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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Pulpit Committees and Church Election of Pastors

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If this has been covered before, I apologize. Nor am I looking to stir up strife.

I don't know about other parts of America (or the world), but where we live, churches who are in need of a pastor will choose a "Pulpit Committee" to search for pastoral candidates. Then, after hearing the candidates preach, the whole church body will vote for the candidate that they would like to have as their pastor...usually determined by majority rule rather than 100% agreement...although I do know of one Baptist church that (at one time) required 100% agreement on everything.

Now that was just a general description of how it takes place without going into too much detail.

As I've looked at this from a biblical point of view, I personally believe this method doesn't follow the biblical model for a church acquiring a pastor. If I'm correct, then perhaps that's one thing that has contributed to the decline of solid churches in this country?

As one who is opposed to "committees" in general, yet after seeing what I believe to be the biblical model for pastoral selection, I now actually believe that the "committee" part is somewhat biblical (in the selection of a pastor); however, the part about the church voting for their pastor...hmmmmmm...

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It can become a "talent quest",  rather than assessing the spiritual and doctrinal appropriateness of the candidates. 

In the NT it appears most were appointed by Paul, Titus.

Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 

Although I would not say this is the only way - indications otherwise.

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If God calls a pastor to a new church, and only 70% of the people listen to God and vote for the pastor, what does he do? Obey God, or let the 30% who are disobedient cause him to disobey? Being a pastor is one tough life. I feel sorry for you men. 

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Just for edification, this is how I became the pastor where I am now, my only real pastorate.

  I was a member of a small IFB church in Reno, NV. There were a few men who were 'called' to be pastors, including myself. The church I am at now contacted the pastor, asking if they could supply some men to stand in for the pastor for morning services, due to the pastor's failing health; I was one of them asked, along with a man who was one who helped found it, and a couple other men. So we worked in rotation. Eventually one fell out due to his daughter's health, andother who felt called to a nursing home ministry, and their rotations were handed to me. Soon the other man, who had helped found the church asked me to take his rotation as well, and soon I was the only one going every week, about an hour away each way.

About this time, one of the men of the church took me over to the church parsonage to show it to me and extoll what a nice place it would be for whoever became the new pastor-this was the first I realized they were actually looking for a new pastor to take over. The former pastor had begun his preaching in his 70's and now, in his 80's and following being chased off his roof by wasps, could no longer do it. So, taking this short visit as a hint, I spoke to my pastor and asked him what he thought, and he said that he would recommend me to them. After this I was asked to come and allow the church to vote on me, having heard me and watched me for about 5 months at this point, also doing Sunday School. I was voted on 100% and became the pastor-I was ordained a year later, my pastor and his deacons, and the current/former pastor and his trustess laid hands on me, after some turmoil, but that's another story.

I have heard that some churches will spend a couple hours publicly grilling a prospective pastor about all his theology, his knowledge and beliefs, and such-I guess that's between that church and the Lord to decide. IN my case, they had had months to hear me and know what I taught and believed.

 

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Hmmm, events putting me here....

There was a man here we call call Bro. S. Bro. S was a long time member here (he left two years ago - moved to the West coast -after nearly 30 years in the church here). Bro.S was the treasurer and handled Adult SS and services upon the departure of the pastor. Was Bro.S. the pulpit committee, the head of the pulpit committee or acting in the capacity of spokesman for the men of the church? I don't know, I never asked.

Anyway, Bro.S and I talked on the phone on 3 occasions, the third of which was for him to say the church wanted to meet us. I don't remember if it was just my wife and myself or if any of our sons came with us. I taught SS, preached AM and PM. Between services was a church dinner (lunch is what you bring in a brown paper poke to eat at dinner time, supper is in the evening - when a person sups) and after dinner the floor was opened to the church for questions they may have for me.(Bro. S. had handled asking any questions the pulpit committee or the men of the church - I don't know which - had for me during the first 2 phone conversations.)

Somewhere along the line an elderly lady asked how I felt about guys going topless. When I gave my answer, she called to her son-in-law (who had stepped out momentarily) and said, "S., you need to hear this!" (Bro.S. and his sons were in the habit of wearing little to nothing on their upper torso). So, I repeated her question and my answer which was basically only your wife should see you without a shirt and the premise that the two categories of people who should not show off "what they've got" (in any manner of clothing, accessories or possessions) are 1- those who have something to show off and 2- those who don't.

 

Anyway, we drove the 1300 mi home. About a month later, Bro. S. calls and asked if I'm still willing to come as pastor. When I said yes, he said, "Well, it was unanimous". Here we are, I did learn later that there was one man in the church opposed to me being the pastor (a Bro. D) but since he was already moving across state the congregation still considered the vote to be 100% in favor.

