Win/Win: Is it possible?
Imagine a system where we dared trust God enough to put the needs of others above our own. Imagine a church where we dared rejoice when others did well rather than choose bitterness and envy.
My dad told me that my being a pastor was payback for all the years he sat on church boards vocally opposing every benefit his pastor might receive. He fought against them having too much vacation, repairs to a parsonage or increases to match cost of living. “I was the guy who made their lives hell and now my son is a pastor.”
Dad worked hard to make sure his pastors didn’t receive more vacation than he did. He opposed training and conferences because his job didn’t allow him additional training. Whatever he was stuck with he made sure his pastor could share his misery.
Ministry is odd. We juggle between idealism and providing for our families. We teach that God will supply all our needs while we pray that our cars will last another thousand miles and school loan payments are deferred again. (I remember those days very well. They were much different than my today.)
I cannot count all the guys I know who could not afford to stay in ministry. The young ministry couples I have counselled over the years who were at each other’s throats over financial stresses is disheartening. I bet most of those situations were the result of influential people in congregations who were more concerned with limiting than they were with blessing. Their mindset is, “It’s not fair for you to have something I don’t have.”
During my time in ministry I have heard, “that’s not how it works in the corporporate world” too many times. I always am tempted to ask which corporate model the limiter is referring to. Is it Hewlett Packard, a company known for generously taking care of employees or is it AIG? Is it a corporation that dumps faithful employees just a year short of retirement benefits? No. I think it usually refers to the limiter’s own corporate experience.
Do we really want to follow the model of corporate America? Wouldn’t we instead want to represent Jesus well since we are His church?
I believe there should be no better place to work than the church of Jesus Christ. If you’re hating working for your church it could be time to ask who the CEO is. If you don’t see much evidence of the love and care of Christ, He’s probably not the CEO.
I was called to work for Jesus, not a corporation.