the weblog of Alan Knox

Do pastors have their cake and eat it too?

Posted by on May 24, 2012 in blog links | 8 comments

Do pastors have their cake and eat it too?

Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” is jumping in with both feet (to use an old Southern expression). Check out his latest post “Cake.” What’s the point of his post: “My main point is this: a professional pastor’s job is mostly cake.”

Now, Eric is in the (fairly) unique position to be able to make this statement. He has been a professional, vocational pastor for a church organization/institution. He knows what the job entails. A couple of years ago, he resigned from that vocation, found employment in a “secular job,” yet continued the hard work of helping others follow Jesus Christ.

Here is part of Eric’s post:

In what other job do you get to sit in a coffee shop and study the bible for hours per week? In how many occupations can you literally set your own schedule each day (except Sundays of course)? What occupation outside of pastoring encourages going on missions trips and attending theological conferences while the church pays for it?

Seminaries are partly to blame for this situation. Pastors-to-be repeatedly hear how difficult it is to be a pastor. They are told that there is much suffering involved and that it will be a very difficult task. However, since they are “called to preach,” they must walk down this painful, lonely road.

You should read the rest of Eric’s post, especially the paragraph that starts with “To be fair, there are times when pastoring is difficult.” That paragraph offers another side of what he states above.

I don’t doubt that being a vocational pastor in a church organization is hard work. (I’ve never held that job position before, although I was headed in that direction at one point in my life.) However, I wonder, how much of that “hard work” is caused by someone doing things that God never intended one person to do?


8 Comments

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  1. 5-24-2012

    I wonder, how much of that “hard work” is caused by someone doing things that God never intended one person to do?

    It goes both ways Alan if done and of the Spirit of God, it is easy. If it is one wanting to do God’s work and has not understood the differance between flesh and Spirit, it is hard.
    If it is done as in acting to fool the people it is hard, for they have to keep covering up. Oh what a tangled web one weaves when one sets out to deceive. So here comes the scripture one preaches of contention, and one of sincerity, I will as Paul did and does Glory in both for Christ is being preached, those that are seeking truth and life shall find it period
    Howard

  2. 5-24-2012

    Alan,

    I learned the hard way, that the traditional idea of pastoring, is not the way God designed.

    There can be no doubt that He blessed our ministry, especially the preaching of the Gospel. By the same token, and without doubt, His Holy Spirit enabled us through experiences,hours spent, and workload, that no man is meant to carry.

    According to Scripture, that ministry was more about building an earthly Baptist eternal insurance enterprise, than about, ” the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry”

    There can be no doubt that my wife and I, and many of our peers, were well versed in what our traditions taught as Scriptural, but we better learn, and fast, that no matter how sincerely we think that we have a sound grasp on the truth of Scripture, and know the answers, at this point in time, God’s Spirit might bless us by showing us that we are still in prep school for novices.

    The school of Christ is never ending, in this life!

  3. 5-24-2012

    AMEN !
    Howard

  4. 5-24-2012

    Alan,

    Thanks for the link!

  5. 5-25-2012

    Alan, I’ve written a response from the other perspective, if you’d be interested in reading it:

    http://hunterpartyof4.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/the-work-of-a-preacher-is-mostly-cake/

  6. 5-25-2012

    Howard,

    I know many vocational pastors who are not intending to deceive, but are living and working in the way that they believe God wants them to do.

    Aussie John,

    Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it coming from someone with your background and experience.

    Eric,

    Thanks for the post!

    Steven,

    Thanks for the link. I commented on your post.

    -Alan

  7. 5-26-2012

    Howard,

    I know many vocational pastors who are not intending to deceive, but are living and working in the way that they believe God wants them to do.

    thanks Alan, and So do i, big deal. I tell you the truth to be wise as a serphant, and harmless as a dove. For God when the time comes there will be seperatiing of the tares amongst the wheat. There will be many in that day that will say But Lord I cast out demons in your name, brought many to belief. Yet the Lord will say go away I never knew you you who work iniquity. Now Alan I am not making any judgements here towards anyone, for it is not for me to know who is who. It is for God and each person between them and God. For each knows whether they are his or not. Whether they have come to belief or not. The devil brother does and has come as an angel of light, and has deceived many in their place of gatherings, mixing law and grace, deceiving the very elect. So come out her my people and seek truth truth that is only found in the Spirit of god the Holy Ghost
    Love you Alan and all reading this

  8. 5-26-2012

    Alan intentions are they of the spirit or of the flesh? Re read Hebrews 5:11 on through cahapter six. It starts with you who are unskillfull in milk. Now I am not saying you or anyone her is unskillful. Each one reading this decides between them and god if they are this and need to be taught all over again. Let us go onto to perfection if God will permit unto the meat of the word. There is no further forgiveness it is done and you are made perfect in him. Quit walking as men with good intentions, these are the blind leading the blind, no wonder we all are having so many problems for we are still carnal, in need of meat
    Brother I love you and hope for you to see truth as truth is. I see carnality in your way and wanting to keep you in bondage, world wise
    all in Love Howard