Thursday, January 06, 2011

Where have all the preachers gone - again (continued)

It's interesting to note that Carl Trueman assumes that those of us who care about the Exodus to the US  - including Paul Levy on the same blog - are thinking uncharitable things about those who go.  Particularly, he thinks we think that they go for the money.  (And, if I read him right, HE thinks they go for the money too, and that's OK!)

Actually, I've said no such thing.  I'm concerned about what's happening in the UK, not about why those who go, do go.  OK?  If I get chance, I'll try and do some blogging on the 'why' question sometime.

And for the record - again! - I've never been a pastor of a church in the North of England and defected to the South, which would be the proper parallel.  Nor have I ever been approached by a church in the North interested in having me as their pastor.  I'm quite happy to assume that this is an indication of the superior discernment of Northern Christians.  It certainly isn't, though, a case of my hunting with the hounds while running with the hares.


Jonathan Hunt said...

I think we should be allowed to register concern, even sorrow, over the brain drain without being accused of holding derogatory views of peoples motives.

I don't think it has much to do with money. I DO think that it has much to do with the much bigger congregations found in many places, and the corresponding opportunities afforded for the spread of the gospel.

Martin Walker said...

We seem to keep seeing this as a negative. I know you have given your opinion on the general state of preaching in the UK before as have lots of others. But we could also ask, 'What's wrong with the US church that they keep taking UK preachers?'. Or we could ask 'What's so good about some UK preachers that the US come for them?' Given the size of their 'pool' it could be there's at least as large a preaching problem there as here. Or we could even say, perhaps the God is raising up preachers here to bless the world, so rejoice and see who else is raised up. Hopelessly optimistic?

Ben Stevenson said...

I am not overly pessimistic about what this situation means for the church in the UK.

Given the cultural links between the UK and USA, it is surely in the UK church's interest for the USA to have strong churches.

If people like Liam Goligher do go to the USA to pastor bigger congregations, and if God grants them success over there, and if they take a concern for the situation in the UK with them, then this may benefit UK churches in the long run.

Gary Benfold said...

I appreciate your optimism, Ben; and I don't doubt there'll be spin-off benefits.

But tell me - as a doctor - if all/most of Britain's leading medics (surgeons, researchers, thinkers, GPs etc) went off to bigger hospitals in the US, better equipped hospitals, and were successful in their jobs there and took a concern for the UK there - do you think the net result would be likely to be good for the UK? Or do you think that simply not having their expertise and leadership available 'just down the road' might be a big loss?

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall that the UK has been happy to poach doctors and nurses from India / Philippines etc, because they are a bargain (all the expensive training has been covered by others in the very countries that need them more than the UK).
Surely we have a society that is scrupulous about the cost of everything, but knows the value of nothing.