Un-ordained Pastor?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
My church has recently decided to hire a new "youth director." A man (whom I know) was chosen for the position. His job would be to oversee the activities of the jr. high/high schoolers in our church.

Problem. He is not ordained. He does not have any seminary education. He has no pastoral experience. He is recently reformed, and a new member of the PCA. He is introducing himself as the "youth pastor" and in the church bulletin he is listed as a pastor next to our teaching elder.

Qualification. This person is not a bad person, and I do not want to come across as slandering him. As far as I can tell, he is a godly man, and has a passion for truth.

That being said...I realize the Presbyterian Form of Church Governement lists these as offices of the church:

1. pastors
2. teachers
3. other church-governors
4. deacons

I don't know that I have a problem with a "youth director" position in the church that would fit under "other church-governors", but this person being described as a youth PASTOR seems to be wrong since he is not ordained.

The poll is for this question:

1. Should this person given the lack of ordination be allowed to hold this office or title of pastor?

Please comment.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Other church governors = (ordained) ruling elders.

I don't see any warrant for the office of youth pastor. And I definitely don't see any warrant for an un-ordained pastor of any kind.

1Tim.3
[1] This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
[2] A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
[3] Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
[4] One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
[5] (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
[6] Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Other church governors = (ordained) ruling elders.

I don't see any warrant for the office of youth pastor. And I definitely don't see any warrant for an un-ordained pastor of any kind.

1Tim.3
[1] This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
[2] A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
[3] Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
[4] One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
[5] (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
[6] Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

:ditto:

Adam,
I know you wouldn't want an untrained man educating your children, would you?
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Hard to say Scott...

I know that I personally have been in the position a few times and my current pastor would be open for discussion about it, I believe, as we have breifly spoke of it before. However, how a "youth group" is to be run has everything to do with it. My pastor and I spoke of always involving the famalies in some way.

Ah, now I am just thinking out loud here.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
lol...yes. I have been a Youth Leader several times in my past and many more times than that I have been approached about it. Almost every Church I have ever attended has at least spoken to me about it or offered it to me in some fashion.

I aslo was a Campus Crusade assistant for a short while a few years ago.

[Edited on 7-10-2005 by houseparent]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I would have no problem with you assisting the ministry. I would ask your pastor to clearify the extent of what he meant. In light of what Andrew posted, he is either in error or you possibly misunderstood him. As well, in light of what Andrew presented, why would you want the position?

Pickin yer brain brother...........
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, we don't want a "Youth Ministry" per 'se. What I believe we are thinking of (and please note we have plenty to discuss yet) is the idea of someone coming up with some ideas that youth would be attracted to while not watering down the gospel. Something that the entire family would attend but geared toward youth. In my thoughts, the "Youth Leader" (or what ever you call them) would present these ideas to the elders before they would be presented in any way.

The Youth leader would then try and inspire the youth to attend. I believe our Pastor would be involved and be the "teacher" of doctrine, etc.

To me, a youth leader is just someone who works well with kids/teens. He doesn't have to have any "authority" at all, just the ability to relate and be fun loving while not promoting worldliness.

As I said, it's something we just barely discussed at this point. I told our pastor that without a doubt I could get over 200 kids into a youth group, but it wouldn't be what it should be. I used to do it when I thought it was the way to go about things!

Am I being clear here, or are you more confised? lol
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
So how do you see the "position" I described? I would be intrested in your thoughts before I present them to our pastor or anyone else.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I don't see any problem with you assisting the ministry. But as Andrew noted, I don't believe we need such a position for the children. The parents have that responsibility at home and the pastor at church.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
No, not a position where the children are taken seperately and taught. But I do believe concentrating on the children as a body is not a bad thing from time to time!
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't see a need for any position other than elder and pastor (teaching elder) in the leadership roles of the Church. Surely some elders are better gifted in some areas than others, and that can be distributed among them for the most effective ministry.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
How big is your church, Adam? We have about 60-70 members, maybe more (about 75% children :D) and we have 4 ruling elders and one teaching elder/pastor.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm not saying we need a youth "Pastor" but using someone besides a ruling Elder for ideas/thoughts about reaching the youth more can't be a bad idea.

Gabe, we're about the same size, not 75% children though!
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by houseparent
Gabe, we're about the same size, not 75% children though!

Yeah, it seems like the smallest RPC family I've ever seen was 4 kids.. and that is pretty rare. Usually they at least have 5 or 6. The next generation should be filled with Reformed warriors!
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The new hire [subject of the thread]--

I have heard of the PCA allowing unordained men to fill the position known as "Assistant Pastor." (I'm an Assistant Pastor, but I'm an ordained member of Presbytery). But I believe that to be fundamentally out of accord with the BCO. The Assistant Pastor, as with all pastoral relations, is governed under BCO chapter 22. These are the only pastoral relations in the church. A "Youth Pastor," such as described above, is no pastor at all, but is a staff member. If he has not been approved in some way by Presbytery oversight of pastoral calls, he is not a "pastor" in the PCA, and he ought not to use the designation.

"Youth Leader/Director/Superintendent/-Gang Guru" whatever, but not pastor.

Adam,
I think a man in your position with the abilities and gifts you bring to a church would function well as a leader and organizer, as long as you always represented yourself as a serving under sessional oversight. It's just as reasonable as a volunteer janitor or a paid secretary. It's just a place and opportunity for service.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It looks like the 'nays' have it.

Youth pastor? That's not covenantal! In our church I supervise the youth in their meetings as a counselor and we have two married couples who also assist. So much the better when people exercise their gifts for the upbuilding of the church instead of giving that position to a hired person who holds no (scriptural) office and yet, at times, seems to have an office.

