“Pastor needed; Part-time only, because we can’t afford a full time position.” That is the sad state of affairs at my church!
For many months now, I have been attending a Congregational church with a medium size group of worshippers. Their full time Pastor was laid off, because of a lack of funds.
An interim pastor was hired. He was engaged part-time, and only for a certain duration. After his arrival, things slowly but surely changed – not necessarily for the better.
One example of negative change surrounds the time that had usually been set aside for the congregation to share their “Joys and Concerns.” People looked forward to this! No longer allowed a voice, people must write on slips of paper which are then sent to the front. The Pastor mechanically reads them aloud and includes them in his prayer.
Limited to just once a month, a testimony time is permitted where members may express something for which they are thankful. On that particular Sunday of the month, I have been allowed to share something from my recent blog posting. Otherwise, things are much regulated and congregation participation has been reduced!
Sunday featured a guest minister with a Lutheran background. He had been interviewed for the Part-time position and the congregation would soon decide the next steps. His ministry included a wonderful gospel message with plenty of scripture to back up his preaching. At the fellowship time, he was asked to give the congregation a summary of his years as a pastor prior to his retiring.
One gentleman inquired about what church he attends where he now lives. His interesting response equaled my own observations.
He stated that since he has retired and moved to a new city, he and his wife decided to visit various denominational churches. Their visits included; Episcopal, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Baptist, CMA, Catholic and even a Pentecostal service among others. He went on to say that they were shocked at what they discovered. One common problem was apparent however. It seems that in most churches reverence and respect for God is lacking. Some churches were there to entertain rather than to teach and instruct the congregation to practice sound Biblical principles!
Amazingly enough he said, “Your church has a lot going for it. The building is beautiful, the people are friendly, the music is first class, the service is nicely structured, and the fellowship time is excellent. If you add to that a good Gospel message with Jesus in the forefront and begin to bring in friends, neighbors and family, this church will grow!”
One of the council members approached me and asked my opinion of the ministry today. Unreservedly, I told her that I admired his spirituality and his presentation of the Gospel message. The fact that his voice was easy to listen to was also a plus.
Perhaps, this church needs this man! Time will tell soon enough. His assessment was spot-on. Of course the Lord knows who would fit in best with this congregation.
If I had a vote, he would certainly get my approval !