The Chinese congregation of LifeGate Church has been asking for a minister. It was turned down when I was there, because the board was pressured into making a rushed decision and the board rightly resisted such an approach. The candidate couldn’t wait – apparently his passion for the Chinese congregation of LifeGate church went as far as the board’s willingness to make a quick decision in his favour.
Everyone wants to be ministered to. The way for that to happen in a fair and equitable way however, is to go and join an established Chinese church. Don’t come and want a little clubby 30+ congregation but demand a full-time pastor which would be funded by someone else. That is a “give me” mentality and as long as we nurture that, we are doing absolutely nothing to cure Melbourne of the disease of having a plethora of self-serving churches.
The church scene in Melbourne is too fraught with self interest and self preservation. Too often it is about jobs for those in the club. The tribal instinct is to protect members of the tribe. In this instance, a pastor’s instinct is to protect another pastor. Why have a part time position when a pastor can secure a fellow pastor a full time one? After all there is money in the kitty. Never mind that money is God’s and should be used not for the better of the local congregation but the universal church. Securing a job for a fellow pastor often comes at the expense of consideration of what’s good for the flock. And I mean what is really good – not just the self serving feel good factor of the typical Melbourne congregations.
The call to do ministries through the local church, can only be upheld if the minister demonstrates fair dinkum commitment by working hard and diligently. A minister who fails to do this gives up the right to demand that people do ministries through just the local church.
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