Monday, April 03, 2006

A borrowed tidbit . . .

The Tenure of Pastors

The egalitarian belief that all people are ministers places the ministry and salvation of souls squarely in the hands of each Christian, not in the hands of God, who works through pastors. Pastors become expendable. Add the idea that the minister must be personally dynamic and the pastor is endangered.

What happens if a pastor is not dynamic, "sociable", or a master of American "folk religion"? The church may be dissatisfied or frustrated. Lutherans, however, have historically not tried to figure out ways in which they can dismiss their pastor. The historic position of the Lutheran church is that congregations may dismiss their pastors only for certain reasons. If a pastor is openly and scandalously immoral, he should be dismissed. If a pastor is unable or refuses to teach the true doctrine, he should be dismissed. When you think about it, this makes sense. The pastor's job is to teach. If he refuses to teach or teaches false doctrine, then he can't do his job. But you can't just fire your pastor like you could an NFL coach simply because he has had a couple of unsuccessful seasons or because there may be some friction on the church team.

-- Preus, Klemet I. The Fire and the Staff. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2004.