That's already happening in some places. I live within the geographical confines of one yearly meeting and am a member of the yearly meeting "next door." I am a congregational consultant, which I consider very much a ministry. Yet, because I am not a pastor, I am not included in any mailings for ministers -- other than the yearly report I am asked to complete to demonstrate that I am using my ministry gifts. I am not invited to Pastor Short Courses, luncheons, retreats, information/training sessions, etc. It is as if, even though I have been a recorded minister for 30 years now, that I am not considered a minister by these yearly meetings since I am not a pastor.
I know I'm not the only recorded minister who has experienced this.
Another thing I worry about is, if we start using the title "Pastor" can there be a "Bishop" (in name or action) far behind? I fear we are closing in on the attitude, if not the title, already. And this goes against our call to present the Gospel of direct communication with God without a need for rite, ritual, or clergy.
So what do I propose? I have thought a long time about this and here's my ungainly name -- "released minister."
I think it's a good name for a number of reasons -- two of which I'll address here. One is that it gets us back to the idea of what we name all Friends. We are all ministers, are we not? Or at least we're supposed to be. Let's start by calling our paid staff person by the same name we all need to be going by.
Another is that this name will have to be explained. If, upon meeting somebody for the first time and they inquire about how I spend my days and I say that I am the pastor of Podunk Friends Church, they immediately know what that means based on their experience of what a pastor does. But if I say, "I'm the released minister at Podunk Friends" then I have, as Desi Arnaz used to say, some 'splaining to do. I then get to tell how we Friends believe that we are each ministers and that I am fortunate enough to have been released from seeking full time secular employment to use my ministry gifts in the service of the other ministers. I think that can be a powerful witness.
I think it also gives other Friends a chance to witness -- and relearn -- the amazing fact that we are all ministers. If we aren't allowed to say "She's our pastor" anymore and say "She's our released minister," then it is, like above, an opportunity to say what we believe about ministry and why. Which means, of course, that Friends need to be educated enough in our Gospel message that they can articulate it.
I think the title "released minister" is one that could be used for paid staff in unprogrammed meetings, too. It is no less arcane, and certainly more descriptive, than titles such as Meeting secretary.
Notice in this idea of the name change, I have nowhere advocated for an end to paid and/or trained ministers. While Friend George did say that "being bred at Oxford and Cambridge did not qualify or fit a man to be a minister of Christ," it doesn't necessarily hurt, either. I think we Friends can be well served by women and men who are trained in congregation administration, religious education, preaching, counseling, and the like. And if a woman or man feels called to serve Friends full time and her or his gifts in ministry are confirmed by the Meeting or Yearly Meeting or whatever, then she or he should be compensated.