Apr 30, 2007

Throwing Preachers in the Pool

Occasionally I mention my friendship with the local Pentecostal preacher; he is moving to a larger city because of his wife's health problems, and I will miss him. He is a good honest man, and while we differ, often drastically on our perception of truth, we overlook each others faults and consider ourselves brothers in serving the Lord.

The Pentecostal hierarchy he associates with has a pool of preachers that are assigned to churches throughout their jurisdiction, so he has to jump back into the pool and start over again. For a church to accept him as their preacher he must first preach for them, then they will vote whether or not he is acceptable. If after three preachers are refused by a church the ministerial association will appoint a preacher from their available pool to fill the vacancy, whether that church likes it or not.

The requirements for a preacher in his church are high; they have to meet certain qualifications educationally, and spiritually, including an ordination ceremony, and a series of tests before they are recognized as acceptable candidates to preach. I couldn't help but remind him that Jesus selected a bunch of fishermen to become Apostles that wouldn't even qualify to be in his church's preacher pool. We're still friends :)

Churches of Christ can run into problems selecting a preacher, but at least its members have the final word on who stands in the pulpit on Sunday morning. Without our stand for church autonomy we could be at the mercy of some hierarchal ministerial association paid to decide what is in our best interest...no thanks!

5 comments:

Laymond said...

Ya know Larry I don't know if it is that good that we get to pick the ear tickler that we like best. If you have a preacher that never causes any controversy he just can't be doing his job. I believe a preacher should stick to the bible and not worry about hurt feelings. preachers who bring up and explain controversial subjects get more people involved in bible study and reading the gospel. just my opinion

Larry said...

laymond...
Surely no preacher within the COC could be considered an "ear tickler." :)

Some new preachers learn quickly what subjects are taboo in a church, and often put controversial topics on the back burner; they might last for awhile.

Other new preachers jump right into the deep water tackling the toughest subjects; they often move on down the road to another church in a heartbeat.

Either way, I still like the idea of the local church picking their own "ear tickler."

Keith Brenton said...

There's an ad in the current Christian Chronicle that comes to mind. It actually uses the phrasing that a candidate who does not agree with "Command, Example and Necessary Inference as a hermeneutic need not apply."

This, from a church with 70-80 members and "unlimited potential." Wanting a minister who is not seeking a desk job only, but will go out daily and win souls. Or some such wording.

*sigh*

Larry said...

Keith...
Appreciate your visit and comments. I "sigh" with you.

Unfortunately your reference to the ad in the "Christian Chronicle" is not an isolated case.

We disagree with churches having written creeds; yet we continue to promote our CENI belief. Guess it's scriptural to follow a creed as long as it's not in a written form!

timeless said...

It's amazing...our CoC hasn't had a fulltime pulpit preacher for several years, but we are sort of conducting a "search" now. We are all so blessed to have several good men in the congregation who take turns "preaching", and quite frankly, I don't miss having one delegated "preacher". That in itself can be a can of worms, sometimes. But, our elders and deacons are quite active...