Thursday, May 28, 2009

Learning a hard lesson from an unbalanced life

This is written to Youth Ministers but it applies to all in Ministry, especially full timers.

by Dale Tadlock

Hello…my name is (your name here). I'm a youth pastor, and I'm unbalanced.

In ministry, unbalanced lives tend to be the norm more than the exception. It seems that ministry has a way of subtly drawing us into a life that, in the end, is more hurtful to us and to others than many of us would like to admit. Youth ministers might even be more susceptible to unbalanced lives than many other occupations in the church.

A few years ago I found myself trying to minister in an unbalanced church, led by unbalanced leaders who demanded daily I rearrange my life from balance to unbalance. I knew I was not happy. Constantly it seemed I was being asked to stretch my family and I further and further.

The whole article is here.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

...I once had a pastor who almost daily reminded me that ministry is "24/7 and that's just how ministry is." He repeated often, "That's what you signed up for when you became a minister. Your family just has to understand that." Sadly, I believed that for a while. I allowed him to convince me that my family must always sacrifice so the church can always win...

Interesting. My 1st priest and his wife definitely believed they and family came first ALWAYS: The second service was over, *wham-o*: Back home with the door firmly slammed shut and don't bother them! Don't e-mail, phone, nothing. I dunno, that sort of struck me as "We want to work 2 hours a week and otherwise it's ALL *OUR* TIME" (blatant selfishness). Their attitude was also that ANY TINY need was absolutely outrageous and they'd instantly guilt induce parishoners to back off. Considering I work an average of 50 hours a week (and care for a disabled spouse), I just couldn't sympathize all that much with their self-important and selfish behaviors!

A Baptist friend of mine would agree with the pastor who said it's 24/7; that is how the Baptist churches she's attended operate.

What is the fine balance? I don't know. I'm a layperson obviously.

But I know all too well the other side of the story: As a fairly new Christian (3 years) I apparently still cannot find the balance of what's fair and appropriate interaction/needing clergy versus trying to be as self-supportive as possible. Frankly I opt for the latter, just to be on the safe side. And I also often feel it's a no-win situation; I *sometimes* feel I'm being scrutinized if I do or don't turn to clergy. >:-\