The pastoral search process is well known. When the typical church body begins looking for a pastor it first forms a committee. The next step is to advertise the position, followed by the collection of resumes. Then comes the interview process. Finally someone is chosen, the financial package is presented, and Bingo! the church has a new pastor.
The above process is full of problems. One of the primary ones is that the new pastor is almost always from outside the body. In most instances he has never met the people of the church prior to the search process. He may have resided hundreds of miles away. The church family cannot possibly know if he lives up to the standards set forth in I Timothy 3.
One of the side effects of the pastor being from the outside is that he can never be a fully accepted member of the body. He will, of course, be a member in the sense of signing his name on a membership card. He will also be present almost all the time. Despite this, he will always and forever be different. He is the paid person who receives money from the church to do certain duties. This puts him in a different category from everyone else.
No matter how hard the pastor tries and no matter how long he stays, he will always be an outsider. This is a natural outcome of the clergy/laity divide. He will never feel fully accepted. Even though he is very involved in the life of the church, he will not be thought of as one of the group.
This problem is harmful to both the pastor and the church. The pastor cannot enjoy the benefits of simply being a part of the group. He can never actually be inside. As for the church, the people in general are robbed of doing some of the most important things because they expect the paid man to do them.
Professional pastors spend a lot of time doing church things, but they can't be fully accepted members of that church.
(This post is part of the series 25 Reasons Professional Pastors Should Resign.)