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11 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother Ken,

I myself am a pastor; therefore, I certainly understand the sentiment of your above statement.  (Some days I feel "sorry" for me too.)

However, I would ask that you might balance that sentiment with the following truth from 1 Timothy 3:1 -- "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of bishop, he desireth a good work."

Pastoring may indeed be "a tough life," but it is also "A GOOD WORK!!!"  (Indeed, some days I need a reminder of this.)

Amen, brother Scott

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Well, I don't think it was by design as such, but in both cases with me there was no commitee. It was by recommendation of the outgoing pastor and vote by church members.

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Thanks everyone. As I said, I didn't start this to stir up any strife, and even if I'm correct in what I see from the scriptures...I don't see how it could be "re-established" in this day and age. I can't imagine many churches that would no longer be willing to vote a pastor in (or out). Speaking of voting one out...the Independent Missionary Baptist Church that I attended years ago would vote during one of their monthly conferences as to whether to keep the pastor or not. So every year, the pastor could possibly be voted out by the church.

Anyway...

From what I've seen, there are 2 issues that I've noticed...

1. When looking at the word "ordain", it has a sense of a permanent appointment...which would mean (?) that when a man was ordained to pastor a church, he was their pastor permanently. That doesn't happen very often these days. 

2. The only people that I've seen in scripture who ordained and appointed pastors are...Paul and Barnabus, Titus, and possibly Timothy (by the wording used in 1 Timothy). I don't see a church voting for their pastor in scripture. Then again, I guess it's not really mentioned either.

How that could be done today, I don't know...unless it might be similar to what some here have described; in that, a pastor (or "committee" of pastors) recommended them. A well-grounded pastor...who isn't on a power and ego trip...who is strong in the faith and doctrine...is more than equipped to appoint a pastor to a church. Then again, that's hard to find these days too.

I probably shouldn't have even started this thread...LOL!

 

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I was saved and grew in one baptist church, went to a local "Bible college" which was run and taught by local pastors, not professors.

When I graduated I was asked to help at a church started by an American missionary.  When he left three years later to start another work, I was ordained into the ministry by that church.

I think they voted to do so, but to be honest I am not 100% certain. 

That church always struggled and after about another 7 years we were asked to take another struggling church nearby. After much prayer and struggling  (several years in fact) we agreed. The outgoing pastor was retiring due to health reasons.

There was a vote in this case, but it was already a done deal.

The inherent nature of a "church" and the original usage of the term ekklesia indicates that a vote for issues in general is entirely appropriate.

Specifically for appointing a pastor, nothing I can see.

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On 9/21/2016 at 2:21 PM, MountainChristian said:

If God calls a pastor to a new church, and only 70% of the people listen to God and vote for the pastor, what does he do? Obey God, or let the 30% who are disobedient cause him to disobey? Being a pastor is one tough life. I feel sorry for you men. 

Who's to say whether the 70% are "in the right" and the 30% are "wrong"?..........  It's tatamount to impossible to really "know"  with any measure of certainty.  It's just as likely that the 30% are on a better track than the rest of the members and half the church may be mere pew-warmers.

There's a reason Pastors are often chosen "democratically".  Even if for imperfect reasons.

I'm not sure any system is perfect, but, personally......I've rejected calls to churches where the split was 70-30...(exactly that actually).

Unless strongly urged by the Spirit (and only with counsel of Godly men) otherwise......I wouldn't (and haven't) answered a Church call of 70-30....It takes a very WISE and experienced man to navigate such a scenario.  Some (usually older and more experienced men I've found) can accept such a call...........but at my age and level of experience.....not happening.

Churches without pastors have a tendency to get "desperate" sometimes if it's been a long time.  They often either rush to hire the first "qualified" man to come along or they are often merely intransigent and chase away perfectly good candidates who don't have some things on paper that they want......Often that 70% if it's a Church without a pastor for say 4 years.....is "wrong" and the 30% are more patient and wise and willing to wait.

It often takes an unusually wise, prudent and Godly man to navigate such a scenario.  Often it's an erstwhile retired pastor of many decades' experience and therefore  the appropriate wisdom to right the ship and subsequently steer such a church in the right direction.  Quite often it's on an interim status.  It's an amazing task such men accomplish.

Get a 70-30 split on some young 32-year old cat fresh out of seminary with a wife and two kids and $100,000 of debt to pay.......and a 70/30 split is often really bad news for him.   

That congregation will beat him into submission like a rented mule.....................or worse...................they'll follow him blindly into whatever fancy new-fangled doctrines he espouses.

BOTH are errors.

It depends on the maturity of the Church you are speaking of.

 

Edited by Heir of Salvation
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4 hours ago, Heir of Salvation said:

Get a 70-30 split on some young 32-year old cat fresh out of seminary with a wife and two kids and $100,000 of debt to pay.......and a 70/30 split is often really bad news for him.   

