Tuesday, November 6, 2012

post-pro-pastor pt.2

I used to be paid to be a pastor - if you haven't read pt.1 please do so before continuing on...

there are those (typically pastors mind you) who'd like to remind that in 1 Timothy 5 it says:  
17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

interestingly enough - these references come from Deuteronomy 25:4 and Leviticus 19 and I would hazard to guess that the instructions found in the verses immediately preceding and following the verse in Deuteronomy are not routinely followed today - as teachers would point to their specific intention and relation to the culture of the Israelites...and as far as the reference in Leviticus goes, I would almost guarantee that the person in the pulpit, teaching on this subject is wearing (or at least owns) an article of clothing made of two kinds of materials

that is not to say that the principles found in those chapters are no longer significant - but it is intriguing to note the 'picking and the choosing' 


extensively in 1 Corinthians 9, Paul goes on about the 'rights' of an apostle (though I doubt all paid pastors are apostles...another post perhaps?)

however, after listing all the reasons he believes 'apostles' have these rights - Paul, himself points out that he willingly forfeited those rights so as not to discount the gospel he was preaching

...so the person pointed to as the authority on the subject is also the person who chose not to claim these rights

completely rhetorical question: what implications does Paul's choice have on the choices we (and I use that loosely) make as pastors?

*disclaimer: I am not an authority on this subject - merely I man who used to be paid to be a pastor 


lest you think I am condemning all pastors for being paid to fulfill their roles in office please hear my heart...
there are countless pastors and dear friends of mine who have sacrificed themselves wholeheartedly for the sake of the churches they pastor - true shepherds who are indeed worthy of far more than double honour

I have been inspired and discipled by these pastors...I have been exhorted and encouraged

and I pray these words I write do not take away from their legacy in the least

rather, this has been my own journey and I am slowly coming to terms with the ramifications


Anonymous said...

"but it is intriguing to note the 'picking and the choosing' "

Your example hardly scratches the surface on the amount of "picking and choosing" going on. But I'll refrain from opening that can of worms at least until you finish your series of posts. :-)

Anonymous said...

You're totally right, Tyson. There are a great many pastors who are wonderful expressions of God's work. Ray Matheson is a great example here in Calgary.

But, I often think about the 'professional ministry'. As a non-pastor with a 'secular' history degree, I feel like the 'professionalism' of ministry can be a closed door to otherwise talented people who would like to serve the church in a meaningful way. Sometimes I feel like directing parking lot traffic or greeting people at the door, etc., is all I'm "qualified" to do. And, I think that has potential to be a huge waste of human resources.

In part 1, you asked "why the disparity?" That's the question I've been struggling with for a lot of years. Are my gifts/talents less important to the church because I didn't get a degree from a seminary? My desire to do something meaningful for the church left me struggling for a long time when it came to figuring out what to do for a living. And even still, I don't know that I have 'vocational clarity'. I had a number of jobs, good jobs, that I hated specifically because I didn't see it as having any meaning. I've finally grown past that, but it hasn't been easy. And I still don't feel like I have an outlet for my talents.

Tyson Liske said...

1st Anon: I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the picking and the choosing.

2nd Anon: my heart desires for you to find your 'sweet spot' - one of fulfillment, sacrifice, much love and reliance on God within the framework of a church-community.

ADG said...

Good stuff, Tyson.

Quick comment: To be fair, it's Paul that's picking and choosing which verses to quote. If he cared about the other stuff, he likely would have quoted it.