Monday, August 12, 2013

Why Jesus Couldn't Get Hired as a Senior Pastor... but maybe a Youth Pastor

If you were to take a poll and ask the Bible-believing churches in America if they would like to have Jesus as their Senior Pastor, the results of that poll would probably weigh heavily in the affirmative.  Our churches like the "idea" of Jesus leading our congregations, but the truth is, if Jesus would have submitted his resume while they were in the Pastoral-search process, he would have been kicked to the bottom of the stack before they even got his personal references.

In most churches today, Jesus isn't Senior Pastor material.  However, he might be a good candidate for Youth Pastor...

Think about it...

  • He was too young.  
Jesus was only 30 years old when he kicked off his ministry.  Most churches are looking for someone a little older with a few more years under their belt. After all, how is someone 30 years old going to lead people much older than him?  Surely he doesn't have the life experience or the wisdom to lead his elders spiritually?  For most churches, the age thing would disqualify him immediately.
  • He didn't have previous Pastoral experience.  


After all, he had never led a congregation  before.  He only had a dozen followers, had never balanced a budget, and never led a Deacon's meeting.  Most churches have a five, sometimes ten year ministry experience requirement to even be considered.  As we know, Jesus didn't have that, therefore, He wouldn't have qualified.
  • His methodology was a little edgy.  
He was a little eccentric.  Remember, he lived in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. That's not how Senior Pastors act.  But that's the kind of thing Jesus would do.  He would disappear without telling anyone where He was going.  He ransacked the temple.  He always took his disciples on crazy trips.  He always changed his plans... That sounds exactly like a Youth Pastor!  If Jesus is going to be a Senior Pastor, he probably needed to add a little structure to his schedule.
  • He didn't have his Doctorate.  
Not only was Jesus young, but he didn't have a whole lot of religious education.  He never went to Seminary.  He didn't have any degrees to hang in his office.  How do we feel about that?  Could someone without the proper education lead our church?  In many placed, certain degrees are a necessity and a non-negotiable in the interview process.  He wouldn't have made the cut.
  • He didn't own a suit and tie.  
I guess he was more of a hipster.  Every picture I've seen of Jesus shows him sporting 6-pack abs, flowing long hair and trendy sandals.  Doesn't sound like a Senior Pastor does it?  But once again, it may fly in the Student Ministry.
  • He wasn't an expository Preacher.  
Jesus taught God's truth by telling stories.  He told illustrative stories and used visuals and asked questions.  He was a creative communicator.  Jesus didn't just go line by line, verse by verse through the Old Testament when He talked... and I'm sure the critics of His day accused him of watering down God's word.

  • He offended the religious people.
It almost seems like the more religious someone was, the more offended they were by Jesus.  He didn't shy away from confronting legalistic religious people with wrong motives, priorities or beliefs.  He addressed them and as a result, they were usually offended.  You know as well as I do that if Jesus pulled that in many churches today, the Personnel Committee would be escorting him to his donkey, and probably without a severance package.

  • He hung out with the wrong crowd.
Jesus spent time with a questionable crowd of people.  He had conversations with prostitutes, adulterers, thieves, the demon-possessed, and the diseased.  Jesus wasn't afraid to go to the bottom of the barrel if that's where the good news needed to go.  Can you imagine if this happened in some of our churches today?  The Pastor is meeting with who?  You've got to be kidding me!

  • He cared about numbers.
The Bible talks about it over and over again.  "Great crowds" followed Him and surrounded Him when He began to teach and not once did he tell the crowds to go away so he could "go deeper" with those closest to Him.  At the end of each Gospel, Jesus tells His apostles to tell people about Him (Matt. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:48, John 20:21) and as you read through Acts, you'll discover that they did... and it worked.  Jesus cared about numbers because He cared about people.  But this doesn't fly in a lot of churches today.

  • He liked to have a good time.
Just think about where Jesus did his first miracle.  Do you remember where?   He was at a Party!  Technically, it was a wedding, but weddings during this time period were more of a party than a ceremony.  Most wedding festivities lasted two to three days.  And Jesus was at the party.  Someone thought Jesus was fun enough to invite them to their party.  Jesus performed all kinds of miracles and you can't tell me He didn't have fun doing it.  Healing people who were desperate... You know He loved that.  Walking on the water and scaring his boys... You can't tell me he didn't giggle a little when He saw their faces.  Jesus liked having fun and the truth is, Youth Pastors can have a good time, but we want our Senior Pastors to be a little more serious than that.  We want them to be a little more focused than that.

It's kind of a strange way to look at things, but we've got to admit that Jesus probably wouldn't make the cut in many of our churches today... not as the Senior Pastor anyway.  He was unqualified.  But that's the beautiful thing about Jesus; He loves using unqualified people to do extraordinary things for the Kingdom.  He set the example!  He did what He was called and instructed to do, and that should be the primary objective of every Pastor and church leader all across the world.  We need to spend a lot more time focusing on pleasing Jesus and advancing the Gospel and spend a lot less time pleasing immature Christians and catering to the crowds.  When we do that, the Gospel will be fulfilled, our ministries will be more effective and our churches will be way better off.

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