Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Caution or Whining?
To lay people it seems strange, since they work hard themselves. Should they raise this, they will be treated to a lecture from these same overworked clergy about how they, in bravely trying to take better care of themselves, are “modeling” appropriate self-care for the laity. Such talk is condescending to the laity, tedious to listen to at ordinations and most of all, unsuccessful in changing clergy behavior.AMEN!
I would personally like to declare a moratorium on all clergy self-care conversations, in the interests of clergy self-care.
My hunch, based upon my own experience in times when I have not taken care of myself, is that what I was missing was not within me already. I was lacking something, but it was not something that a lecture in self-care would fix.God empowers and God cares for us. And in my experience, lay people understand that better than clergy.
Many successful people that I admire work extraordinarily hard - massive hours - and yet they care for themselves and their families quit well. How is that? Well, in the ones I admire, they rely upon the Lord.
I am going to be entirely frank. My own sojourn into professional ministry was not so much a call to ministry as it was an effort to work out my own faith. What I discovered was that the issues of my faith could be worked out in any professional setting - because our relationship with Jesus Christ is not about what we do for a living but how we do it.
When I hear pastors whine, forgive me but that is what I hear most of the time, about "self-care," I want to tell them to get out of ministry becasue they do not get it. If they were truly tapped into the power the Holy Spirit has to offer, they would have the ability to prioritize and organize, and the energy to do all that has to be done, and let be that which does not.
It's not what we do, but who helps us do it that matters.