U.S. News and World Report, quoted at Yahoo, has this to say about entering the clergy as a great job opportunity:
Want the satisfaction of doing good? You’ll routinely play a significant role in major life events such as birth, marriage, crisis, and death. Plus this career offers status, normally modest work hours, and often good salaries. You needn’t necessarily have unquestioned faith in God. I’ve spoken with a number of clergy who have deep questions about the nature and even existence of a Supreme Being.
The best thing about it is you don’t have to believe much of anything and get paid to be nice! I can’t believe they forget to mention pastors only work one day a week!
C.H. Spurgeon said, “If there’s anything else you can do, don’t preach.”
Pastoring is not just another “helping professions.” Though we deal with the intellectual elements of the faith, the thing we need most is a deep trust in God. When churches undermine what you do and work their best to run you off (no – this is not a description of my current church, but I have been there before and seen many other pastors in similar places), or, when you live in a culture that at best privatizes and at worst persecutes your living out your faith, you stop thinking about it as a “good job.”
Though it is a job (I don’t sit around and do nothing), it’s about a call from God, not about looking for good job opportunities.
I have a pastor friend who says, “I preach for free – they just pay me for the ‘paperwork’ part!”
I am also struggling with a “call”. I’m just not sure what it’s for at the moment.
I’ve been a member of the church for over 40 years (since I was 10 years old) and a lay speaker for more than 25 years, but since I don’t “play the game” well, I’m not called to speak in churches other than my own very often.
I have a desire to preach and teach, but I don’t want to pastor a church “all by my lonesome” either.
I’m like my friend – I’d preach for free, but you’d have to pay me (for sure) to do the paperwork! 🙂
You know, when I answered that “preacher wanted” ad, I never envisioned this as my working environment.