I was driving home last night and passed by our church, St. Thomas Aquinas CC, and it occurred to me, “Do Protestant pastors typically live on the church grounds?” I don’t believe they do, but I wasn’t sure it was a universal experience.
Then it occurred to me, of course they wouldn’t, because the elders/deacons/board members probably hire someone new every so often and don’t want to have to kick the outgoing pastor out of a job and a residence. It gives them a little distance.
Then it occurred to me, is there a real pressure for protestant pastors to preach about nice things in their sermons and avoid offensive things (eg. abortion) so that they can stay employed? A Catholic priest may preach on the hard truths and not have to worry about losing his job. He may get a call from the bishop in response to some nasty letters from the parishioners to the chancery, but the priest can easily defend himself if he is teaching faithfully. A Baptist preacher would just have to stand by his conscience even though the board of elders say that they and the congregation disagree with him and don’t want to hear anymore on those topics.
If this is the case, what is the future of protestantism?
Another thought, who owns the property of a non–denominational church? Not the pastor and not “the diocese” of non-denominationalism. Who owns the property of a Baptist church? The SBC? In Catholicism, doesn’t the diocese own church property?
Just my rambling thoughts…