Pastoring is who you are, not a job you can be fired from. One that got me thinking was this idea of firing men from a calling, especially the calling that the institutional church and our religious culture sees as the "highest calling" possible in the church. Again, I am not talking about men who disualify themselves based on their own behavior, I am talking about men who are dismissed over petty power struggles or failing to be as awesome as that famous preacher from the pulpit.
When a local church tosses an elder aside because the numbers aren't there or his sermons are boring or in a petty power struggle, what is that telling the guy who was fired?
- Looks like you aren't good enough.
- I guess you weren't called after all.
- Sorry about spending all of that time and money in seminary, maybe you can turn those homiletic and Greek language skills into a job in the secular private sector.
- Sure being a professional pastor is the "highest calling" in the church and you want to serve God but you don't have what it takes. Maybe you can be a deacon or perhaps an usher? God's highest calling is just not in the cards for you. In the immortal words of the prophet Judge Smails, "Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.".
Who needs the Good Shepherd when you can model your organization after The Donald?
How incredibly cruel is this system, to raise up to unattainable lofty heights the coveted position of "pastor" making it the gold standard for Christian ministry and then to fire men from this supposed calling for failing to meet standards that have no basis in Scripture? Many men are endlessly auditioning to either keep their job or prepare to move on to a new "calling" that coincidentally happens to pay more and provide a bigger office. How are they supposed to have time to be godly husbands and fathers (which is an actual qualification for elders), to get out and evangelize the lost or to serve the people of the church when they are constantly battling to keep their job?
What a weird, twisted, dysfunctional hamster wheel we have created. We lavish adoration on these men to almost cultic levels one day and then kick them (and their family) to the curb on a whim the next.
God's Kingdom is made for servants who are talent-less, feeble and weak. Why would we reject those from leading who exhibit the very qualities that the Kingdom is designed for?