Coming out of a non-denominational church caused us to look for something with accountability for pastors. We joined a church that is connected to a denomination. For all it’s imperfections, at least there is the structure of accountability, somewhere to write if the church isn’t dealing with itself correctly inside. Sure, it might be bad to have an association with a denomination if things are bad in that denomination. The local congregation might not act like the big denomination. However, there is a someone beyond and a sense of church being bigger than just my little building with people in it here.
So, what’s a pastor to do who has been kicked to the curb in a non-denominational church? A few of our former pastors were let go. What are they doing? Creating their own “ministries.” One is having meetings with Christians in other churches at times those churches aren’t meeting with their congregations. The other started meeting in homes one night a week, and now has moved his family closer to the inner city and has started some sort of ministry and is soliciting prayer support and financial support. (after all, he has no income even though he’s looked for a job…and I believe he’s looked hard). But, I’m wondering if this is the best approach? Should these men be forming “new churches” or new ministries at this time, or are they better served getting into a denomination and working through them to heal and build up again to be a pastor of a church there? I just don’t know. It seems to me that it could be a good thing to start a ministry if the pastor is solid in doctrine and solidly studying the bible. But I wonder if there might be more of the same non-denominational mess being made out there? What stops me from just going out and starting a ministry? What about my husband? Is there some qualification needed? Some reason needed? The pastors I’m speaking of do have degrees, there are not just out there without some sort of education. To be fair, one of them was one we spoke to before leaving our former church. He had the wisest advice, and was the one pastor we heard read scripture from the pulpit and seemed to always have a good commentary and teaching. The other I’m not sure…but he was the one who presented the gospel during a week long VBS program where I was a “shepherd.” His message was basic and clear, and it was the first time all week I felt anyone even made an attempt to teach scripture and how Christ saves sinners. All week I would try to understand the content I was to teach, and had to revise the book we used because it was pretty fuzzy. So both pastors were doing better in the church than some of the others. But are they ready to launch a new ministry? What would be the first steps for a pastor who leaves or is let go from a purpose driven/vision oriented/spiritual formation style church?