Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thankful for a Church that Bucked the Trend

My brother thought it necessary to cheer me with this article from the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/us/22pastor.html?_r=2&hp)concerning the perceived reluctance (some would say "discrimination") of modern churches (non-Catholic of course) to hire single pastors. April 5th marks my 24th (yep, you read that right!) anniversary of when my church called me as their Education-Youth-Associate Pastor. This September will mark my 19th anniversary of being called as the senior pastor. That breaks the record of the next longest tenure by seven years.

When I share this with people who aren't from Denmark, they usually raise an eyebrow or two. I tell them that the church keeps me around because I'm less expensive to "keep up" than a married guy. Seriously, I am thankful to have a loving church family who was willing to take a chance to buck the trend of having to have a married pastor. I think that they are still fairly happy with that decision.

I have been told by married pastor friends that I may have ruined the church for the "next" pastor just because my time availability will be hard to provide by a married man with a family. I guess I can live with that risk.

I am also thankful that my Abba Father has graciously allowed me the privilege to serve here despite that I might be defying "the logic of Scripture and the centrality of marriage in society,” which some (see quote by Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the SBC's second largest seminary, in the article) say justify “the strong inclination of congregations to hire a man who is not only married but faithfully married.”

This isn't to pick an argument with anyone, but just a note of thanksgiving for my ministry. I hope you are equally thankful for yours, no matter what your marital status!

Note: To see what Paul thinks about single Christians, check out 1 Corinthians 7....pretty interesting stuff!

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