Bill Shepson remarked at the close of his column "We Stand Alone" (Editor's Note, May/June) that we pay a high price if we choose to remain isolated in ministry and ignore opportunities for relationships. I write as a pastor who has served in various capacities for almost 20 years. From the day I left Bible college, I prayed God would send someone to mentor me in ministry. No one ever materialized.
I was left to find my own "long-distance mentors"--people from whom I would learn at a distance, mostly through books. I wondered then and now: Where are the men who will take on a young pastor and see to it that the next generation is well-trained? I was left to sort it out myself. I feel I have indeed paid a high price for my isolation--but it is an isolation I have not chosen.
Small Church Needs
I am an associate pastor in a small town in Ohio. I appreciate the men and women who write for Ministries Today. They all are reputable and respectable, and many are affiliated with large churches. This is good, as we can glean from the wisdom they have gained through years of service.
However, I would venture to say that most of the ministries in this nation are not large churches. Then wouldn't it be safe to say that it might benefit the readers to hear from those in similar positions?
How about columns targeted toward issues smaller churches face? What about using the Web to take a poll of issues the common pastor would like to see addressed, then receiving submissions from those in the trenches who would address those issues?
In Ricky A. Roubique's letter in the March/April issue, he stated that the "apostolic movement" is to blame for the "Pastor bin Laden" style of dictatorial control. Hardly. The blame here is that the old hierarchal church system is simply trying to use titles rather than functions to govern.
For centuries the church religious system has been in the shape of a pyramid with pastors at the top, followed by a church board and last, a voting church membership. This is simply a copy of the world's business model. The apostolic/ prophetic system is an inverted pyramid with apostles and prophets at the bottom lifting up the others so that we all might reach our destinies in Christ.
Roubique points the finger the wrong way. Shades of this same attitude are found in Larry Keefauver's April column, "Platform Wars" (Practical Pastoring). Keefauver takes it too far when he likens the flow of the anointing in Psalm 133:1-2 to pastoral headship. Christ is the head of the church--not only the church universal, but also the church local.
John L. Moore
Miles City, Montana