Good Day everyone! I hope this finds you having a wonderful day off for most. I’ll be headed into work shortly. I wanted to share with you some thoughts about an article that I had to read for my Ministry in a New Century course at Anderson University. This article came from the Fund for Theological Education, . http://theoledu.3cdn.net/bcaf89720711e01d42_70m6vj3id.pdf It is entitled “Faithful to the Call : Reflections on Excellences in Ministry.” This article has some very strong points but it also fails to mention several concerns as well. It places an emphasize on having four qualities such as “Life of mind, Life of Justice, Life of Church and Life of Spirit.”(p.13) I agree with these but I don’t agree with the fact that the church places such heavy emphasize on for example “Life of Justice” but fails to place a higher emphasize on family life. When I refer to “we” I am referring to the “the church as a whole”. When we place expectations on our pastors to have these four qualities but fail to protect and encourage a day of Sabbath and protect family time we fail. If a pastor puts all their time, energy and blood sweat and tears into the call of ministry but fails at his home life haven’t we missed the mark? We have become a society that expects the pastor to be available at our disposal and not have regards to the fact that the pastor has not had a day off in weeks or has not had an uninterrupted dinner. Am I saying that the church is at fault 100%, NO but we do play a large part in this issue. There needs to be boundaries put in place to protect the pastoral family unit and the church needs to step up and say, we can stand in the gap for the next 24 hours so you can take a time of rest. Yes, I understand that the death of a congregational member or major trauma trumps the sacred time with family but does a pastor really need to be at every church meeting? Something to think about. How as a church are we doing to encourage and help protect the pastors family time weather he is single or married, it’s our job to encourage family time.
**Disclaimer, in no way shape or form am I an expert on this subject on a scholarly level but I have lived in the parsonage for 11 years and have seen first hand the demands placed on pastoral families, not only my own but others. As I am in school for ministry myself this is a topic of concern as I read these articles.***