RB: As I’ve talked to young graduates, fresh out of seminary, they didn't care anything about longevity. They heard about how to candidate, they heard about how to put out their resume, but they didn't hear anything about how to stay longer.
KV: Hi, I'm Karl Vaters and I'm a small church pastor. And welcome to Can This Work in a Small Church?
My guest today is Rich Brown and the subject is long-term pastorates. Rich is the author of Extended Stays: A Closer Look at Longer Pastorates. He served for 24 years as a pastor. He's been in higher Christian education for 21 years and he serves currently with IPM— Interim Pastor Ministries.
In this conversation, Rich and I talk about the importance of long-term pastorates, why they're good for the church, why they're good for the pastor, and why they're good for the pastor's family and for the community that the church is called to reach. Don't forget to stick around when the interview is done. I'll come back with an overview of the content and an answer to the question “can this work in a small church?”
Before we get to the interview, one quick thing. In October 2021, we're holding our first ever support drive. Listen for more information about it at the break in the middle of the podcast, and now let's get to the content and an answer to the question “can this work in a small church?”
Welcome, Rich, to the podcast. I want to start with a simple question. You wrote a book and I read it a little while ago and really appreciated it—Extended Stays: A Closer Look at Longer Pastorates.
So how did you become interested enough in pastoral tenure to actually go through all the trouble of writing a very thorough book about it? You've got to be committed to a subject to write a book as thorough as your book is. So where did that idea and that passion come from?
RB: It started early in my own ministry life. You know, I looked at colleagues, I looked at friends, I looked at men I looked up to, I looked at the church at large. I looked at my denomination. And it just seemed like men were hopscotching around all the time. The back pages of our denominational magazine had transfers and changes and it was always a page or two long.
So I thought, i s this good? Is this right? Shouldn't shouldn't there be something different happening. So I started talking to pastors, interviewing them. I did some studying on my own. Anytime I picked up a book and read it, there was always a paragraph or two about longevity in there, but I didn't see much about longevity itself being tackled.