Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ministry Reality Check

A friend recently passed along the link to this article, from the website: "Death by Ministry" by Eugene Cho.

There is a lot to agree with in this article, and it certainly portrays some of the great difficulties of ministry very accurately. What I love, though, is Cho's call to love, care for, and pray for pastors. His goal isn't simply to complain and say, "look how tough pastoral ministry is!" That would serve little purpose, and might even be sinful (Philippians 2:14-16).

No, Cho wants to urge congregations AND pastors to devote themselves to healthy ministry. Here's what he says toward the end:

"Churches must seek to honor and care for their pastors and staff and build healthy structures to ensure such care. Similarly, pastors and their families must make choices to be holistically healthy! We must rest, Sabbath, enjoy God, love the Scriptures not simply for the sake of sermon preparations, be in deep friendships and community, exercise, work on our jump shot, continue to be a reader and learner, love and honor our spouses, nurture our children, laugh and have fun, eat healthy and drink good refreshments [use your imagination here], examine and repent of any possible addictions, and [add your contribution here]."

This is great advice-- and I'd love to see more search committees folding a self-examination step into their search process, wherein they took stock of these kinds of questions.

At the same time, pastors and especially seminarians aspiring to be pastors would do well to read this article as a reality check of how difficult ministry can (in some ways) be.

No comments: