Opinions expressed here are mine, not those of the church I serve or of any other person.
Bloggers and young pastors who will not pay obeisance to the used to be catch a lot of blame for the death of associations and conventions in Free Church life, as though those things are sacred. Historically, one could as easily contend that conventions are anomalies, dominant once because they were the most effective way to organize efforts, doomed now for their failure to keep up.
I reserve that argument for another day.
My contention today is that we are not killing those bodies. They are worn out themselves. We are just watching them die. We wonder what comes next.
I suggest a Ministerial Guild. Yes, we need a better name for this quasi-organization of called, vocational, trained ministers. So long as you are not scatological you can make suggestions here at aintsobad. I do not expect to do much more than suggest some of the possibilities and (potential) problems of such a formation. I will not lead you and may not join you in its pursuit.
Here are some of the possibilities of benefit for a Ministerial Guild (name change pending).
- Called ministers take responsibility for themselves, their conduct and their (continued) training. The prolonger adolescence of ministerial staff ceases to be an irritant for Christians and churches.
- Called ministers take responsibility to "police" their colleagues. Pedophiles, sexual predators, thieves and church killers cannot hide in the weeds any longer. They are not exposed. They are just not recommended by the Guild. Background checks are extensive and updated.
- Called ministers take responsibility for the care and support of displaced ministerial staff, when the staffers are displaced by age requirements, church disruption or any other factor not related to their own bad behavior.
- Called ministers take responsibility. Responsibility, with its corollaries authority and power are not abdicated to other forces, over which called ministers have no control but for whose actions called ministers must constantly answer.
This is already too long for a blog, I suppose. I will continue tomorrow. God being my help.