The phone rang at home late one Monday afternoon. The voice on the line said, "Mike, did you know Grace is being transferred by ambulance to Greeley for heart bypass surgery?"
I didn't know.
Since I had to watch our two preschool boys while my wife earned our living, I couldn't get away immediately. When she finally arrived, I raced to the hospital, only to miss the ambulance by minutes-another frustration for a full-time pastor at part-time pay.
Grace's family later told me they hadn't wanted "to bother me." Bother me! A pastor's job means being there in a crisis. But they didn't call because they knew I was occupied watching my boys while my wife worked.
Many pastors don't have the luxury of a full-time salary from their church. An informal survey of our denomination's Rocky Mountain district revealed that fourteen of fifty-nine pastors work jobs in addition to their pastorate, five raise home mission support, and twelve, like myself, rely on income earned by their wives. Juggling job, family, ...1