Saturday, May 5, 2012


My time as Pastor, much like my time as a Christian School Principal, could best be described as short and sweet (most of the time).  Because I knew I was where the Lord wanted me, and because He was using me in the lives of those He chose me to lead, I had great joy and peace.  However, my stint as Pastor ended abruptly, due to a disagreement over how our members were treating our custodian, of all things.  I have often tried to make a joke out of my two years, two months, two weeks, two days, and too long stint as Pastor.  But by the time I was informed my services were no longer needed, I was both hurt and relieved.

After teaching only one year at a Christian School, I was asked by the Pastor to be the Principal.  I told him I would accept on one condition; if he ever disagreed with how I disciplined a student, that he speak with me in private about it.  Everything was fine for a year and a half, until I suspended four boys for their involvement with pornographic materials at the school.  The next day, one of the boys was at school, and when I asked why, he told me to ask the Pastor.  I did, and I resigned.  My last official act was to call the other three boys and tell them their suspension was rescinded.  I figured that it was unfair to "pardon" a boy whose parents were members of the church, and not the others.  The Pastor was gracious enough to keep me on for the next seven years as a teacher.  For that, I am grateful.

Christian leadership requires a "thick skin," a willingness to do without the "finer things in life," and most of all, the knowledge you are exactly where God wants you.  In Seminary, the majority of the students were preparing for a career, more so, than for the ministry.  In one class of about a hundred students, the professor was discussing how much a Pastor should charge for doing weddings and funerals.  When I asked why one would charge for doing what he was paid to do as Pastor, I was literally booed.  I figured that if one was being paid to serve as Pastor, and weddings and funerals were the normal duties of a Pastor, then his salary was payment for those duties.  I still feel that way.

Today, Christian leaders are "employees" of churches rather than shepherds of the flock.  Oh, I know your Pastor would never admit that, but it is true.  And God help him if he takes a public stand against cohabitation, divorce, or teen pregnancy; there are too many church members that might quit coming, and the collections might drop, and well, you know the rest.  The shepherd is fired by the sheep.  

Today, the United States, generally speaking, calls itself a "Christian nation."  That is ironic in that, with all of the advantages Americans have, we are number one in producing prisoners, pornography, teen pregnancy, reported crimes, mental disorders, drug use, divorce, and who knows what else.  The Church is supposed to be the moral anchor of a nation, but if the leaders are "muzzled" by their own congregations, is it any wonder that our country is in such a decadent condition?

Like the prophets of Israel before them, 
Pastors are an endangered "species!"  

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