Pioneer Memorial Looks For New Youth Pastor. Qualification: Must Be A Woman

Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs posted a February 20 blog announcement on their website.

Our new youth pastor will be a woman. In a few days, the conference will be interviewing several woman pastor candidates, any of whom will serve the youth of this congregation with passion and excellence.

According to this press release, Pioneer Memorial’s requirements for a Youth Pastor are:

  • Female (just the opposite of the biblical model for a pastor—which is male—PMC is after a female). The words “any of whom” in the above quote reveal PMC’s progressive bias to give the job exclusively to a woman. Or else.

  • Passion (they don’t say what ‘she’ must be passionate about)

  • Excellent (they don’t define “excellence”)

Catch a Wave Dudes

The PMC pastor’s blog from February 20 goes to great length to describe the new PMC worship experience paradigm as a wave.

A friend told me years ago: "Our business [as a church] is to find the wave the Holy Spirit is creating . . . and then to surf it." You don't even have to be a surfer to catch that metaphor. Because without a wave nobody surfs!

My friend was right—when the Holy Spirit creates a wave, our mission is to catch the wave and surf it. Which makes the youngest of the Family our very special mission. As George Barna presciently observed, it is the youngest who are "the spiritual champions" God is promising the church. Surf's up!

What the blog author doesn’t mention is that this postmodern notion of a Hipster Holy Spirit being a wave, man, originated with Leonard Sweet, Francis Chan and Rick Warren.

I’ve heard this teaching repeated by a number of speakers including Leonard Sweet, the mystical darling of progressive Adventism. See Sweet’s book The Tides of Change: Riding the Next Wave in Ministry.

Sweet says, “Exegesis is based on mining the ore of words to excavate the gems of biblical principles, a biblical panning for nuggets in one massive stream of words. Biblical semiotics, by contrast, is a form of spelunking Scripture while surfing the Spirit for resonant images and stories by which to live and for which to die in Christ.

Sometimes you leap wingless into the unknown then surf the unpredictable winds of the Spirit.”

I first discovered this teaching from Rick Warren while researching his book The Purpose Driven Church. Rick says near the beginning of that book,

“If you want your church to make an impact, find out where God is already moving in your community and join in.  Ride the wave, because you can’t create waves of divine activity just like you can’t create waves in the ocean.”

That’s disappointing, because I have an inherent problem with Warren’s illustration and teaching, and believe you should too. Here’s why: a great truth revealed through Scripture is that things happen when God’s people pray. We are not taught in the Bible to meander down life’s merry road, waiting for something to happen.

In Acts 4, after Peter and John were threatened with imprisonment for preaching Jesus, what was the first thing they did? They gathered with believers, and prayed for God to give them power to “speak the word with great boldness,” and He did. In fact, the whole room shook as if God were saying, “Your prayer is answered!”

And what about the prayer life of Jesus and the things He associated with it? What about the enormous number of Old Testament stories involving massive moves of God specifically due to prayer – sometimes a single person’s prayer at that?

I could keep going, but I think you get the point. Were massive waves of Holy Spirit activity present in the life of the early church? Certainly there were. But what were these ‘waves’ of the Spirit in Acts always accompanied by?

Prayer. Heartfelt, genuine, God-moving prayer. And obedience to God’s eternal Word—not conformity to the temporal impulses of culture—which is driving the current women’s ordination wave.


“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (Acts 12:5).