I am going to take a moment to be emotional through my blog for a moment (as if I haven’t done that before).
I both love and hate the fact that my vocation is also my career. I get the extreme blessing of being able to do what I am called to do for a living. And I believe it is a high calling and I will never turn my back on being called to be a minister of the Gospel. But I sometimes hate the fact that my calling is also linked to my family’s economical success. I love that I am afforded this luxury, but sometimes loathe the system that is built up around ministers being professionals. Through this system we see things creep into the church that truly do not belong. Ministers begin to be commodities and investments versus shepherds. They are valued for their skill set as far as finances and administration rather than compassion and fervor for the Gospel. Associates are evaluated as if they are amassing portfolios for the board to review and retool if necessary. And all of a sudden we look at the ministry like a professional career bent towards retirement and prosperity versus service in the Kingdom of God where the first shall be last.
Maybe the church has become to “civilized” to “corporate”. And ministers are just as much to blame (present company included) as we buy into the system for our own welfare and that of our family. We begin to sense competition amongst ourselves for the better paying churches/jobs and something gets lost. The words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:17-19 definitely cut like a knife, “If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel. Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” A slave to everyone? Doesn’t sound like the best paying gig.
The reason I am spouting off at the mouth about this is because I see the hurt and injury that is handed out because of the business we call “church”. I have seen the backstabbing and humiliation that has occurred at the expense of advancing “God’s Kingdom”. I have seen friends and colleagues that have been torn apart by the body of Christ. This should not be so.
And so I exist in a system that I both love and hate. And I am extremely blessed. But sometimes I wonder…