[balance: children & adults]

[balance: children & adults]

I was thinking… (and that’s usually not a good thing)…

Jesus said that we should have faith like children. But at the same time, Paul says in first letter to Corinthians 13:11,

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

On one hand, Jesus’ disciples (and later, the leaders of the Church) were simple men. I believe that most of them were not even really educated (unless you count learning how to fish). They were like “kids.”

On the other hand, today a person cannot become a pastor without a proper training / studying. We require our pastors to be “adults.”

Is that just a whim or there is a way to reconcile those two “hands”?

The only answer that I’ve got out of my thinking was that the disciples knew Jesus personally and so they in a way had their 3-year seminary following Him. Today, however, people don’t get to hang out with Jesus (physically, i don’t mean spiritually) that long and there are way too many weird teachings that have spread out and around, and one needs to know how to separate the lies from the Truth.

Any other ideas?

Can a person, who claims to have personal relationship with God, become a pastor without special training / school / seminary?

Or am I complicating something that is way simpler than I made it in my head?

  • zee, i believe our system of sending kids to school to become preachers and ministers — and then hiring them based on grades or preaching ability — is broken. if we intend for our ministers to equip the saints for good works, then they need to have records of doing good works themselves. it seems the closest we get to this is letting a guy prove he can consistently preach decent sermons for a time, and then hiring him away from that smaller church.

    we ought to be recognizing those in our congregations whom God has gifted — and maybe then we send them to school to add knowledge to their already thriving relationship with God? but we've got it backwards; we believe knowledge is the foundation. people go to school to get it, and then try to sort out the relationship with God, good works, and obedience. we recognize diplomas and degrees over the ability to live Christ into a community, teaching others to do the same — making disciples, that is.

    we often pit knowledge against obedience — just like was at the core of eve's temptation in the garden. do you want to be obedient to God or have the knowledge that comes with eating this fruit? our modern version of Christianity chooses the fruit of knowledge nearly every time.

    • Brett,

      well… i was coming from a bit different perspective. there are a lot of pastors in Ukraine (whom i know well personally, it's not something i have just heard from someone else) who used to be drug addicts / alcoholics and through a rehab center (and with lots of God's help) overcame those addictions and began serving the Lord. well… since Ukrainian villages are probably quite comparable to those of Geita (i am assuming here, don't know for sure, but i guess the level of technological progress is about the same), they are still "undiscovered land" – some have Orthodox Churches, some don't have any at all. so these guys who just a year ago were deep in problems themselves are being sent as Church planters. our Church did grow due to their efforts, but the thing is… the pastors don't want to learn any more. they think they got it all already and so when free classes are offered to them, they don't even want to take 'em. if they do take them (and i had fun of taking the same classes with them), they behave like kids in school… i.e. not wanting to learn.

      yes, i am not saying that people should first of all study study study and only then become pastors. being a pastor is a call from God and not everyone who studies to be a pastor is fit to be a pastor. *shrug* at least that's my opinion. but education is still important.

  • jamesbrett

    that's so interesting. i think we're finding here that it'd be quite the opposite. preachers would love to attend free classes — so much so that they'd be willing to study the bible all the time and never actually serve people. (that's a generalization and is not true of all — but still it paints a representative picture…)

    • hm… it is interesting… amazing how different cultures work.

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