What does it indicate?

According to the latest Reporter, the SMP program is doing great!  127 SMP students are enrolled in both seminaries.  According to Dr. Glen Thomas, executive director of LCMS Pastoral Education, it “would seem to indicate that there is certainly a demand in the church.”

Questions :

Demand by whom?

Demand for what?

The demand seems to be among those who want to become pastors without making the sacrifices that a residential  seminary education requires.  But is there a demand out there for SiMPle pastors?    And I do wonder how many of them will be pastors long-term, when they have not been adequately trained.  The drop out rate for pastors is already very high.  What will it be among those who will not even take time to properly learn what they are getting themselves into? Typically, the seminary has about 10% attrition per year at the seminary.  This means that 10% of the class finds out that they really don’t want to be a pastor.  What will happen when we effectively ordain them first and then train them?  In ten years, I think we will find that there are far too many SiMPle pastors that are leaving the ministry.  Especially since many of them had careers before going into it, which makes it easier to SiMPly walk away and say, “that didn’t work, back to my day job.”

What is the demand for?  Are congregations really demanding more pastors?  That would explain why 32 didn’t get placed last year?  Or are they demanding pastors that are not theologically sophisticated enough to avoid heresy.  That’s nothing of which we should be proud.  Maybe congregations are demanding pastors who don’t charge so much (that is to say, worker priests)  Also fairly shameful.

So, I would like to know, who demands, and what are they demanding.  That has never really been answered.


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