Your Preacher Sucks

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I do my best thinking on Sunday morning…

Probably because it is the least pressured day in my life right now. It wasn’t always that way. My schedule used to start earlier on Sunday than any other day of the week… such was life in the ministry… work really, really, really hard and hope that it pays off someday.

Back in the day, I would never admit to myself (or anyone else) that my secret hope was to be able to support a  family on what the ministry paid… no, I told myself that the payoff was “souls saved”, “hearts renewed”, “seeds planted”, “lives touched”, “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…”.

Not that all of that isn’t important – because it is.

Somebody has to do it. Somebody has to live in the ministry trenches. Somebody has to fall on the grenade, sacrifice their life and do it with a smile. For a preacher, that’s what it means to “take up your cross”.

Imagine where you would be today if somebody didn’t reach out and touch your life at a point when you really needed it… when you were hurt, sick, desperate, hopeless, struggling, depressed, hungry, confused, angry or bitter. Come on, where would you be today?

The main problem with reaching people who are in this position is that you have to keep a constant watch in the trenches. If you’re going to do it right, you have to live there. Unless you’re Jesus, you never know when somebody is going to come along who needs ministry.

Come to think of it, the Bible says that Jesus was counted among the transgressors. He could have used his super-human powers to drop in when needed, but he was content to hang out with sinners – prostitutes, drunks, liars, cheaters, and tax collectors. You know, the dregs of society. Jesus laid down the example of “ministry in the trenches”.

You know you’re in the trench when you smell like the trench!

I know, Jesus didn’t have a family to raise. No cell phone bills, no school clothes, no birthday or Christmas presents to buy, no mortgage, no car payment, no utility bills, no anniversary or Valentine’s gifts to buy (wow, talk about pressure). If Jesus ever got hungry, he could break out a few loaves and fishes.

Still, it begs the question, “If your preacher isn’t working the trenches, what is he doing?”

If your preacher needs a security guard to protect him from the trench touching him, he’s probably not working the trenches.

If your preacher’s BMW looks great parked in his special spot at church, but never visits the reserved clergy parking at the hospital, he’s probably not working the trenches.

If you get his voice mail or the church receptionist takes a message every time you call, or worse, if your preacher only calls back after it’s common knowledge that everything is okay, your preacher is not working the trenches.

Does Your Preacher Suck?

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3 thoughts on “Your Preacher Sucks

  1. Bryan

    Nice thoughts, my friend. I sense a bit of Amos the Prophet here. Sadly, I’ve known all too many pastors who spend their comfortable lives avoiding the trenches. I’m embarassed to say that I’ve probably been guilty of bypassing the trench a time or two. Thanks for the challenge.

  2. Mike Post author

    Thanks for your comment Bryan. The trench isn’t sexy, but it is necessary for those who carry the mantle of the high calling. Otherwise, I’m afraid, “you have your reward”.

  3. Dan Morales

    I’m blessed enough to be part of a “trench living” church. Promiseland in Austin, TX is one of those rare churches. Our pastor still gets his hands dirty every day after pastoring this church for 40 years, and starting 5 or more new churches in only 4 years. True, most people doing the youth ministry just don’t make much money. Of course, even a modest-income in America is real wealth compared to the incomes/lifestyle of the majority of people around the world.

    Take it from one who knows…leaving full-time ministry to live a high-paying American lifestyle will eventually lead you in a circle. In 15 to 20 years, after you’ve “been there”, “bought that”, “done that”, “seen that”, “have that”…you’ll realize that you were happier when you didn’t have so much.

    Dan Moraless last blog post..Software Development

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