Vol.IV No.V Pg.8
June 1967

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

A preacher, "trying out" for a place" was given the third degree. "Have you any bad personal habits? Do you live within your income? How many "calls" will you make each week? What do you believe about "hats?" How much preparation do you put into each sermon? Will your children put "church" ahead of school activities? Etc. etc."

Well, a church has the right to know something about the preacher they plan to support. Even his personal habits may greatly affect his work; although I doubt that such questions will produce an accurate picture. I think he should answer their questions as best he can -- recognizing their right of investigation, in the light of the proposed partnership.

And then he should ask them a few questions. "Why did the last preacher move from here? Do you have any chronic "gripers," and if so, what are you doing to discipline them? Does the present contribution fairly represent your financial strength? If not, why not? How firmly do you back, with personal labor and attendance, each gospel meeting? What percentage of the members prepare their lessons for the Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes? Will your social life, and that of your children, reflect favorably upon the cause of Christ in this community? How concerned are you for lost souls, and how do you show that concern?"

I doubt that these questions will produce a complete picture; but they certainly will upset a business meeting!! Yes Sir!!

"Professionalism" is not confined to preachers; it extends to congregations which look upon themselves as little more than worshiping societies and employers of "church workers." We see "professional" churches about as often as we see "professional" preachers -- and in about the same places.

The collective role of saints in a local church does not remove their individual responsibilities. The "communication" of taught to teacher is an "association" "sharing with" "party to" and "implicated in" arrangement, whether the funds come from the individual or the church. (Gal. 6:6 Phil. 4:15) When we learn that the preacher is just another member of the church, with the feelings and weaknesses of other saints; but one whom we support because we recognize ability and talent we wish to fellowship in uninterrupted work for the Lord; then these "trials" and "places" and unnecessary "moves" will cease.