Multi-year Year pastorial assignments : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Should the AME Church consider 2 or 4 year pastorial assignments rather than the traditional one year? We could phase such a system in such that one-third of the churches in an annual conference were subject to reassignment each year. This would give the pastor greater felixibility in developing long-range growth plans. Should we do a study to determine if there is a correlation between long term pastors and church growth/decline?

-- Anonymous, July 04, 1998


This has been an on going discussion which many have differing opinions. It's true one year my not be enough time to put a pastors plan into action, however if given too much time they may not get anything accomplished. I feel we should keep it at one year but make sure that the maximum is 4. After 4 years whatever has not been accomplished then prehaps the assignment needs new or different ideas.

-- Anonymous, February 14, 1999

There some AME Churches that keep their pastors for years, because of a big move or the building of a larger church. We just had our Annual Conference and to my knowledge only four or five ( if that many) pastors were moved. However, the problem with most of the AME pastors is that instead of letting the Stewards and Trustees do their jobs, the pastor dictates how he wants everything to go. We just received our new pastor this past Sunday and the first thing he did was call a Trustee meeting with the Stewards. In other words instead of calling a meeting with his Trustees on a Trustee matter, he called it with the Steward and after the meeting was over with then he stated that he knows that he was out of line. As Pastors, Stewards and Trustees, we should follow our Discipline to the letter and not only follow it when a situation arises and the Discipline is the only escape. I also feel that when one or rwo members go to the Elders on a Pastor, the Elder should get the opinion of all the members of the church instead of the troubled few. Our Pastor was moved because of a troubled few and our new Pastor was moved because of a troubled few. Now we have two AME churches, with two disgruntled Pastors and congregations. (I am not finished. I will continue later)

-- Anonymous, June 01, 1999

Maybe I'm meddling, but bear with me. Each of the responses I have read don't address the needs of the congregation. If the Pastors are Shepherds, how can they shepherd a flock with a fixed time limit? I read of the gifts that God gave to the Church, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, only the Pastors are the Shepherds, and to shepherd is to stay with you to teach you and help you grow. As far as the Trustees and Stewards, I'm not that versed in Church Order to know their rules and functions, but power struggles shouldn't exist in the body of Christ. All I'm saying is that you kill my enthusiasm for being a member when children grow up with 10 different Pastors, and more on the way. As a Father my main concern is stability in my family, and growing them up to be mature, saved, and responsible Christians. I strongly, strongly considered Pastoring in the A.M.E. Church, but respectfully, I doubt I could if I had to uproot my family on a consistent basis, and when a person does make that decision and has to endure those hardships, I know God demands that we respect them, and not struggle with them over power.

-- Anonymous, July 09, 1999

I'm a Pastor and I believe in a long pastoral assignment as long as it is being led and governed by the Holy Spirit. I like our current system of yearly pastoral appointments to our churches because it challenges us to be focused on our work and its good to be evaluated on an annual basis. I believe that those pastors who are following the leading of the Holy Spirit will have a fruitful ministry whether its four years or fourteen. However I do agree that a long pastorate is spiritually and emotionally healthy for a church as long as they are working with the Pastor as he/she is being lead by the Holy Spirit.

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2000

As we read church growth materials from some of the leading pastors in the nation, one thing continuously comes through: it takes time and consistent leadership. If a pastor is being led by the Holy Spirit and planning for growth, it takes time to work that plan. This is a different mindset than going to an appointment with an eye on the next one. Our current system is sometimes counterproductive because members are hesitant to embrace the Pastor's vision, feeling he or she will not be around long!

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2000

Good point!

Reliance upon the Holy Ghost, not fleshly whims of the body or leadership could make that a very worthwhile change.  As fresh faces come on the scene, perhaps allowances can be made for new ideas like this.

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2000

From the answers we've seen so for, it appears that this idea could bear fruit. Bishop John Hurst Adams, while preaching at the 1oth District Founder's Day in Austin Texas, made the point that sometimes we fail to see the vision the Lord gives us because we are waiting for some cataclysmic event; that God sometimes speaks to us through our intelect; that God did not give us this big wonderful brain to allow it to atrophy. KEEP ON TALKING, SOME ONE IS LISTENING! GOD BLESS

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2000

There are some pastors that can actually implement a plan within one year of his or her appointment, however, some of the pastors have no vision. Many of the pastors feel that the church revolves around them, and are not ministering to the needs of the congregation. Too many of the pastors are going into churches with the attitude of "it's my way or no way!" More pastors need to learn to listen, and stop talking at the members and start talking to the members; maybe the turnover rate would decrease.

What percentage of pastors asked to be moved? Too many of the pastors are looking for "big churches and big salaries" and are draining the church. Too many want to build churches and move on after a few years, leaving a mound of debt that the members are stuck with. We as members need to hold the pastor more accountable, perhaps the assignments would last longer.

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2000

The long-range plan for the church should not change just because the pastor changes. I think that all churches should have both short and long term goals. The short term goals are intermediate steps to achieving the long term goals. I try to set 1, 2, 5, and way down the road goals for my family and for my church. We have no problem with preparing to send our children to college when they are newborns; we prepare for retirement (401K, etc.) as soon as we begin work. The church shoulkd have the same sort of plan. My first task, when sent to a new charge, should to prayerfully review the short and long range plans, consult with the Lord so that He can show me the way. Unbtil we plan ahead, we will not accomp[lish our goal, the spreading of the gospel to all peoples. God Bless

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2000

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