So, the title of this post comes from the lyrics of the Bruce Hornsby song “The Way It Is.”
Someone else is saying, “Get a job,” but he’s not saying it “just for fun.”
The instigator is David Fitch in his post “5 Excuses Seminarians make for NOT Getting a (“Real”) Job.” Now, before you jump to some conclusions, you should know that Fitch is not against churches paying pastors. In fact, he’s for it.
However, he also sees the benefit of seminarians working a “Real” job (to use his terms). For example, here is one of his excuses:
3.) EXCUSE NO. 3 – I WILL BE SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON A JOB THAT IS NOT GERMANE TO MINISTRY. Seminarians think that spending many years in something not ministry related will stunt development of ministry skills. This is mind blowing to me. I suggest that working in the marketplace in whatever capacity is transforming and every pastor should do it in some way. It is also incredible how having a well-honed skill in your back pocket gives enormous freedom in ministry even when more full time ministry is forced upon you. You are no longer locked into the insecurity of having to keep a church going (because you know you can get a job) that can constrain you from acting prophetically.
I think it would have been good to mention that working that “real” job can be just as much ministry as working in a church paid position.
You should read the other excuses. I think Fitch makes a good point.
Now, he is primarily writing this to seminarians, but why would it not apply to elders/pastors also?