Thursday, December 14, 2006

Do Churches Really Want Missional Pastors?

So as is my habit I have been reading a bunch of posts on job boards from churches looking for a pastor.

Im struck by the consistency of the posts. Seminary Grad, 8 years of successful minstry (what exactly does that mean), has a family with well behaved kids, loves shut ins, plays an instrument, preaches good and works for peanuts (not literally but you get the idea).

What's a church saying when they post this stuff?

Just once I'd like to see a job posting that said: Wanted a follower of Jesus, called to lead with a passion for the things God thinks is important.

I mean if it truly is about ministry and about service and about growing, then why don't we look for leaders who are called and moving in that direction?

Where's the church that wants a Missional pastor?

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rob horton said...

Excellent question. I wonder if a kingdom collective of a missional nature would need to do a shepherd search? I am thinking that functional leadership will emerge from within and a "pastoral search" would not be required - I could be wrong - just thinking out loud.

Take Care,

tk said...

I think Rob's suggestion may be the only way a missional leader will be called to lead in a given community short of a church start up.

Otherwise, looking for "a follower of Jesus, called to lead with a passion for the things God thinks is important would be way too scary. Passion, following jesus all that stuff sounds like it is risky and might get messy.

No search committee is gonna look for risky and messy even if it is the right thing to do.


Wes said...

Didn't you know? Churches are "non-prophet" organizations anymore...

John Lynch said...

Great post, Jerry. The question behind the question seems to be: What do you mean by "church"? If you mean "institutional" church, then the answer presents itself... Institutions look for institution-serving solutions. If you mean "body of believers" church... then I think the want ads are being posted everywhere. Via the massive ecclesial exit, via informally created home-groups, via organic worship & prayer gatherings, via heightened interest & investment in social justice concerns... These are people who are hungry for missional leaders.

I sort of hope that institutional churches never do anything that might attract missional leaders away from the mission-field & back into the trap of American Christendom. For that reason, I'm glad they're not advertising for missional leaders. Let's keep the missionaries in the mission-field & join them there, with Christ, "outside the camp" (Hebrews 13:13).

Anonymous said...

A subject well presented. The term missional implies something more than the church (institution) has presented. Reformation was built on a revolutionary idea; that the church is people. The work accomplished by Jesus and the Disciples occurred primarily outside the temple. We have to be able to meet people where they are, and not expect them to come running to us.
I appreciate your blog...good stuff. I have centered my blog ( around this same thought.

ZooMuse said...

You forgot to mention the "twoferone," special, for one salary, the church gets two-for-the-price-of-one since the pastor's wife plays the organ, leads the Sunday School and engages in non-controversial good works.

Seriously, I have come across at least one local congregation (out of hundreds of job descriptions) which seems to want to go in a missional way. Yet, I am uncertain as to whether or not they understand they have to endure a DNA-transplant. Ouch