Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pastoral Vacancies

Today's New York Times has a provocative article about biases in pastoral search committees and hiring practices. Two Covenant pastors, both single, express concern that not being married with children disadvantages them as candidates for pastoral positions.
I can see the logic of both: are they gay? will they date church members? do they have anything to say to couples getting married or marriages in trouble? they do not bring along an unpaid spouse who can supplement the pastor's job. These are all valid concerns. But I think there are other dimensions to the story.
Are they willing to move out of California to a small church in rural Ohio (for example)? Are they open to be a part of a church plant (high risk)? They both show flexibility in going bi-vocational. Is that a growing trend nation-wide? Would they consider a dual-yoked parish (where their time is shared by two smaller churches)?
As we prepare for a dinner this Thursday with Dr. Jay Phelan, the future of seminary education and the "over-supply" of pastors will surely come up.


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