God intended for the church to be run by local elders who would train the local body, and out of the training and mentoring, they would raise up leaders within the church. These leaders would be held up to a standard of qualification to see if they could be an elder or pastor. On a side note: Biblically, there’s no difference between an elder or a pastor. Those terms are interchangeable. This is another area in today’s church that is operating in an unbiblical fashion. The pastors and elders are the same position… there’s not a difference. However, due to the system that is established in the church today, we separate the elders from the pastors.
Anyways, instead of allowing kids to decide if they want to be a pastor, whether or not they are biblically qualified to be, we should allow them to grow up in the church, and then whenever they are qualified to be a pastor, that is when the local church makes that decision. It doesn’t matter if the guy is 20 years old or 50 years old. Becoming a pastor is not a career choice… it’s ministry to God!
When we look at situations like the Andy Savage situation, where he participated in ungodly behavior with a 17 year old girl, he was clearly in ministry at too young of an age. He wasn’t biblically qualified to be a youth pastor at the age of 22. But he had chosen to go into ministry as a teenager who was still in college, and then got a job as a youth pastor. This is a symptom of the root issue within the church of a faulty, unbiblical system in selecting pastors to lead the church.
The whole system is broken, and needs to be reformed. Part of the problem that is making the system difficult to reform is what I refer to as the GOBC or the religious elite. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m not claiming that there is a secret society that meets in the basement of an old abandoned church building where they greet each other with secret handshakes, participate in secret rituals, and discuss their plans to take over the world… or at the very least, reformed Christianity. No, what I’m referring to is a set of ideals or principles… or maybe even better understood as a mentality.
It’s very easy to get this type of mentality… we see it all the time! It’s even easy for us to get into this mentality… why? Because it’s a way of the world… it’s a part of our sin nature!