Titus 2:1-8
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things --
4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
6 Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded,
7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,
8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
 

rmwilliamsjr

Puritan Board Freshman
wow, and i thought me teaching adult Sunday School in a PCA church was a stretch of the rules.

The issue of unordained men as elders was one of the causes of the New School vs Old School Split of 1837 in the Presbyterian Church. It ought to have been settled then. No one can be called a Pastor, nor preach, nor administer the Sacraments without being examined by Presbytery, subscribe to the WCF, and be ordinated. The issue of youth Pastor doesn't change Presbyterian church order, and it is the youth part of "youth Pastor" that is at issue, not Pastor.

there really is a broad range in the PCA as compared to the OPC. i'm glad this forum exists for us to learn those things.

thanks.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
The new hire [subject of the thread]--

I have heard of the PCA allowing unordained men to fill the position known as "Assistant Pastor." (I'm an Assistant Pastor, but I'm an ordained member of Presbytery). But I believe that to be fundamentally out of accord with the BCO. The Assistant Pastor, as with all pastoral relations, is governed under BCO chapter 22. These are the only pastoral relations in the church. A "Youth Pastor," such as described above, is no pastor at all, but is a staff member. If he has not been approved in some way by Presbytery oversight of pastoral calls, he is not a "pastor" in the PCA, and he ought not to use the designation.

"Youth Leader/Director/Superintendent/-Gang Guru" whatever, but not pastor.

Adam,
I think a man in your position with the abilities and gifts you bring to a church would function well as a leader and organizer, as long as you always represented yourself as a serving under sessional oversight. It's just as reasonable as a volunteer janitor or a paid secretary. It's just a place and opportunity for service.

Bruce is right. Youth worker is OK. If this were in my Presbytery, I would counsel the church to discontinue the practice of calling him "pastor."
 

Michael Butterfield

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
The new hire [subject of the thread]--

I have heard of the PCA allowing unordained men to fill the position known as "Assistant Pastor." (I'm an Assistant Pastor, but I'm an ordained member of Presbytery). But I believe that to be fundamentally out of accord with the BCO. The Assistant Pastor, as with all pastoral relations, is governed under BCO chapter 22. These are the only pastoral relations in the church. A "Youth Pastor," such as described above, is no pastor at all, but is a staff member. If he has not been approved in some way by Presbytery oversight of pastoral calls, he is not a "pastor" in the PCA, and he ought not to use the designation.

"Youth Leader/Director/Superintendent/-Gang Guru" whatever, but not pastor.

Adam,
I think a man in your position with the abilities and gifts you bring to a church would function well as a leader and organizer, as long as you always represented yourself as a serving under sessional oversight. It's just as reasonable as a volunteer janitor or a paid secretary. It's just a place and opportunity for service.

Bruce is right. Youth worker is OK. If this were in my Presbytery, I would counsel the church to discontinue the practice of calling him "pastor."

Well,

The dirty little secret in the PCA is that all that needs to happen anyway is for the Session to extend a call to the fellow and then they get around all kinds of BCO requirements. In fact, the session can call him, avoid the dreadful pulpit committee scenario, and never even give the congregation their constitutional right to extend a call to the man who can go on and get ordained and rule over the congregation as an un-called and un-elected office bearer of the church! That is a scandalous situation in the PCA under a "œrepresentative" form of church government!

:banghead: :banghead:
 

Michael Butterfield

Puritan Board Freshman
Oh, just one addition. This condition can only exist for a "properly" educated man. He would have to have an M.Div., nevertheless, it is still scandalous!

:banghead:
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Mike,
Its not the same everywhere. All I can say is unless things changed in the Presb. of the Ascension to a degree that would deck me (!) that just could not happen here. You would blink in amazement at the work I had to put in to MEET every one of the BCO's requirements, plus the Presbytery's. They essentially made me retake ALL of my licensure requirements. And I had already been through the OPC's (and they put their licentiates thruough the equivalent of a full ordination exam, minus the BCO and apologetics!). So I can say that I have been through the equivalent of two PCA ordination exams, and two PCA licensures.

I know that I am called by the session, not by the congregation. All I can do is try to exercise pastoral leadership and ministry of the Word. I have no sessional vote, no disciplinary authority. I do not rule in this congregation. I do have a vote in Presbytery, of which I am a member.
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
[
The dirty little secret in the PCA is that all that needs to happen anyway is for the Session to extend a call to the fellow and then they get around all kinds of BCO requirements. In fact, the session can call him, avoid the dreadful pulpit committee scenario, and never even give the congregation their constitutional right to extend a call to the man who can go on and get ordained and rule over the congregation as an un-called and un-elected office bearer of the church! That is a scandalous situation in the PCA under a "œrepresentative" form of church government!

:banghead: :banghead: [/quote]

Let me say at the outset, I am not a Presbyterian. Having said that why shouldn't the presbyters of a congregation call a man to serve in their congregation ?
Where in scripture do we get the notion that a congregation extends the call?
 

Michael Butterfield

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by yeutter
[
The dirty little secret in the PCA is that all that needs to happen anyway is for the Session to extend a call to the fellow and then they get around all kinds of BCO requirements. In fact, the session can call him, avoid the dreadful pulpit committee scenario, and never even give the congregation their constitutional right to extend a call to the man who can go on and get ordained and rule over the congregation as an un-called and un-elected office bearer of the church! That is a scandalous situation in the PCA under a "œrepresentative" form of church government!

:banghead: :banghead:

Let me say at the outset, I am not a Presbyterian. Having said that why shouldn't the presbyters of a congregation call a man to serve in their congregation ?
Where in scripture do we get the notion that a congregation extends the call? [/quote]

Why, it is Presbyterian polity! What do you mean where do we get the notiong that a congregation extends the call?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top