Abductive Columns

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Brian McLaren Interview

from Precipice Magazine

Precipice Magazine: Some have suggested that if the Church goes smaller (in numbers per grouping) and more organic in structure and expression that this might threaten the existence of the paid pastor in future decades. As a pastor yourself, I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this?

Brian McLaren: This is a huge question that I plan to address a bit in the emergent/c piece I mentioned earlier. Let me say that I'm for vibrant faith communities in all forms - from micro churches and house churches and quantum and liquid churches, or whatever you want to call them - to the new monasticism work - to renewal and reinvention in the historic denominations, Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, and so on. I'm for cafe churches and megachurches and everything in between, including virtual churches. I think the worst thing we can do is get into an either-or argument. We need both-and.

So I think people who are pronouncing the death of the local congregation with a paid staff are overreacting. God knows, being a pastor is hard - it's the hardest job I've ever done by far - and it deserves a person's best effort, and responsible preparation, and it deserves a congregation's faithful financial support. But ... here's where the both/and comes in - I also believe that we need spontaneous neighborhood faith communities that will not be able to afford a paid pastor, nor will they need one. The problem will be to find ways to do this that don't destroy the unpaid pastor or her family. I was a bi-vocational church planter/pastor for many years, and I know that the cost on marriages and family life is often very high.

This is where the both/and comes in. What if well-funded megachurches decided to see some home-based faith communities as partners in ministry, so they could overlap and share resources and not see one another as enemies or even alternatives, but as two expressions of the same thing? That takes us in the direction I think we need to go, and will be good for the whole range of faith communities.

Read the complete interview with Brian […link]


At 12:25 AM, Anonymous andrew jones said...

wow - a great response from brian


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