I recently heard a United Church of Canada minister being interviewed
on the radio. He said the reason for the recent drive to unionize
ministers in his denomination is due to the fact that the pastors feel
isolated Ė trapped between their congregation and the denominational
hierarchy. They donít feel they can find support in their congregation
without loosing their respect, and support from their head office seems
hard to come by. Thus they feel isolated and alone.
The answer to this problem is not a ministerial union. Ironically
speaking, the answer to this problem is actually found in the New
Testament that teaches "plurality of leadership". I wonít
spend time proving this point now. You can read my web site article
entitled "Plurality Of Elders" and see my reasoning.
The New Testament teaches that a group of men called elders lead and
care for the local body of believers. These men are also called,
overseers, shepherds, and in a couple of places they are called pastors.
No one person in this group of elders has full control or final authority.
Each elder is equal in authority. This solves many problems. For example,
it takes away the potential dictatorial rule of one man. In relation to
the topic at hand, leaders donít feel alone, because they arenít
alone. They are personally joined to others in leadership which provides
support, friendship, distribution of work, and much more. The Bible makes
good common sense. Iím not sure why we donít consider what it says
I donít know many church organizations that function in plurality of
leadership. I do know some who claim to have plurality of leadership, but
in fact they donít. They may have a group of leaders, but inevitably
there is still one man in charge of that group Ė a lead elder or pastor
with final authority. That is not what I am speaking about. That is not
true plurality. Plurality means each elder is co-equal in ecclesiastical
authority. Each elder may and should differ in function but decisions are
made corporately with the input of the believers they care for. There is
no lead pastor.
This is the answer to isolated and lonely pastors no matter what
organization they are apart of. The fix to this problem is easily found in
our Bible, if we care to look.