Monday, July 31, 2006

Yes Minister?
Various conversations over the last couple of weeks have taken me back to thinking about ministry and paid staff in churches. I posted about this here a few months back and interacted with Len and others (see also Jason's thoughts and the comments here).

While some churches seem to be employing more and more people (here is an extreme example for the UK), other are struggling to pay their existing staff even if the church is growing. Sometimes this is linked to old buildings sucking money out of congregations, other times it seems to be about a lack of ownership and giving to the church in the traditional ways.
Where does that leave the notion of paid ministers?

Some voices (see previous discussions) are keen to abolish it, and maybe the emerging church has much to teach us here. Maybe it is a throwback to Christendom, and the reaction to do away with the clergy is valid. But for inherited forms of church there is still great expectation on vicars/pastors/ministers without necessarily the will or resources to support them serious issues are raised. Are "tent making" or other models really an option without a serious shift in the church's expectations of its leaders?
And what about paid youthworkers? Surely its time to get rid of those? (except for at a denominational/adviserary level, in which case we are very much essential!!)




Blogger Roy said...

am late to this conversation although did lurk on the earlier discussions. I do wonder if any paid position is "necessary" if all people within the fellowship are using their gifts but that is my feeling on a monday morning! By Friday.....??

10:09 am  

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