“I could wish everyone were like me.” — Paul (I Corinthians 7:7)
That the Apostle Paul was either a lifelong single or widowed seems to be the consensus of scholars.
There’s an old joke about a committee telling a young pastoral candidate why they would not consider him. “You’re not married.” He responded, “The Apostle Paul was not married.” A member of the team said, “Yes, but he couldn’t stay out of jail long enough to take care of a wife!”
It’s not that pastor search committees are against singleness. Every member of the search team either is now or has been single at some point. It’s rather that they believe marriage has a good effect on a man, and they prefer a pastor who has the balance in his life which only a loving, faithful, dedicated female can provide.
Also–let’s admit the obvious here–they’re deathly afraid of what might happen if the preacher starts dating someone in the congregation! Horrors.
Jimmy, a single pastor, tells me churches fear the notion of calling such a person as their shepherd for various reasons: