Career Ministers

Over the past couple of days this concept of ‘career ministers’ has come up. LT invited me into this interesting chat last night with people from all over the globe, and late in the evening I made a comment about how I don’t think people should be career ministers. I didn’t know exactly how to explain the concept… because I’m not against people getting paid to be in ministry. I just have a problem with people who want to be in ministry to get paid.

Apparently, Real Live Preacher is giving this some thought as well. Here is a little bit of his conversation with ‘the voice:’

Christ almighty, I’m not going to spell it out for you. This isn’t some made-for-TV movie. You’re not some fresh, young Kentucky Fried Chicken executive, fainting at his first sight of the chicken farm. You knew church was big business. Hell, you’re a professional minister. Where do you think your paycheck comes from, dip$h!t?’

‘There’s nothing more corporate than that computer-generated paycheck you get. I don’t see you whining when you cash it.’

He was right. I’d been hearing this voice for ten years. I always knew he was right, but the catalog broke something in me. I took off my collar and laid it on my desk. He laughed while I slid my church key off my key ring.

I’ve had this saying for a while that I’ve mostly kept to myself but shared with a few friends, and i guess I want to set it out there for everyone:

The way I see it, there are two kinds of pastors out there: (1) The kind whose hearts break for people and will become a pastor if that will help them be able to minister to others. (2) The kind who want to be a pastor, want to have that status and be looked to for ‘the answers’ by a whole lot of people.

Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who love like nothing else and should be pastors, and I know a lot of pastors who don’t know what love is and shouldn’t be one. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not proposing that we do anything about it and I’m not going to waste God’s time and my energy to remove pastors from office that I don’t think should be there… I’d rather spend God’s time and my energy letting all those people who could be in ministry know that they can, and they don’t have to get a pay check or wear a robe to be one.