Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 30, 1953

"Hiring A Preacher"

Marshall Davis, San Angelo, Texas

In the past few years the church has come to the point that there is need for study in regard to elders and preachers. One term that is widely used today is "hiring a preacher." This term puts the emphasis on the wrong thing. A congregation cannot "hire" a preacher to do its work. There are some congregations who think of the preacher as a "hired" hand who should be a lackey to his employers, and who may be fired at will — just as he is hired. A preacher should not be regarded as the hireling. When congregations and preachers have this attitude, the church work cannot succeed. There will be continued misunderstandings, strife, and politicking in the congregation.

Too many congregations have in reality just "hired" a preacher to do their work. There has been a growing trend to transfer the duties of the elders to the preachers — such things as counseling, spiritual care, restoring the lost sheep, visitation and the like. These duties are the primary responsibilities of the elders. But now we require our preachers to be expert politicians, directors of church affairs, publicity men, diplomats, program promoters — and preaching of the gospel has become a mere sideline. If he is a real power in the pulpit, a resourceful teacher of the truth, a tireless student of the word, that is good; but these things are only incidental requirements for the job we expect of him.

The tragedy is that some preachers seem to like this role. They strive for the preeminence, the center of attraction, and want to take the credit for a well-run congregation. It is the few preachers of this type and the spiritual laziness of the elders that cause many congregations to expect all preachers to accept this role — or else!

There is a work, both for preachers and for elders: Working together for the salvation of souls, and the edifying of the body of Christ, and the glory of God is a partnership which is to be carried out for the greatest possible good. Let us get out of the habit of talking about "hiring" or "firing" a preacher, as though he were some hired hand to do our work. Let all of us work together for the cause of Christ.


Bill G. Brown, Box 397, Hale Center, Texas: "Our recent meeting with Brother Dean Brookshire of Lubbock, Texas, was a great success from every standpoint. A total of eighty-five responded to the Lord's invitation. Seventy-two were restored, three placed membership, ten were baptized. Now that all have become reconciled to God and to one another, love, peace and a spirit to work prevail in the Lord's church of Hale Center, Texas. Brother Brook-shire's contribution to the success of the meeting cannot be over-emphasized. He preached the Gospel in his usual manner. Love, simplicity and sound gospel preaching characterized his lessons throughout. Aside from the visible results of the meeting, the church has been greatly strengthened and edified by the splendid lessons presented. The church in Hale Center is destined for great things in the future."