I’m out of town this whole week, so I’ve scheduled a few posts. If this is your first time here when I’m on vacation I polish off the posts stalled in draft-land and offer them as b-sides. I will likely not be able to reply to comments til the end of the month.
A little while into my job search now, I’ve begun to consider just about everything possible I could do for income. Included in that brainstorming has been applying to work for a church.
It didn’t take me long to realize just how horrible I’d be at church work – I’d dismantle all the programs, try to ask questions and spark discussion during the Sunday sermon, and I’d loan out questionable books to parishioners. Not to mention when this blog would be discovered by the members I’d be ousted for sure.
I read a few blogs by pastors and other church workers, and when I do get this feeling that they’re restrained. They can’t really write everything they want to – if they say any number of things or align themselves with any number of causes that may differ from their flock they’ll be in hot water. They have to watch what they say. It’s almost as if they’re allowed to write Our Daily Bread style stuff but aren’t entitled to any opinions on any current issues (because that’s possible!) – for fear of choosing incorrectly.
This got me thinking about the dynamic between the pastor and the people. The pastor is of course there to serve the people, but does that mean he/she can only say people-pleasing things? That’s certainly not a healthy church. The people need the pastor to lead – meaning the people need the pastor to pull them forward into uncomfortable places. They need him to be the vision, to see when it’s foggy.
So which is it? Does the pastor cater to the people or does he constantly push them out into rush hour traffic?
What I’m finding more and more is that this isn’t an answer a) or answer b) . The answer almost always lies in between, somewhere foggy enough that both answers blur into one.
In college I kept coming back to this idea that everything is a balance and my youth leader said “be careful – I know plenty of people who say that’s where the devil wants you – not going for either hot or cold but luke warm.” It’s that mentality of there is no balanced Christian life – you just charge full steam ahead and love extremely. We are supposed to be over the top.
So what do you think – do you think our faith is more of a balance or a foray into the extreme?