Sunday, August 08, 2010

Thieves in the temple

Fascinating op-ed in the New York Times (more on clergy burnout here), in central point of the article is that there's fundamental problem [for clergy] that no amount of rest and relaxation can help solve: congregational pressure to forsake one's highest calling. Church goers want pastors to soothe and entertain them rather than change them to live their confession.

Here this conclusion:
Ministry is a profession in which the greatest rewards include meaningfulness and integrity. When those fade under pressure from churchgoers who don't want to be challenged or edified, pastors become candidates for stress and depression. 

Clergy need parishioners who understand that the church exists, as it always has, to save souls by elevating people's values and desires. They need churchgoers to ask for personal challenges, in areas like daily devotions and outreach ministries.

[Read more on G. Jeffrey MacDonald's website here].

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