Are We Afraid of Single Pastors?

If being unmarried was good enough for Jesus and Paul...

Is being a Protestant single pastor like being a married Catholic priest? Is it an oxymoron?

I never would have thought so until the economic crisis hit, and I had to find a new pastoral position. For the first time in my career my future was in the hands of a search committee, rather than a personal connection.

I'm ordained, 37, single (never married), with experience pastoring in large churches. Given my credentials, I had zero anxiety initially. Then I started reading "job requirement" phrases like these in pastoral job applications:

-"We are looking for a married man"

-"Preferably married"

-"Is married (preferably with children)"

These churches explicitly were not looking to hire someone single–like Jesus or Paul. I then was surprised to discover that even though the majority of adult Americans are single (52 percent), that only 2 percent of senior pastors in my denomination are single! Something was clearly amiss.

Why were so many churches "requiring" a pastor to be married? Jesus wasn't. ...

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