Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So we will see how well this is received...

I something saw on a friend's blog, whose husband is a pastor. I won't link her and put her straight into the spotlight, but if she wants to call herself out on here, that would be fine! Anyway, back to the story. She is doing a Q&A post. I think these are really fun. One of her comments on there, left by a reader was this:

So you have commented prior to feeling like you are in a fish bowl being a ministers wife. How can we as lay people relieve some of the presures on our minister's family? What if anything would make it or would have made it easier in previous positions on you?

So here's my answer to a question no one asked me:

I think we, as lay people, can relieve pressure from the pastor, and his wife, by carrying our own weight as church family. When someone says, "Brother ____ is in the hospital, and Pastor____ hasn't even been to see him" I think the person on the receiving end of that statement should say, "Have YOU been to see him?" And if the original speaker can't say yes, they should probably HUSH. I think in order to have accountability within the church, we should all take part in reaching out. Not just the pastor, or his wife, but the entire church as a whole. I don't think this is summed up by visiting shut-ins either. It may mean doing stuff you don't even get credit for (**GASP!**), babysitting, cooking for someone, or just being an ear to listen. Sometimes the little stuff means the most. Sometimes all anyone wants to know is that you are praying for them, and it doesn't take a seminary degree to do that. God doesn't even care if you pray those looooooong beautiful prayers some people are capable of. You can just talk; like you talk to anyone else. I promise it works. I've seen it happen :)

(and not to imply that the person that wrote that on her blog doesn't "do" anything within her church. That is NOT the point of me saying this. I just wanted to add my two cents!)


Drea February 3, 2009 at 8:06:00 PM CST  

hehe i have to take some time to answer my questions :-) glad i only got like 3!

I think you brought something good up though... i agree with you.

so many weeks my husband has to get up at 4am to study before everyone else wakes up in the world.. because once they do he is forever busy ministering to others.. which is fine... but his job isnt to just do that.. it is to equip those in the church.. and by not having proper study time he cant do that well.

its a very hard balancing act.. and he struggles with it every single week!

ill write up my thoughts later.. hoping to not strike a nerve with anyone from our church who does read my blog :-)

karen February 3, 2009 at 9:28:00 PM CST  

It is important that we all use the gifts/talents that the Lord has given us. The Body of the church functions when we all do our part. No one should have to do all of it & that includes our pastor. Something like 10-20% of the people in any given church do 80% of the work. Praying for our pastor and his family is one of the biggest gifts we can give them.

dean February 4, 2009 at 12:46:00 AM CST  

where to begin...
i think we've gotten the roles within the church so completely screwed up, i don't think i can even say that it's backwards... just screwed up. but these aren't new complaints at all.

in Acts 6:1-7 this very scenario is played out in the early days of the Church. a complaint was made to the apostles that the Hebraic Jews were being given preferential treatment over the Grecian Jewish widows, concerning the daily distribution of food.

the apostles (think of them as the teaching pastors on the staff of a local church at this point in time) did not believe it right to step in and referee this fight, and i assume the request was for the 12 to actually administer the food pantry directly (they referred to it as "waiting on tables").

so they got together and decided the best way to make sure things were done equitably was to have the congregation select 7 men from among them that would basically look after the physical needs of the people. why did they decide to do it this way? because, in their own words... "it would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God..." the seven men selected functioned as the first deacons.

in many (NOT all, but many) churches today, take a good look at the roles of the deacons and the pastor, and you'll see that the deacons have become some sort of governing body. if your church refers to them as the "board of deacons," the way i see it, you have issues right off the bat. deacons aren't supposed to "govern" anything, other than their families and their own personal conduct. they are servants first and foremost. whenever i hear about requests or concerns having to be run by the "deacon board" or the "deacon board" making decisions or passing decrees, my skin starts to crawl.

now, look at the role of the pastor in today's church. he's pretty much expected to be at every bedside, attend to every personal and family crisis within the congregation, make personal visits to every member's house (and it better not be too awful long between visits either)... the list is endless, and varies from church body to church body.

however, as we see in Acts 6, it is the ministry of the word of God that is the paramount responsibility of the pastor, and the apostles in Acts 6 knew that spreading themselves too thin would cause their preaching ministry to suffer. and as drea pointed out, and according to Ephesians 4:12, the pastor is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. people who expect the pastor to be doing all the work need to realize that his job is to equip them to do it. so instead of griping about what the pastor is allegedly supposed to be doing but isn't, folks need to come to the understanding that they are supposed to be doing the work of the ministry, and start being receptive to the teaching and preaching that's going on in their church, so that they'll be equipped to do so.

dean February 4, 2009 at 12:47:00 AM CST  

wow, i had no idea when i hit "publish" that my comment was going to be longer than the post. sorry 'bout that...

Shelley February 4, 2009 at 12:19:00 PM CST  

no worries dean, you had good points :)

MInTheGap February 10, 2009 at 2:22:00 PM CST  

I once heard a speaker say that the correct answer if someone were to come into your church and ask "Who's the minister here" would for each member to say "I am."

The idea is that we are all called to make a difference in people's lives and minister one to another. It's not a job specification, it's part of who we are to be.

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