How to Hire Every Theology Major

When I graduated from Oakwood College (now Oakwood Univeristy) there were several theology majors that did not receive calls to pastor. Some went on to Andrews University with hopes that they would get a call from there. Others went on to get a job -- any job -- to earn money to feed themselves and their families.

But my friend Jason North asked a question about multi-church districts that made me think that we really have a potential win-win looking at us in our faces.


Many conferences have several multi-church districts within their territory. The history of the overwhelming majority of these districts over the last quarter century is that they experience very little growth. I believe that is due to the fact that the pastor is unable to focus her or his leadership efforts because ... well, it's hard to focus on two things at once.

We could decide that we will have only one pastor per church. The pastor of the multi-church district would be the "bishop" of the district. But then the conference could "hire" theology majors that did not receive calls.

This would be a "hire" on a probationary basis. Some theology majors should not be pastors (just like some law students shouldn't be lawyers and some med students shouldn't be doctors). Those will need to be released when it becomes evident that they are in the wrong profession. But those who really are called and who give evidence of that call will demonstrate it as they are given a supervised context in which to exercise their gifts.

I would "hire" two at a time for a district. One would take the lead on the pastoral side, the other would be the lead in terms of Bible work and follow-up. If the ego of the one who takes the lead in terms of Bible work and follow-up gets in the way of him staying in his lane, he doesn't need to be on the team.


We could give them $800 a month. If a conference has 20 districts, this would cost them $384,000, a relative "drop in the bucket" that could result in a dramatic increase in church growth.

Not only could we give them $800 a month, but for every 20 baptisms and 80% retention, we could increase their "stipend." When the church reaches an excess of 250 members in attendance and growth, these theology majors could be given an intern's salary as enough tithe would be generated to more than justify an intern's salary.

And, of course, they could move onto the conference's payroll as full-time employees.


I believe that more young people who have heard the call of God to pastor would find a place to serve. I believe that existing pastors would be more fulfilled as they would be able to focus on one church while mentoring (and benefitting from the ideas and youthful energy of young theology majors). I believe that congregations, and subsequently conferences, would begin to experience significant growth again.


I often wonder while at wal-mart or target why more people don't check out in the electronics section, or the garden section, or the jewelry section. To me it's a no-brainer that I would go there instead of wait 45 mins for those two ultra slow lines to move. (There's like 40 counters in wal-mart and as a rule, only two of them are open.) Then my heart is warmed when I'm headed to the garden section check-out counter and some soccer mom is there ahead of me with a basketful of groceries. I'd think to myself, I'm glad somebody else has thought of this. I suppose if we were in the store right now this would be the electronics section. Glad there's someone else who's trying to figure out a way to save time (and money). Nice to run into you over here.

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