Using Facebook groups to fill pulpits in churches?

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For the purpose of providing “pulpit supply” for 1689 Confessional churches, or 1689 churches that unfortunately do not have a plurality of elders, I saw the following post on The Reformed Baptist Coalition Facebook page.

After many commented by inserting their States of residency, the author replied with this.

I responded with the following comment.

I’m in Tennessee, but there’s so much wrong with this, including but not limited to.

1.    This fosters an environment that enables churches to operate without a plurality of elders, or gives them an excuse to not consider seeking out another Scripturally qualified elder themselves.

2.    This robs gifted men (from that church) with the opportunity to use the Lord’s gift in their church.

3.    This relaxes the local church from becoming Biblical, healthy, and autonomous.

Over the years I’ve seen too many Holy Spirit-gifted, scripturally qualified men passed up on these opportunities to serve. But instead, the lone pastor uses his friends from the outside. And now Facebook will be a catalyst to further advance this? 

Why do lone pastors not use their men?

It could be that God has providentially hindered that church for a season. Or, I would wonder if that local church should even exist. Or, as another pastor said, “The envious pastor sees a threat, a rival. The Gospel-driven pastor sees reinforcement. Praise God reinforcement.”

The author responded to my comment with the following.

Well, at least he didn’t call me Dude.

Another downside to this anomaly is it can become a form of ecclesial adultery (allegorically speaking). I remember one church where our pastor was bi-vocational. There’s nothing wrong with being bi-vocational, as the apostle Paul was. But the exhaustive demands of his secular employment did not give him enough time to properly tend to his church. And to add to that peripheral hindrance, he often preached at other churches fulfilling their pulpit duties. And while he was gone, he had guest speakers fill our pulpit in his absence. It’s incongruous, to say the least.   

Churches, as we contend for the faith (Jude 3), we must contend for the local church. Let’s get back to good old-fashioned discipleship where iron sharpens iron, and we train our own saints. Have a special meeting with your church. Ask each and everyone, “what gifts do you believe the Lord has given you?” And start from there, praying about how your local church can start using those gifts, rather than go to the yellow pages (or Facebook). The Scriptures do not prohibit laymen or non-ordained men from occupying the pulpit, and neither does the Confession. The Confession permits it (ch. 26:11). It’s sad how so many pastors want their members money, but not their talents.

Lastly, below is the Good News!

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