Sack the Pastor II

I’m continuing on the same theme as Sack the Pastor original post, with some more ideas as to why the pastor should be fired.

Modern contemporary churches proudly explain that we have done away with the idea of clergy and laity still embedded in fossilized movements like the Catholic and Anglican mainstream churches. We claim to have “liberated” the church from this erroneous theology proclaiming that we are the priesthood of all believers and that every believer is a minister. In some places this is explained with some degree of smugness.

I’ve done this little exercise many times. “Put up your hand, if you’re in full-time ministry”. Of course a few hands go up, but not many. Then, knowing I’d tricked everyone, I’d give them the low-down. “If you’re a believer, you’re in full time ministry. You’re gifted, called, commissioned and sent”. This is all good of course, and true, but sadly and unfortunately undermined unwittingly by our good selves.

As paid staff, we become the new clergy – despite what we say. We get paid to do ministry, others don’t. They have to do it for free. Credentialed pastors perform certain functions that others aren’t allowed to.

I used to argue that some roles like that of the pastor of a large church took more time and required a greater focus, so expecting a pastor to fulfill his complex role would be too great an ask while trying to work a secular job at the same time. It was unfair and would divide his focus and dilute his efforts. A worker was worth his wages, therefore he and his family (or she for that matter) should be supported and freed from what would inevitably be somewhere between a rock and a hard place. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, our church members happily slot lethargically and comfortably into the age old role of laity and the majority become those who allow others to do ministry for and to them. We pastors now get frustrated because the 80/20 rule suddenly kicks in and we are left to wage war on the split, shedding tears, dripping sweat, and oozing blood trying to get it to 70/30, but deep down knowing it’s a losing battle and that 80/20 is as immutable as gravity. Is it any wonder we burnout?

It’s the old problem of monkey see, monkey do. They’re not doing what they’re told, they’re responding to what they see. And why am I talking about “we” and “they” anyway? We are our own worst enemies. We’ve set ourselves up to fail. On one hand with our words, we’re saying that there’s no clergy laity division, but our actions prove there is, and we are frustrated with what unfolds as a result. Go figure.

Obviously there will be staunch defenders of the status quo and will be able to give all the practical and theological reasons why the church should pay a pastor. I’ve been there, and heard most of them and used some to defend my own career choices. But you can’t argue with the results.

Sack the pastor.

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2 Responses

  1. Yeah….but like I said last time….build me a new workable alternative!

  2. Let me post Sack the Pastor III and if the earth hasn’t moved for you by then, ask me again, but be more specific in your question and I’ll have a stab. I was thinking you’d join the dots for me mate!

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