Sam Allberry: You Don’t Have to Be Married to Minister

Sam Allberry

Sam Allberry is a pastor based in Maidenhead, UK. Sam is also a global speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, an editor for The Gospel Coalition, and a founding editor of Living Out, a ministry for those struggling with same-sex attraction. Sam’s written work includes the books Is God Anti-Gay? and 7 Myths About Singleness.

Key Questions for Sam Allberry

– Why is the evangelical church so “married” to the idea that a pastor has to be married?

– Can someone who is single adequately minister to someone who is married?

– What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a single pastor? What are the advantages?

Key Quotes from Sam Allberry

“I think Paul is saying ‘in your marriage, you’ve got to be a faithful married guy’, rather than ‘you have to be married.’”

“You’re happy to have Paul as your apostle, but you wouldn’t have him as your pastor.”

“There’s always enough common humanity for us to be able to relate in a very basic level. We know what it’s like to be fallen. We know what it’s like to be sinful. We know what it’s like to be fearful. In a generalized sense, we share enough to be able to relate that we don’t have to have been through what someone else has been through in order to be a really effective pastor to them.”

“Actually, I have found being single in a church with a lot of families and married people sometimes that makes me more approachable to people who are struggling with married life or with parenting than if I was married.”

“People feel able to open up to me precisely because I’m not married. They’re not going to feel as though I’m comparing their marriage to mine or I’m judging how they’re raising their kids compared to how I’ve raised mine.”

“[The idea that a minister has to have a common experience with you in order to minister] misunderstands ministry. It implies the usefulness of your words comes out of your experience rather than out of the Scriptures.”

“We have a high priest who’s not unable to sympathize. That’s why I teach his word and not my word.”

“We are very, very, very, very junior under-shepherds serving the master shepherd. All of us should have that sense of feeling as though we’re in way over our heads because we can’t save a soul; we can’t bring people to repentance; we can’t convict people of their sins. It’s all the Lord’s work.”

“[Ministry] is such a huge responsibility and if anyone is thinking ‘Yeah, I’ve got this nailed’ and they’re walking around with a lot of swagger, I’m worried.”

“The work of the Kingdom is going to be fine if you take an evening off.”

Mentioned in the Show:

7 Myths About Singleness

RZIM.org

TGC.org

Sam Allberry on ChurchLeaders:

Same Sex Relationships: Should We Just Agree to Disagree?

Where Are All the Single Pastors?

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Jason Daye
As Director of Ministry Development for Outreach, Inc., Jason dedicates his time to encouraging and equipping churches, denominations and ministry organizations to develop their Kingdom effectiveness by creating a culture that is both incarnational and invitational. Jason lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his beautiful wife and six children, where he enjoys hiking with his family, fighting rainbow trout, summiting 14ers and swapping stories with good friends. Connect with him on Twitter @jasondaye

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