Apr 03 2012

Is Now the Time for Change?

In this week’s conversation relating … Continue reading

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1 comment

  1. Jim Davis

    Much of the call for change is based on an unarticulated issue and two wrong assumptions. The statement that “the present system is unsustainable” isn’t really about the general agencies. (They only cost 2% of church income.) The real issue is cost of clergy health insurance. Nobody is admitting that. We can restructure the general agencies until the cows come home and never address the real issue– cost of clergy health insurance.

    The two wrong assumptions are (1) that we have an oversupply of clergy and (2) we need to get rid of ineffective clergy in order to grow. The oversupply of pastors is temporary. The number of clergy retirements will increase dramatically in the next 5-10 years. Contrary to popular assumptions, we will soon face a clergy shortage– especially if we continue to fail to attract younger clergy.

    The second false assumption is that church growth is dependent upon pastoral leadership. For every church that isn’t growing because the pastor is lazy, ineffective, a poor preacher, etc. there are many more that aren’t growing because the laity are lazy, don’t want to grow, aren’t welcoming, refuse to change, etc. We need to look at ineffective congregations as well as ineffective pastors. If you think we have trouble getting rid of ineffective pastors, try getting rid of ineffective congregations.

    Jim Davis, Retired clergy, Iowa

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