Thoughts on serving on a church staff

I found this statement the other day regarding the philosophy of serving on a church staff:

In an effort to facilitate the ministry of the entire church, we have called upon a few members to work in a full-time (paid) capacity.  Whether making church bulletins, counseling members, or planning children’s ministry curriculum, the staff enhances the collective ministry of CHBC.

Staff members each fill specific roles.  The Pastoral staff members, made up of our Pastors, Pastoral Assistants,  and the Children’s Ministry workers, help the elders to shepherd the congregation. The Administrative staff oversees church finances, facilities, and IX Marks Ministries.  This group together provides an administrative backbone for the body of believers now covenanted together at  CHBC.   (statement taken from Capitol Hill Baptist Church website)

I found this statement very interesting because whenever churches have a vacancy on their staff,  they go to the outside to fill it.  What about looking within your congregation for your next pastor or assistant pastor?  If this were the norm rather than the exception, then most of the internet sites that cater to people looking for ministry positions would be non-existent.  Why do churches look outside of their own membership instead of either looking within or better yet, praying to ask God to raise up someone within the body to meet the need that is at hand?

Looking forward to seeing your answers/comments/questions on this topic.


4 responses to “Thoughts on serving on a church staff

  1. Sigh…again, my history within the church is biting hard against my idealism and rationality.

    I see the pros and cons with both. I’ve seen churches that hire within get split in different directions between personalities and people who feel that they have put in the time should get hired as the next “maun of gawd”. I’ve also seen churches reach outside of themselves and end up finding some total creep who says all the right things and then destroys the church and runs off with the women and the money and the wine…I mean, Welches. I have also seen churches hire “within the family” of networked churches, hiring new pastors and elders who are merely reduced versions of those that have come before; they are “safe”, when the church needs the next big thing.

    Part of the problem with this is that pesky verse that says God appoints out leaders and pastors, as well as placing people in churches. Avoiding the entire debate about whether or not Augustine influenced the church toward a hyper-sovereignty of God, I struggle with this verse because it implies ultimately that God raises up some pastors in order to destroy some churches, whether or not it’s part of some grand “test” of that church to see if they survive or not. God may love the church, but he has at times a twisted way of showing it.

    Those of us who were raised in the church were led by the rhetoric to believe that everything about a church is God’s will and Biblical, the pastor is called by God, God is in total control of everything, etc etc. And yet we have seen time and time again that all of that is mere rhetoric, if not outright lies. God may be in control, but he lets us screw up on our own. And screw up royally many of us have. No more.

    That’s why there is an entire generation leaving the church. It has little to nothing to do with the evils and dangers of Hollywood, sex, drugs, rock and roll, blue jeans, NIV, whatever…it has everything to do with the apparent deception many of us have witnessed from “godly” leadership in the church, and the mere rhetoric we have been told is capital TRUTH. I’m one of the few who haven’t left, and even I am disillusioned. I accept fully I may never find a “perfect” church that believes and worships as I wish it would, one that is free of legalism and transparent rhetoric and artifical prozac.

    I realize this is a tangent, but I feel it’s related. People are looking to be involved in ministry. Statistically many my age are leaving the churches and groups of their youth and are heading toward more orthodox, liturgical based churches and denominations that almost exclusively do their hiring through ways other than within their own ranks. People are looking to join something established that is free of ‘excitement’, where what happened yesterday will happen tomorrow, and then they are free to walk out the church doors and live their lives in the modern era, not bringing the church styles with them.

    I jokingly posted a link on Jason Stamper’s Facebook page of an application to be a missionary to a church; he’s disqualified because he has a social network account. That’s nonsense. But it’s one “qualified, taught, led by God, reading God’s word” man of God’s opinion against others. Who’s right? Ain’t no one right. Mere rhetoric.

    Ok, yeah, I’m rabbit trailing…

    Hiring within scares me a little because there is no oversight. “If something was wrong, God would tell us.” or worse, “If something was wrong, God would tell one of the few that we trust outside of us to come and tell us.” There is no clerical or pastoral oversight. There is no accountability. That’s one of the biggest knocks against the “Independent” label, because while it’s great at first, in time corruption will come. Always does.

  2. We don’t do this because the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence so the person from outside looks a lot better than what we already have.

    Also, because there are some people we love enough to see once a week or so but not enough to see them every day.

  3. I have seen both at Faith. Pastor has hired our own after they have completed Christian college, and has hired others who came from another ministry. Both have been used by the Lord. Those from our own ministry have a deep loyalty to the pastor and the ministry, and it is a blessing to see our own grow up at Faith, go on to college, and return to serve in this ministry. It is a blessing also to see them used of the Lord in another ministry. Our church has also been enriched by those who have come from other ministry with difference experience and training. Most important seems to be a yielded heart, and a desire to be used of God in the place He has called each one. We have an amazing church staff. Each one perfectly fitted for the ministry of Faith Baptist.

    • I remember seeing both at Faith and I agree that those who were from Faith and were eventually hired back there do have a greater sense of loyalty. Those who come from the outside do bring different gifts and abilities. I personally think that it is best to look within the church ministry first before going outside to hire someone. Faith does have a good balance and a great staff..

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