 

Several observations:

1)  Most (if not all) of the churches I have known have bylaws structured in such a way as to not allow a 70% vote to carry in the election of a pastor. I've known one @ 75%, most are 80 or 90 percent, two are 100%.

2) If the young man has allowed his debts to accumulate to $100K, he has boxed himself into a severe lessening of ministry opportunities because unless a church has a significant budget for pastoral pay, he's sunk. Even with a secular job to boost his income he'll pay his living expenses but the loan will be payed @ the minimum payment only.

3) Any "school of ministry" that would charge $100K+ for 4-8 years of Biblical training needs to be ashamed of themselves, avoided by preachers and warned against by pastors.

 

Just my pair of pennies.

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On ‎9‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 8:29 PM, No Nicolaitans said:

Thanks everyone. As I said, I didn't start this to stir up any strife, and even if I'm correct in what I see from the scriptures...I don't see how it could be "re-established" in this day and age. I can't imagine many churches that would no longer be willing to vote a pastor in (or out). Speaking of voting one out...the Independent Missionary Baptist Church that I attended years ago would vote during one of their monthly conferences as to whether to keep the pastor or not. So every year, the pastor could possibly be voted out by the church.

Anyway...

From what I've seen, there are 2 issues that I've noticed...

1. When looking at the word "ordain", it has a sense of a permanent appointment...which would mean (?) that when a man was ordained to pastor a church, he was their pastor permanently. That doesn't happen very often these days. 

2. The only people that I've seen in scripture who ordained and appointed pastors are...Paul and Barnabus, Titus, and possibly Timothy (by the wording used in 1 Timothy). I don't see a church voting for their pastor in scripture. Then again, I guess it's not really mentioned either.

How that could be done today, I don't know...unless it might be similar to what some here have described; in that, a pastor (or "committee" of pastors) recommended them. A well-grounded pastor...who isn't on a power and ego trip...who is strong in the faith and doctrine...is more than equipped to appoint a pastor to a church. Then again, that's hard to find these days too.

I probably shouldn't have even started this thread...LOL!

 

I'm not seeing any strife about this-if anything I wonder how many think to question the 'way it's always been done". Made me think.

I agree in scripture it seems we see few who are 'authorized' to ordain pastors. However, who was doing it before Paul was saved? After all, he himself was called in the church at Antioch, which presumably had a pastor/elder/bishop-who ordained him or them? We know the churches began springing up when the believers in Jerusalem had to leave due to a presecution that Paul seems to have had something to do with, so there were gentile churhes beginning in many places, and their leadership was coming from somewhere.

I think the imprtant thing for us is to know that the position of pastor/elder/bishop, whichever term preferred, is biblical and necessary-but the specific way they were chosen is not much spoken of in scripture, whether by an apostolic directive, which we can't do today, or by a church vote, or appointment by another pastor, who knows? I think perhaps that means we have some freedom for each church to decide the best way.

I remember once going over this with some folks who had broken off from another church, (a Mennonite church, because of the legalism, like Only a white or black car, men HAVE to wear suspenders, no belts, etc). They were very biblical in their doctrine, and some were friends of mine. So they began to meet, and wanted to be a church, but they really didn't want to have a 'leader', but to share the responsibility with all the men. I told them that I thought that was a very bad and uniblical idea, that part of being a church meant having cohesive leadership, and that it was doomed to fail. So they invited me to come and preach on the subject, so I did, showing them where Paul told Titus that he was appointing him to see to that which had been left undone, the appointing of elders in each church. Went over all the places the Bible speaks of pastors, elders, bishops, including that the letters to the seven churches of Asia were addressed to the 'angels' or the leaders of the churches. At the end, they rejected the idea, said as far as they saw it HAD to be an Apostles to ordain a pastor, and without any apostles, there was no way to do it. I questioned the concept to them, asking why God would set up something so important then, in a system that would not continue, though churches would, and they couldn't answer, but stuck with their guns.  Within about a year they had fallen into arguing, infighting and broke apart. I did not say "I told you so". Though I was tempted. 

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Thank you Mike.

This might be stretching it, but I think there's a hint found in scripture...since there are no longer any apostles.

(Acts 16:4) And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

The "elders" seemed to have an equal amount of authority here. So after the apostles were no longer alive, church authority would then reside with and upon the "elders".

Again...these are all just thoughts that I'm perusing and trying to rightly divide. Whether or not I'm on the right track is still in question.

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1 hour ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

Yep, it posted.

Yes it did. But unfortunately the text about the pulpit committee won't post. It is really weird, I can post and reply to everything except the text I want to post about pulpit committees. I get an error message every time. So I guess it is just not meant to be. I tried to post it for seven days, error each time.

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