By Henry Brown
“This was a long time coming,” said John Weston, director of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church. “For them to finally agree with us is a monumental breakthrough.”
The Methodist church has had a long established practice of rotating their pastors every three years. Some churches do it sooner, and other churches decide to keep their pastor longer. But the normal rotation is three years.
Southern Baptists have snickered at this.
The Baptist churches have long said their pastors stay longer. However, statistics don’t back that up. “A recent research poll from Lifeway Research suggested the average pastor’s tenure in a local church is 3.6 years .” (http://www.gbjournal.org/8-82/)
When told of the Lifeway poll, Executive Committee Chairman Dr. Fred Sheets exclaimed, “Well, since Lifeway said it, it is the Gospel. We know they have never steered us wrong.”
Dr. Sheets continued, “It is just really hard having to admit that the Methodists may have been right on this. What’s next, sprinkling?” Dr. Sheets smiled.
Southern Baptists will now have to rethink some things. Why not be like the Methodists and rotate pastors? In essence isn’t that what is really happening anyway? A pastor moves from this church to that one and never really stays anywhere long.
Sometimes pastors stay in the same community and just move from one to another.
Southern Baptists are now asking Lifeway research guru Al Seltzer to examine the feeling on women pastors in the SBC. After admitting Methodists are right on tenure, who knows where Southern Baptists will stand on women in the pulpit.
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