annual or special meeting of the church, provided
that such elder or licensed minister shall have been nominated
to the church by the church board, which, after having
consulted with the district superintendent, made such nomination
by two-thirds vote by ballot of all its members; and
provided the nomination shall have been approved by the
district superintendent. Any elder or licensed minister with
membership in a local church may not be considered for pastor
of that church without the approval of the district superintendent
and the District Advisory Board. This call shall be
subject to review and continuance as hereinafter provided.
(119, 122-24, 129.2, 160.8, 208.10, 222.12)
OK, I stand corrected--the DS must APPROVE, not just consult. I was going by memory without having consulted the Manual. Honestly, I don't think I've ever heard of a congregation with which I was familiar trying to circumvent working with the DS in the calling of a pastor (although I'm sure it's happened at times).
The calling of pastors is one of the few ways in which a DS can have an influence on the local church.
Our attempts to balance a congregational and episcopal governance model lead us at times to talk out of both sides - we want a DS to move the district in healthy ways, but tend to dislike one of the few ways they can bring change.
On the subject of staff, does anyone know of a situation where a DS has halted the hiring of staff for anything other than economic issues? Usually, once a local church shows it can support staff, it is unusual for a DS or DAB to be involved in such decisions. (I suppose there could be a scenario where a DS would not allow a particular candidate for theological reasons, but I've never heard of it.)
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Even a lowly volunteer associate such as myself has to be approved each year by the DS.
I was talking with a man in the hospital. He was soon to die and was mourning that he had broken both of the covenants he had made in his life. Marriage and Ordination. He had been divorced from his wife and he walked away from the ministry. Looking back he regretted both, in part because he understood the covenantal nature of both. So when we are ordained, we are in a way married to the church. Can we just walk away from that? Can we just file our marriage certificate?
I very much challenge this notion. A covenant requires commitments both ways. In ordination we pledge faithfulness to the church, but I don't see what promises the denomination makes to us. They can not promise us employment, health insurance, housing...anything. We can only take that commitment assignment by assignment and be as faithful as WE can be in each transition. In a very trying system where a HUGE portion are bi-vocations (at best) it is not natural to assume that vocational goals are not going to be challenged.
I don't think it's fair to place all the onus of covenant on the mere ordinand without some promises from the church.
There is likely a huge difference in traditions that consider ordination a sacrament. I think our theology of ministry permissions us to undermine what could be the covenant implications of ministry.
no...not referring to them...just speculating.
Rich, about month ago we lost our pastor and our church run anywhere between 24 t0 30 on Sunday Morning. I have good friend that was pastoring one our largest church on the disrict he resign from that church because of some problem. He started attending our church about month and half before our pastor left. One day I ask the leaders of church if the would like him preach until we get a pastor and they said yes. So he has been supply. Then three week ago I ask my friend if he would come to our church to pastor. He told the church that I left want me to come back and I told him that was cazy and he agree and the DS want him there again but he does want to go back. He told my wife that he no disire to go back and he believe he a message for church. We get the feeling both him and his wife would like to pastor our church. So night I ask do we need a DS to vote on a pastor and no one knew. My friend has been a very successful pastor and I feel he would be a blessing here and he would have any problems. That It!
In a congregation of that size, likely the DS can appoint a pastor. In this particular context, the Manual tries to guard against unassigned ministers in the congregation becoming the pastor - they want to avoid a context in which someone works behind the scenes to remove the pastor so they can have the job. It doesn't at all sound like that situation here, so likely the DS would be receptive to the board if they asked for approval to vote on this pastor.
Approve? That's in the quote you provided earlier.
Appoint? That's in paragraph 117:
Or maybe you meant the word you were about to use: ratify. Sure enough, that word doesn't appear in the Manual. I suppose we'd say, in that case, that the DS was approving the nomination after the vote had already taken place.117. The pastor of a church that has been organized for less than five years, or had less than 35 members voting in the previous annual church meeting, or is receiving regular financial assistance from the district, may be appointed or reappointed by the district superintendent, with the consent of the District Advisory Board. (208.17)
Last edited by Rich Schmidt; April 27th, 2012 at 04:14 PM. Reason: oops! "taken place" not "taking place"