Assignment of Priests ( Clergy)

our congregation is having a difficult time hiring a Priest-going package is about $ 90,000

I have often commented on the fact that Roman catholics and Methodists have their Priests, Ministers assigned by the Bishop -makes the process easier

Does that happen in any other denominations-namely the Clergy are assigned rathr than hired?

by the way the going rate for an Orthodox Priest is about $ 120,000

My, we have a bargain.


What is causing the difficulty?

What size is your congregation?

After watching two Lutheran churches that we attended languish because of the lack of a pastor for over a year (one went two years) I love the diocese system in the Catholic Church.

OP, you have my sympathy.

in order to have a priest or minister assigned to a church or parish, there must be a strong structure such as a bishop that had the authority to do so and be strong enough to do so. I think only the Catholic Church has that, I am not sure how strong a Methodist bishop is with this regard. I am not sure what happens with Lutheran and Presbytarian denominations. At least with the Catholic, priests are assigned with a rotation in mind usually 6 to 12 years.

I understand the concern of the OP but I’m unsure either way is perfect. Because at the same time such frequent rotation, especially in the 5, 6 yr range is something I find troubling about Catholicism. That isn’t really all that long and the persona of a parish or a church of any denomination I feel has much to do with the priest or pastor. They can make all the difference in the world to me. A change in pastor can change the vibe of a faith community sometimes drastically. And just when you have a good relationship with a priest or pastor, in 6 yrs they can be gone. I find for me at least that rarely has led to fostering strong, solid long term pastoral relationships in the CC compared to if I were to have a pastor who might stick around for quite a while longer. Sure those hired can depart as well but there are those who stay. I know the other side of the coin some might say is that new blood can be a good thing. But if I’m fortunate enough to find a good pastor, I’d just rather not have to change them that often.

The idea behind the frequent rotations is not to establish a relationship with the pastor, but with Jesus and the Church.

Rotations are primarily a US modern practice. Even here, the 6yr assignment is sometimes renewed 2-3x if the bishop finds it is beneficial for the parish. In the Eastern Churches, it isn’t uncommon for the priest to stay from ordination til retirement in one parish.

In the LCMS, its a mixed bag. If a parish calls from the field (pastors already ordained and serving), the call process is similar to a hiring, though the district is involved, providing lists of candidates. If, instead, a parish makes a call to the seminary, you take whomever they give you. The call process from the field can take a good bit of time, whereas from the seminary you pretty much know when you will get a pastor.
The neat thing about a seminary call is you get to see an ordination. :thumbsup:


In the Philipines too…and this iis to prevent a personality cult fromdeveloping in the parish.:thumbsup:

This si done to prevent a personality cult from developing in the local parish. Onw should,go to mass to worship Christ…not because one likes the priest.

Lutherans [ELCA] in North America have a similar process to Episcopalians, or at least I thought. The bishop knows exactly where his pastors/ deacons are serving and is notified/ consulted in advance if a pastor is seeking a change such as a re-assignment, retirement, etc. The vacant parish works with the bishop to find a new pastor and it can take quite a while. The bishop can designate a pastor[s] to take over the needs of a parish and that can mean the pastor has more than one parish. The process of calling a new pastor involves consultation with the bishop. The seminaries can also provide vicars [interns] who assist in a congregation.

I believe in Europe, Lutherans are more like employees of the diocese and can be assigned to any parish the bishop decides. All the parishes are owned by the diocese and a standard salary for all priests is set by the Parliament.

Sure one can worship Christ and as another stated establish a relationship with Christ. No one said a thing contrary to that. But still for me at least a priest or pastor can also make a big difference in the experience. I just don’t believe it needs to be either/or. One can worship and establish a relationship with Christ and also still prefer a priest or pastor they like and establishing a relationship with him or her as the case may be.

An Episcopal priest near me moved after becoming a bishop I think a yr ago but I could be mistaken on the exact month. They have an associate rector who agreed to take the reins while they found an interim. The interim has been in place for awhile now. It appears a long process. I think I last saw they hope to have a new “permanent” priest in place by the end of the yr. So if my timeframe is at all close, the entire process for them will have taken a yr and a half.

I have seen the good and the struggles which result from a priest rotation. The other factor in a priest rotation is that when there has been a priest in a parish for a long time, there entrenchment can occur with staff and volunteers which is not healthy at all. What I mean by entrenchment is the behind the scene power plays and control and the person in charge (the priest) looks the other way because these people are his loyal staff. It becomes “this is the way it’s always done” etc. Likewise when there is a rotation, there is an auditing of the financial status of the parish. In my archdiocese, this sort of audit of the financial records does has results in uncovering fraud and misappropriation of funds or stealing. (not by the priest but by those under him). No these things are not easy but if a priest in at a place for a long time and then he retires etc, the parish usually is in a bigger hurt than if there was some kind of rotation of 6-12 years.

120.000 $, IN what jurisdiction? Surely not the one I am in!

AFAIK all Orthodox clergy are assingned by the bishop. We have no 'search committees" like you may be used to.

The Foursquare church operates under a modified Episcopal system. A District Supervisor who normally is responsible for about 125 local churches hires and assigns Pastors. She also holds the authority to terminate or force a transfer, however transfers are rarely involuntary. In most other local church governance issues the Foursquare Church is congregational.

The by laws of Foursquare state that if the church is not operating in the black the pastor is last in line to get payed. Thus larger churches tend to draw more interest from pastors as the tithing base makes it more likely that a pastor can be full time and not need a job to support his family

Did you mean and not need another job? Seems to me being a full time pastor of a larger church would be a job in itself. :slight_smile:

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