That anger feels like some deep hurt, cloaked in protective sarcasm.
I think it also represents the feelings of more people than we may realize. Especially those who have left our churches.
What Changed about Pastoring? And Why?
My friend wisely responded to those comments this way:
“My late father, a pastor for 30 years & minister for 46 years, demonstrated all the attributes I described in my original post. And he certainly didn’t define who was going to lead a committee. He counseled people, prayed for them, laughed & cried with them, held them accountable. Set them straight when needed, hugged them when that was best, went to the hospital when they were sick or dying. Dedicated their babies. Buried them when they were old. Was both tough & tender. And prayed for wisdom & instruction from God to lead & speak…and cast vision.
“What’s wrong with that? Perhaps in his old school way my dad fit the role. Maybe the role in the last 20-30 years has changed so radically that a pastor doesn’t coach anyone anymore. Maybe. Quick 2 point sermon w/ motivational quotes, then shove them out the door for the 2nd service crowd. But that doesn’t negate the New Testament role of people who are called to be a pastor.”
God bless my friend’s dad and so many like him. Including my dad, who was that kind of hands-on shepherding pastor, too.
But what about that last paragraph? Has the pastoral role really changed from shepherd to CEO that dramatically in the last generation? And is that change what’s causing the cynicism in this conversation?
The conversation went on. In response to my friend’s testimony about his dad, someone wrote this:
“Been looking for a pastor and church that mirrors your post for over thirty years. Seems today life coaches and therapists who ask questions without offering much input are good paying professions, but they are by no means fully committed to the people who they mentor. They are paid by the hour. They are paid to listen. Old time Pastors served and tended to those in their congregations. It makes me sad to think about.”