Monday, November 22, 2010
Politics Daily talks about pastors and whine, whine, whine - cry, cry, cry.God may have rested on the seventh day, but for a growing number of his ministers, there is more work -- and stress -- than ever, and less chance to unwind. That has led to all sorts of health problems among clergy, from a lack of exercise and a rise in obesity to problems of depression and substance abuse and all the many ills of modern life that pastors spend so much time helping their congregants tackle.
Indeed, even as the folks in the pews head off to vacations this summer, priests, rabbis, pastors and ministers of all faiths often find themselves looking after those left behind and still in need of spiritual support, or using any down time to catch up on the inevitable backlog of administrative work that always takes second place to the care of souls.OK - some straight talk.
A lot of pastors coming to the job looking for validation or adoration or approval, or anything besides working out God's calling on their lives. So they come with a lot of these problems built into their lives long before they get the job.
Secondly, it is not up to the pastor or individual to have the strength for the job - it is up to God to provide the strength and for them to appropriate it. That's what the Holy Spirit is all about.
Thirdly - the decidedly non-denominational approach to the job is a huge part of the problem. Think about it.
Pastors work hard and they bear many burdens, but so do the rest of us. Most pastors I know have parishioners that work much harder. Few pastors I know put in more hours than I do, and those that do are highly disorganized, and that is the problem, not the workload.
But mostly I think anybody that whines this much does not have the Holy Spirit. Christ went to the cross and never said a word to the apostles other than "pray with me" - the rest of it was between Him and God.
Think about that the next time you want to complain about your workload.