The worst thing that ever happened to the church was… professional clergy… career pastors.
Ok, that’s my opinion, but I’m stickin’ to it… even though I am one. I am a career pastor, but grudgingly. Before I was appointed as the new church starting pastor of Barnegat Anew, I actually told my supervisors that it would be better if I worked ‘bi-vocationally’ or, in other words, worked in the ‘real world’ part of the time and worked in the ‘church world’ part of the time.
This makes so much sense because the Christian faith is supposed to be lived out in the ‘real world’ and not just when one is about the business of the ‘church world’. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is the mission of the church to live out faith in the world… not behind stained-glass windows. Unfortunately, all to often church folk withdraw from the real world and spin for themselves a weird, disconnected, irrelevant church world that does no one any good. And leading the charge is, usually, a career pastor. Yuck.
I’ve often remarked that Paul was one of the greatest people of faith the world has ever known. He is responsible for writing a bulk of the New Testament Scriptures! And he was NOT a career pastor. Follow with me in Acts 18 (verses 1-3):
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he found a Jew named Aquila with his wife Priscilla. Paul went to see them, and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together—by trade they were tentmakers.
Paul slugged it out nine to five like the majority of people… he made tents by day, and on nights and weekends he preached and taught. But this is just what the world needed… someone who not only knew what it was like to work a ‘real job’, but also knew all kinds of folks working these real jobs and what they were thinking, feeling, and needing.
God works in everyone’s day to day life… wherever that life is lived. Let’s take the church back out into the world!