Having led a group discussion about the book with some people from a pretty straight charismatic/evangelical church, one of the big points of debate we got into was whether or not people ought to be paid to be in full time ministry.
Perhaps it shouldn’t have done, but one contribution took me a little by surprise:
“The trouble is that we are all busy professional people, and so to solve the problem of all this stuff that needs doing in the church we say, ‘hey, why don’t we pay you to go full time’. Then the person we pay starts working and is surprised to find that nobody is volunteering for stuff, while we all turn up on Sunday and want something delivered by them without any hassle.”
Again it seems that the hectic blind alley of the city can lead to situations that don’t really suit anyone, but everyone struggles to change. Then again, I know of situations where people are working as ordained ministers part time, but basically being exploited for their good will and finding things tough.
In a consumer society based on specialisation of labour, does employing leaders full time brings with it an immediate danger of everyone defaulting to them… And with that the vision and momentum of the group ending up becoming ‘top-down’? I know many CofE churches have actually found the most fruitful times have been in an interegnum where they actually have to get their hands dirty and get involved.
I don’t think this precludes some full time administration support, but wouldn’t think a better norm be a team of leaders who work part time in other jobs too? Is too much money wasted on salaries which could be better spent on actually doing the stuff?