A year ago, the Rev. Scott Schlotfelt was weighing job offers from three churches smitten by what he had to offer.
But they weren't talking about his preaching or counseling skills. What they were seeking, like a number of churches across the United States, was some savvy marketing. And like a growing number of pastors, consultants, and volunteers, Mr. Schlotfelt was eager to do some branding for the Lord.
"The church in more ways than not is mirroring Wall Street and the world and Madison Avenue," says H. B. London, vice president of pastoral ministries at Focus on the Family, a national resource network for evangelical Christians. "We're [lagging] behind them to a certain degree, but we're using all their techniques."
In the past decade, several firms have honed a niche by providing churches with marketing professionals for hire. Aspire!One, a marketing firm in Sycamore, Ill., has branched...
To Jim from Osceola, MO: My grandfather was an independent Baptist minister who never took a salary or payment of any kind. He died in the early 1970's when he was in his nineties. My father has said he was part of a small group of ministers who held that view.
There was in DeKalb County, Georgia a Baptist minister named Lester Buice who for about thirty years [approx 1950's to early 1980's] took no salary.
Jesus said to him, ""You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 'On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40
Chris in MD. I don't think you're too far from the rest of the conversation here.
You're most definitely right. Most of the pastors on SermonAudio are paid by their congregations. That's the way church is played today. But as Augustine said - what a blessing it might be if they would NOT BE SO.
As for equating a hireling with a mercenary - perhaps that's from the dictionary entry you have for "hireling,"
But the word from Jesus' lips which the Holy Spirit inspired John to write in the Greek was "misthotos" which simply means one who is hired to do work. It doesn't appear Jesus was saying "the mercenary who is hired for greedy gain is going to flee." He was just speaking about the one who is hired for money at all.
I think there's a real issue here that our contemporary churches (and those through the past few centuries at least) have missed.
I'm curious. Who here has a pastor that DOES support himself from something other than being a pastor?
On the other hand, there can be a problem in the hearts of those who do the hireing. I have seen, in a church I was part of, a pastor be removed from office, with one of the reasons given: "We hired him, we can fire him." I have seen another pastor, in another church, who did not want to be paid, be refused that wish. I concluded the "board" wanted to maintain control. It isn't always as simple as "a hirelings motive is money."
Seems like nearly everyone posting here disagrees, but let me clarify my thoughts. Let me also add, that I haven't even heard of this "issue" until this year. I wonder though how many of the pastors whose sermons that are posted here are not full time "paid" ministers? I would guess very few.
One who is hired, or who serves for wages; esp., one whose motive and interest in serving another are wholly gainful; a mercenary.
I don't believe most of the paid ministers in Bible believing Christian Churches could be considered mercanaries. Certainly man is imperfect, but a hirelings motive is Money. A man of Gods motive should be in the teaching and preaching of the Gospel, so that souls might be saved. I've known a number of Godly men who fall into this category.
This said, I still abhor the desire for searching for someone with "worldy" skills for the pastorship.
I think you might be seeing something in the levitical priesthood that isn't there.
We really have NO warrant to parallel OT Levites with today's ministers. The Levites and priests were charged with full time attention to the temple because there were sacrifices all day, every day. That role is completed as Christ has fulfilled all the OT sacrifices.
In Ephesians 4:11 Paul wrote of MANY roles to which God calls his people. No one of them is set up as the NT equivalent of a priest or Levite. Furthermore, Peter says all believers are a royal priesthood.
It has become tradition in Christianity to have a paid "staff" (including a preacher) in the local congregation. But really, there is no NT warrant for this. It can't be considered a "carry over" from the priests and Levites because we don't HAVE a temple and there is no need for that kind of service.
It's very difficult to get past John 10:12,13 which condemns the hireling.
Are men incapable of serving the Lord faithfully because they take compensation from the tithes of the people? No, obviously not. But it would appear that John 10:12,13 says they will not have the same care for the sheep.
I think we're missing out on tremendous blessing for the many hirelings we have in our pulpits.
Isaiah 56:10-12 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
1 Timothy 3:2-4 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence
1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
Ephesians 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
For the Christian Minister, biblically the greed that may have been in his life, should be past tense and have been washed away by Jesus' precious blood of atonement.
This is just an thought...a sad one of what the churches now and in the future are and could be doing. It's sad that the Bible is no longer the final authority in the churches these days.
GOD WARNED US
*- FIRST FULL GOSPEL COMMUNITY CHURCH -*
We are looking for people with an enthusiastic and a very ecstatic attitude. You don't have to be a Christian, this is just a job. Gays and Lesbians are welcomed! Muslims and Bhuddists as well since the church is now ecumenical. You must also have experience in advertising and marketing. The Bible is just a book and can't do a whole lot of marketing on it's own. Must be able to sing in a worldly rock 'n' roll style. Be able tto dance and put on a good show. Don't worry about missing the football game, church is over with by 11:30. We also may need you to perform skits with our drama club. Drama is used instead of boring preaching. Our church is seeker sensitive. So please, NO QUOTING SCRIPTURES! DO NOT BRING YOUR BIBLES EITHER. We will provide you with the correct and honest complete Biblical teachings possible. We are members of Willow Creek and the Purpose Driven Life association.
I don't agree with you totally Augustine. I do think some go into the pastorate as a career more than to serve God, but there are many there whose primary reason is serving Christ. The Jewish priesthood had no other job than serving the Lord and his people.
In regards to this article, the concept is somewhat disheartening. It seems as if the Gospel is being cheapened into a commodity. Should we really be mirroring the worlds methods of selling things? While there may indeed be some good to come of these methods, I fear there is much more to lose.
Luke.16:8 "And the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely; for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9] And I say unto you make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations...."
"A year ago, the Rev. Scott Schlotfelt was weighing job offers..."
Pastoring is not a career. It's certainly not a job. It is true that the ox is not to be muzzled as he treads out the grain (Deut 25:4; 1 Cor 9:9; 1 Tim 5:18). But it is also true that the hireling doesn't really care for his sheep (John 10:13).
Oh that men would truly enter ministry to serve the Lord and NOT as a "job." Even today some ARE successfully pastoring without trying to "make a living at it.". They simply work a job AND minister. Even Paul worked to support himself (Acts 18:3).
The pastorate as a "job" and a "career" are two devestating and often unmentioned cancers in the church today.