31 DEC 05: THE RELUCTANT "REV"
(BLOGGER'S NOTE: You may find this humorous, serious, or a little of both - but from time to time, we offer things to reflect upon as we keep the seventh-day Sabbath.)
The church denomination where I attend actually is the result of a split ten years ago. The old group made major doctrinal
changes, which the new group opposed - so it was truly a case of everything old being new again.
I left the old group in 2000, on the weekend my Pastor was effectively fired my ministers brought in from headquarters. He was replaced with two "lay pastors" who have other jobs during the week -- which means, of course, they cannot really face a lay-off.
I happened to meet one of those lay pastors at a department store the other night. Harry [not his real name] isn't a minister anymore. From the way he talked, he may not even be attending church full-time anymore. The United Methodist Church might call this "open hearts, open minds, open weekends."
"I only planned to do it six months," Harry told me -- talking about when a Regional Pastor asked him to become local co-pastor about five years ago. "I wound up doing it 14 months." And no, I don't think because he gave long-winded sermons....
Harry had a job which took him out of town quite a bit. It was growing, so he was traveling - and it left him little time for church duties. "I was staying up until 3:00 a.m.," he told me. Considering his wife is a teacher, they had little time for serious conversations - you know, in bed together.
To be honest, I was a bit surprised to learn Harry was made a co-pastor. I'd heard in during services more than once speaking profanities about various things. But I guess he kept it clean when the boss was watching -- the one which isn't capitalized, that is.
Harry seemed to become burned out, after 14 months of serving as a lay pastor. It's a reminder that many ministers feel a special calling to hold that job -- a job which can have long hours, and require words of wisdom under very difficult circumstances. I guess it isn't that far removed from politics, after all....
There's been a movement recently to make October "Pastor's Appreciation Month." But I'd like to suggest you NOT wait until then. Show the minister you care this weekend -- whether it is by word, greeting card or some other means. After all, they try to encourage you. Isn't it only fair that you do it back?
Your PayPal donations can keep this blog ad-free and independent-minded. To make a donation, offer a story tip or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post a reply.
If you quote from this in public somewhere, please be polite enough to let me know.
© 2003-05 Richard Burkard, All Rights Reserved.