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The Workers Are Few (Gap exists between what large churches need and what seminaries produce)
Christianity Today ^ | 7/14/2009 | Bobby Ross Jr.

Posted on 07/14/2009 5:30:09 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Need a seminary graduate with ministerial experience who is eager to serve as senior pastor of a church with 1,000 members or more? No problem.

A posting for such a position can draw anywhere from 50 to 200 applicants, said Don Goehner, president of the Goehner Group, a California-based consulting firm for Christian organizations.

But need a senior pastor with the right combination of preaching talent, administrative expertise, and people skills to succeed?

Despite a surplus of job seekers posting resumes on websites such as, finding such a pastor can be extremely difficult, said Goehner, whose firm recently searched for lead pastors for three large evangelical churches.

"The seminaries are not preparing guys to pastor large churches," Goehner said. "Usually, where these pastors fail is not in their preaching. … It's in the issue of management."

The mere existence of pastor search firms—which can earn $40,000 or more for a successful hunt—underscores the difficulty of filling such positions, said John Cionca, professor of ministry leadership at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul.

"A lot of it depends on how flexible you are," Cionca said. "If you're looking for someone who is a complementarian, a premillennialist, and 40 years old with senior pastor experience who is also a member of your denomination, then that is almost impossible to find."

Cionca and other Christian leadership experts agreed that there are few available pastors with the experience and skills necessary to lead large churches.

Serving in such a role has become much more complex, said Scott Cormode, professor of leadership development at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: church; seminaries; workers

1 posted on 07/14/2009 5:30:12 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Doesn’t theology matter any more? If money and management matters more than Jesus Christ, I think it is time to fold the megachurch, or at least leave it if you are a follower.

2 posted on 07/14/2009 5:49:47 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: SeekAndFind
"The seminaries are not preparing guys to pastor large churches,"

Wrong answer.

The churches should be growing their pastors. Assistant pastors who take on increasing responsibility until they are able to either step in and fill the lead pastor's shoes, or launch a new congregation, or ministry project, with the help of his home church.

You do it organically.

3 posted on 07/14/2009 6:04:54 PM PDT by marron
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To: marron

Bingo. It’s how corporations do it, and it’s how churches should do it.

Though it makes me slightly queasy thinking of the $40k that a pastor recruiter makes.

I got to a fairly large church right now, if I didn’t like the teaching style and the people there — I’d move to a smaller church in a heartbeat.

4 posted on 07/14/2009 6:11:49 PM PDT by rom (Obama '12 slogan: Let's keep on hopin'!)
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To: MarkBsnr
Doesn’t theology matter any more?

I suspect not, many places.

This article punches so many of my hot buttons. So many.

5 posted on 07/14/2009 6:14:51 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Take, drink. Remember and believe that the blood of Jesus was shed for a complete remission ...")
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To: MarkBsnr

My Catholic parish has over 1,500 *households*, and we’re not the biggest in the Diocese by a long shot. We take whatever pastor we’re given and make do.

On the other hand, the pastor of a Protestant church has some financial and personnel management issues that are different from what a Catholic pastor faces.

6 posted on 07/14/2009 6:47:11 PM PDT by Tax-chick (In addition to living on the Riviera, the Goths ...)
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To: rom; SeekAndFind
Though it makes me slightly queasy thinking of the $40k that a pastor recruiter makes.

Me too. I can't imagine the church I'm in doing such a thing, but I know of others that do.

Its a different psychology, I think. They may be fair-sized churches, but still its a static mentality I think.

The church I'm in now is quite different. It is, I suppose, bordering on being the kind of "megachurch" everyone likes to complain about. But there is nothing static about it. They have 6 or 8 younger guys who are "assistant pastors", some of them glorified deacons, helping with teaching and organizing the various activities. They have some branch venues across town and in neighboring towns, so some of the guys get spun out running them under the pastor's supervision. They do their turn preaching at the maina church if the usual guy can't be there, or they'll switch off to give one another a break.

And they are looking to start new venues, and as they do some of the other guys will get spun off running them. So slowly, over a few years, all of these guys are getting some seasoning. And you can see which one has a talent for what. So when the time comes that the senior pastor has to be replaced, there will be several experienced guys to choose from, all of them with a track record, all of whom we know what they are made of, what kind of families they are raising, what kind of spirit they have about them.

One of them will be the obvious choice for the main church, and the others will continue to help with the branches which will eventually turn into stand-alone congregations themselves.

So they don't have to hire head-hunters to find pastors, they are growing them. And pushing them out of the nest as they are ready (with help and supervision).

As I say, its a different mentality than I found in churches as I was growing up, or even as an adult. But it strikes me as a good way.

7 posted on 07/14/2009 8:04:52 PM PDT by marron
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To: marron

“maina” = i can’t spell “main”

8 posted on 07/14/2009 8:06:33 PM PDT by marron
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