Mould breaking

One of the recurring themes of my thinking process about going into some sort of paid full-time ministry was the mono-culture of the type of person being sought after. Others have picked this up some what, usually in various conversations with me as I discuss this notion, or in perceiving it themselves. The mono-culture is this: that most people who get talked and recruited into pursuing paid Christian ministry are the preaching/pastoring type. It’s a culture in the way it pervades the thought-lines and directions – kinda like how salvation in the Roman Catholic church is technically not by works, but that in practice it is by works because that’s the way everyone thinks it. Most of the MTS workers I knew at uni fit that preaching/pastoring type, and at Club 5, the pathways into ministry were described as though the default destination was the preaching/pastoring type. Being the task/strategy/tactics/execution type was kinda like the discount option that you had to know about beforehand because the sales rep wasn’t going to bring it up.

So it was good to pick this up in a chat with Dominic after City Bible Forum today. Ben Pfahlert (the guy who heads MTS) also happened to be there, which made for interesting listening as Dominic talked on about his perceptions of the whole recruitment process when trying to find an executive pastor, and as they shared of other people who currently fit the model he was thinking of. I now have more than just “Tony Willis” to speak of if I need to explain this idea again.

It kinda reminded me of the look people were giving me at my Moore college interview as I spoke of what I was thinking of heading into post College. Mike Doyle and others imbued with insight into this process had already given me some heads-up about the probable reaction. There was some, umm, reservedness in this direction. The best way to describe may be perhaps “This is unusual, we like training people in this direction, umm, but God uses people’s different gifts to build the church”.

So, for one, I’m guessing that I may perhaps be a rare breed at College. For another, I think I’m going to keep my eye out for the “type” that was being espoused as the kind of guy we need to be making more of an effort to recruit more of.

One Response to “Mould breaking”

  1. Haoran says:

    Cynically speaking, I think the cookie cutter of Moore College is designed to reproduce (and multiply) the number of pastor/preacher-types, in sufficient quantity but also of sufficient quality that the status-quo; what we know and expect perpetuates.

    It is necessary, but not necessarily the place that makes executive pastors and the deacon-type minister.