Christian Post touched upon a little-discussed topic when it comes to hiring a pastor for your church.Â To hire or not to hire a single pastor?Â They highlighted a pastor who had been divorced however.Â Personally I believe that is an entirely separate issue.Â Some churches may be more turned off by the divorce than by his singleness.
Which Iâ€™ll throw up two questions â€“ should a church hire a pastor who has been divorced?
Churches who say no cite the qualifications of an elder seen in 1 Timothy 3, that he (thatâ€™s a subject for a different post) must be â€śthe husband of one wife,â€ť (1 Timothy 3:16).Â Paul in Titus 6 reiterates this.
Some churches will say that if a pastor has gotten a divorce on biblical grounds (adultery, abandonment by a nonbelieving spouse) then fine.Â Some will say as long as he hasnâ€™t been remarried.Â Some will say not at all.Â Some churches will say â€śwho the heck cares?â€ť and Iâ€™d encourage you to stay away from those churches.
Personally Iâ€™m one to look at this individual on a case-by-case basis.Â Iâ€™m not convinced a pastor is disqualified for life based on a past divorce.Â I will say I lean more to no than yes.Â I believe that you can lose your ministry, but keep your family.Â If you lose your family you canâ€™t keep your ministry.Â I donâ€™t agree with any pastor staying in the pulpit while going through a divorce, regardless of the reason.Â That doesnâ€™t mean chuck them to the street.Â I believe the church has an obligation to provide care for that pastor during that season on life.Â He shouldnâ€™t be treated any differently than any other member of the church in that way.Â It is distressing to see pastors not only get fired from their positions which means a loss of income and even housing, but also are literally disfellowshipped when they are removed from their position.Â Sometimes as a discipline measure that may be appropriate if the pastor is unrepentant, but typically itâ€™s not.
What do you think?
Now for the other question.Â Having been a pastor and having gone through the search process I recall seeing numerous job descriptions I can recall a good number of churches making marriage a qualification for their pastor position.
How many qualified men (again a topic for a separate post) are they passing over when they discount single pastors who havenâ€™t been called to marriage or havenâ€™t found â€śMrs. Rightâ€ť yet?Â I recall the apostle Paul wished that all were like he was â€“ single, (1 Corinthians 7:7).Â One should obviously be able to see benefits to that as well.Â Sure there are some negatives, but there are positives.
But single pastors donâ€™t bring the â€śtwo-for-oneâ€ť package to pastoral ministry (and there we have the subject for yet another post).
So what say you?Â Can/should pastors be single?