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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37568
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Protestant leaders find filling pulpits a struggle


[i]Lay pastor Archie Fugate Jr. leads a Presbyterian service in Central City, Ky. Many smaller churches lack full-time ministers because they offer minimal pay and often are in areas with limited income options for spouses.[/i]

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While the worsening shortage of Catholic priests has been a matter of public concern for about three decades, Protestant leaders in the past five years have been anxiously discussing shortages in their own ranks.

And in denominations that have enough newly ordained pastors, there is a fresh challenge: Increasingly, those called to be pastors are unwilling or unable to live on the smaller salaries paid by out-of-the-way churches — especially in smaller towns that lack career opportunities for spouses.

“If we could distribute our clergy, we’d have enough,” said the Rev. James Stuck, bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “But distribution is a problem because of where folks need to locate.”

Some church leaders fear the caliber of today’s pastors is declining as well.

While some church officials laud the influx of career changers bringing real-world experience to the pulpit, others say incoming seminarians have lower academic credentials than in the past. They often arrive “with low levels of religious literacy and with high personal and therapeutic needs,” according to a report by the Alban Institute, a religious research and consulting organization in Maryland.

Despite those concerns, some Protestant leaders see signs of a turnaround, with early indications of more and younger people going to seminaries.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/5/30 13:52Profile

Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374

 Re: Protestant leaders find filling pulpits a struggle

At our Friday all night prayers services this Lenten season past, my Pastor asked that we congregants come up and individually pray about an issue similar to this very subject ...

He spoke of the abundance of fellow pastors he knew personally that were contemplating, if not in the process of quiting their ministries altogether ... They said it's just to hard these days to be a pastor ... I didn't go up because the Lord had already used me in a way to pass on the solution, Joel chapters 1 & 2 ... But they don't want to hear that, because it means that they've got to allow the Holy Spirit to stretch them even further, waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy past their present comfort zones ...

They're already tired, discontented and full of unbelief, and now some foolish congregant, who can't possibly understand the rigors of it all, comes with a "word" from the Lord saying stretch further, believe in Him just a little bit further, prostrate yourselves before Him, weep before Him, beg His REVIVAL of not only themselves, but of their congregation, etc., straight on thru until our renewed salting preserves the entire globe ... I must admit that I do have sympathy for them, in that they suffer the same American syndrome as I ... We Americans don't like to be stretched any further than we want to be, and we all know that Christ will stretch us way past that ... We Americans, including we Christians are all interested in the same things, (our) life, (our) liberty, and (our) pusuit of happines ... And I'm not even gonna comment on what's being birthed from our cemetaries, uhhh I mean seminaries (Lord bless you Bro. Len) ...

Oh for the time again when the Holy Ghost will set little cloven tongues of fire upon the heads of ordinary men and women, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit".

Lord Jesus you've already promised us, no matter how bad it looks now, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against your Church ... Lord Jesus have your way with us right now, and PLEASE LORD SEND YOUR REVIVAL ASAP ... In your most glorious name I/we pray ... Amen

 2004/6/4 8:07Profile

Joined: 2004/5/5
Posts: 3


The probllem is not with filling pulpits. It is filling the church with beleivers that are born again. Then after the "filling" to disciple them. In the process of discipleship we also fail. The church seems to be more interested in "biggness" ( another outcome to learning at the cemetaries, oh, sorry I also mean seminaries.)
When the church sets it sights on filling the church with believers that are loving God through faith in Jesus, and teaching them the charactor of God, and what obedienance means and looks like, the filling of the pulpit will take on a whole new meaning. So many preachers are preaching to congregations that are not connected with the real purpose of the church. AS you said we Americans are interested in "OUR OUR..." When we pursue the holyness of God it leads us to considering others before ourselves, and a compassion to reach out to the lost in love, with a desire to see them saved.
Sereving the king of Kings

 2004/6/4 9:44Profile

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