Pastoral Courtship Before Church Marriage -- By: Richard V. Clearwaters

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 03:3 (Fall 1960)
Article: Pastoral Courtship Before Church Marriage
Author: Richard V. Clearwaters

Pastoral Courtship Before Church Marriage

Richard V. Clearwaters

President Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary

21 points a pastor should consider before accepting a church:

1. Get a copy of the church constitution and by-laws (or minute book) for careful reading, (is the pastor moderator of the church?)

2. Learn all affiliations of the local church with associations, state and national conventions, and interdenominational organizations, such as N.A.E. or National Council of Churches.

3. Learn the past history of the local church if possible by reading the church minutes (official actions of the church, etc. — if they are in agreement with New Testament).

4. Get definite understanding about annual vacation period.

5. Get definite understanding about salary, when and how often paid.

6. Have definite understanding about pension benefits, social security, or old age pensions (Presbyterian Ministerial fund, interdenominational).

7. Learn if pastor has authority to ask speakers of his choice, or if deacons or church action in business meeting is needed.

8. Learn practice of church for special offerings for various causes (Evangelist speaking — church should handle the money).

9. Learn about parsonage provisions if any, and car expense.

10. Determine whether church will pay moving expenses from old to new field.

11. Get definite understanding about permission for pastor to be away from the field for Bible conferences, etc.

12. Learn what are the conditions held by the church for a person to be elected an officer (re tobacco, dancing, liquor, etc.).

13. What qualifications does the church set up for admission to membership - those coming by letter should give clear testimony of Christian experience. Does church have associate membership?

14. What is the custom of the church for the use of its facilities by other organizations or individuals who request its use ?

15. Does the church practice commercialism of any kind to raise its budget (rummage sales, etc.)?

16. Will the church permit the pastor to preach tithing and organize a tither’s league (a covenant with God to tithe for 3 months - then if God does not bless, they can decide for themselves). Storehouse tithing - bring all your gifts to the church, but you can designate to any one or place.

17. Learn in detail the missionary program of the church and if it is supporting fundame...

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