I love the Church. I love the people; I love the fellowship; I love it. I think that the Church is the greatest thing on earth. I'd be lost without the Church. I'd sooner lose my hand or head than lose my love for the Church. I love to teach in the Church, preach in the Church, pray in the Church, cry in the Church, and it would be fine with me if I die in Church. I even like to write the word Church. I wish I could write love poems that would ascribe to the Church the grandeur that she is due.
Incidentally, I happen to be a pastor. I loved the Church before I was a pastor, and I especially love it now that I am a pastor. Don't get me wrong, I have seen nasty things in the church. I have seen backbiting, temper tantrums, splits, gossip, and other ugly things. I have even been the target of some such things. Can you believe it? Moi?! Slandered!! Moi?! Misunderstood! Is there no justice?!
I can barely muster a whoop-dee-doo when pastors cry about being kicked around by Church members. Yes, there are cases when pastors are treated shamefully by their congregations, and I am certain that before it is all over with I will probably get my teeth kicked in. But, I knew that before I ever became a pastor. In fact, I expected such to come with the territory.
Let me come clean for a minute: I don't much care for pastors. At least, I don't care for a great many of them. Some of them I'd gush over, read everything they wrote, and hope to be worthy some day to unbuckle their sandal strap. Some of you who read this are pastors...I probably like you. You have good taste:). But by and large, I am not impressed. They tend to be whiney, self-pitying, weird, talkative, have the tact of a porcupine and disfunctional in normal life. Some of them are so weird and eccentric that they couldn't even hold a day job other than a pastorate. They get bounced because they are goofballs and they think it is because they are persecuted. Sheesh.
Every time I hear a pastor bellyache, I wonder if this man has ever had another job in his life. I spent a good deal of time in "crummy" jobs, let me tell you. I was a teller supervisor at a bank for a year. I cannot tell you how many times people chewed my butt while I had that job. The sales pressure was so intense it was incredible, plus I had all these thousands and thousands of dollars to be responsible for, and there was the constant threat of some knucklehead coming in with a .357 and making Swiss Cheese of my noggin' for that same money. People do those jobs for twenty years and nobody listens to them whine about it.
I was also in the military, and I have humongous ears. At least, it is more apparent when my head is shaved. I was relentlessly teased about this by my beloved Drill Sergeant. He wasn't kidding. I have big ears, not to mention that my nose comes around the corner long before I do. Boy, did he have some fun with that. Do I even need to mention the sacrifices that soldiers make for the sake of country? And yet the good ones consider it a privilege. The bad ones run away to Canada like the sissified tweety birds that they are and shame us all. (No offense, Daniel.) It is a volunteer army, people.
What's my point in this little rant? Well, it's because I perceive that ministers often believe that they are kicked around more than everybody else. Give me a break. Get over yourself, preacher. Let me quote for you a little verse from 1 Timothy 3:1, "If a man desires the position of an overseer, he desires a good thing." If that desire is not there, go and do something else. Quit griping and whining about deacons and stubborn sheep and the condition of the Church. Seriously, go do something else. If you are called, then put your big boy britches on, suck in your bottom lip, and go be the man that God called you to be.
I am a pastor serving in my hometown of Albertville, Alabama. The greatest evidence of God's grace in my life are my wife, son, and daughter. One look at me and then my wife will tell you that her "yes" was a modern day miracle. Otherwise, I am almost completely mundane.