I was looking at them just being curious, and had the same problem cause I'm in Canada. Now if I was at the point in my life where I was able to find a church to be a full time worship leader/pastor at, then I wouldn't care about moving. so I didnt quite understand that either.
To put the issue in the best light this is how I looked at it. It is a common practice that when a Church hires someone they would pay for their moving expenses. So this congregation may be looking at the expense of moving someone into the country and dealing with all the paperwork of visas and all the other forms that it might require. We have a Pastor for our Indonesian ministry that had paperwork problems that sent him back to Indonesia for at least a year before he can come back on a new visa. Just some thoughts why this might be a condition of hire.
There's clearly no inference that WTR is responsible for the caveat. It is obviously a condition set by the churches with the vacancies. You are quite right, it is an issue with the poster and not this site.
"Should we be setting pre-conditions ?" This again applies only to those setting the condition - clearly not us or WTR.
The purpose of this posting is to generate debate , the full question is :
"Might be a tetchy question/subject but should we be setting pre-conditions of this nature or do you consider this to be a fair method of selection ?"
The 'we' in the question is 'the church' as a whole or if you like, any church that posts an ad with caveats and conditions that limit the people who could apply for the post.
Of course there are always legitimate reasons why this is necessary in some cases. Again the purpose of this discussion is not to necessarily condemn but to raise questions and generate debate.
If I am hirering then I can set the conditions. That If they want to set qualifacations then they can do that. I ultimatly limits the applicants for them as well.
However I am from the USA. They may only want worship leaders from the states because we are better that everyone else. LOL........ ( Joking!!! Just a little elitest humor. ) :-]
On the other side on the coin .They may only want people from the states because after moving and the expence there is a major obligation to make "IT" work. Weather the leadership is aweful or not.
To the greater question of whether it is right for a church to limit their search boundaries, I don't know if it's really a question of right or wrong. I tend to think not.
Maybe it would be an act of faith to open the door to all applications - you never know what special pearl you might find. But an argument could be made that to be a good steward of the time and resources of a volunteer search committee, you need to limit applications to those that fit a primary set of guidelines.
A short story: Thirty years ago I travelled to Europe to attend Bible school. I had been accepted and they were expecting me, but my finances hadn't come through as planned. But I strongly felt called to be there, so I showed up on the doorstep of a Bible school 1 month before term began to explain the situation, and would they please allow me to attend, because I knew God would provide the money. I felt that because they were men of God, they would pray and be assured of God's calling on my life and agree to let me come.
But they didn’t. They thought it over and decided that I should return home. They had some strange rule that prohibited them from accepting students for free!
I couldn’t shake God’s promise that He’d provide for me, so I stayed in Europe, and one month later I arrived at the school with the 1st term’s tuition money in my hand – all miraculously provided by the Lord.
Now, did they lack faith, and where they wrong to tell me to go home? I don’t believe so. Through their act of stewardship (turning me down so that I wouldn’t become a drain on their limited finances), I was forced to rely on God to provide, and that’s exactly what He did. My faith was strengthened by what some would have called their lack of faith. Personally, looking back I believe they did the right thing.
So when it comes to a church putting a limitation on their hiring process, I think it’s something that God can either work with, or work in spite of. Therefore, let’s not waste too much time worrying about it.
As the popular song puts it, “Greater things are still to come; and greater things are still to be done in this city…”
Not that this is the reason, but one possible reason to "hire within the family" is perspective. An American will know where Americans are better than someone from outside the country would. I think that would hold true for any nationality. No one knows where a Brit is coming from better than another Brit. Even Canadians do not have the perspective of Americans. Not that their perspective is inferior, it's just different. We would be shocked if we could actually measure the amount of our culture that exists in our subconscious. No matter where I move, I'll think like a guy who's been an American for 28 years (for better or worse). Same thing would go for a Scot, Dutchman, Frenchie, Africkaaner, Inuit or Ruskie.
Obviously, there are exceptions, and I could see where a different perspective could be good for a congregation. Nevertheless, you have to know the congregation to minister to them effectively. Even regionally in the U.S., differences in culture can be very great and become a hurdle to ministry.
Most of the Canadians I know probably wouldn't choose to have and American leading them in worship. Though they do choose to shop at our Target...
Our commonality as brothers and sisters in Christ makes us strong, but in the end it is our differences that make us beautiful.
"Most of the Canadians I know probably wouldn't choose to have and American leading them in worship."
Daniel, please! Where do you get this from? Maybe you need some new Canadian friends to poll! :)
In actual fact, a progressive church in Canada will often be very interested in an American pastor or worship pastor or youth pastor, for a number of reasons I won't go into...it'll only make your head swell!
Personally, I love to listen to preachers from the US, England, Ireland or Scotland. Really like the Assie's too! I find the different outlook on culture very refreshing, and many people I know do as well. I believe that Canada is known for its acceptance of other cultures. If anything, I would have guessed that the American congregations would be the ones most closed to a cross-cultural experience, and I don't mean to sound uppity. I have an American brother-in-law, and also lived in the US for five years, so I've been able to observe a few things.
I would think the biggest reason for a church to limit hiring only people within the country or even within a certain radius of their state/province would be mostly a financial reason (moving expenses or interview expenses). Or possibly the timeframe - work visas are not easy to obtain.
Rick, you're from BC, which from what I hear from my kayaking buddies, is as close to heaven as can be found on earth. Most of my experience with Canadians is from the Ontario province, as we are closest to them here in upstate NY. There are a few that have moved to the states for one reason or another. Almost all of them had a moderate to severe disdain for Americans and American culture. So yes, I probably need to find some new Canadians to talk to! (Ever thought of relocating?)
I would agree with sentiment about American churches though. At my church not only are they looking for an American, but they are also suspicious of any one with more than a MDIV or from the West Coast. But this is also a small, blue collar, military town. Almost like the one in the movie Foot Loose.