Friday, February 23, 2007

Senior Pastor: You Are Out Of Here!

Zach posts:

Writing for the Out of Ur blog, David Fitch writes about why we should abandon the "Senior Pastor" model in our churches. His reasons are:
1. Because it doesn't make sense to build a church around a personality.
2. Because there are no supermen(or women).
3. Because isolated pastors can get tunnel vision.

I tend to agree with what he has written here. In most churches, it's an impossible job description and really makes no sense Biblically. (Read this book if you don't agree with that statement)Read his whole post here.

(HT: Z Love)


reisetter said...

I'm sure glad I decided to go into politics then, instead of aspiring to be a senior pastor! :)

Whereas 'senior pastor' might not be biblical, governmental authorities are! Sweet!

I'll tell Homer that next time he tries to convince me to take over at Naz!

Fever said...

It's funny that one person asserting (perhaps even arguing the case) that something "isn't Biblical" seems to settle the issue as if it were that easy. Even if this one guy made a good case, do we then suddenly write off all other views of those who may have made also a good case in favor of "senior pastors"? This just shows our prejudices--we agree with who we want to. I have not read the guy's book mentioned in the link (I might now), but I wonder how he deals with:
1) Moses--Moses seemed in some ways to fill a "senior pastor" type of role--at least the case could be argued. So I think that has to be dealt with. Specifically, what was Moses? What was his function in relation to god's people? I think there are parallels to be found there with what we refer to as a "senior pastor." Certainly he was appointed specifically by god for this role, but who says that god can not appoint certain people today in similar capacities?
2) What about 1 Timothy 3:1-7? This section deals with "bishops" but after treating the terminological issue and the historical-cultural differences, the bishop spoken of in this passage is something akin to "senior pastor" today. So this text has to be dealt with especially--and with some care before we can simply say "its not Biblical." We have to show ourselves better readers of scripture than that.
3) Also, is the problem with "senior pastor" itself, or with the way in which it has been carried out or aven abused? If the latter, then saying it is not Biblical because of those reasons is bad, bad, bad. I wonder if indeed the issue is more one of understanding the role rather than the role/office itself.
This raises for me the issue of simply saying "X is Biblical." Lots of things might be "Biblical." When this is simply asserted, what does that mean? We need more precision and care when we throw out this phrase. I saw a few weeks ago someone on TV asserting that polygamy is Biblical. So also war and slavery. We simply need to do better as readers and interpreters of scripture.
Just some things to consider offered in a friendly way.