Since I was a kid, my only experience with the pastor of my church was on Sunday. I watched him get up front and preach, or do announcements and then shake my hand on my way out the door. This is after all the pastor’s main duty right? To organize the Sunday service, preach, and get me ready for my upcoming week in the world.
My experience with this changed a little bit moving into youth groups because my youth pastors were a little more relational. I hung out with them during the week and actually overtime became friends with my pastors (eventually planted a church with one of them.) Still a lot of their time and manpower went into organizing the youth events. They certainly did spend time with us during the week, and this gave me insight into a different type of pastor.
I am fascinated to know how much self esteem is wrapped up into a service for a pastor. I struggle with this myself and I know the guys I’m working with do to. Depending on the numbers, comments after, how much money we take in to help pay our rent and how we felt after the Sunday service totally sets the mood for the rest of the week. We invite people to Sundays, we talk about what we do Sundays, the space is set up for what we do on Sundays, we spend our week preparing for Sundays and all our good ideas are for Sundays. What ends up happening is that we pay these people we call pastors to run an event for us once a week. If they do a good job we leave satisfied, if they do a bad job we leave disappointed. Pastors have become nothing more than our Sunday production coordinators.
What if the role was a little different? What if we had pastors who worried about Wednesday as much as Sunday because their role can be fulfilled just as easily that day as any other (and I don’t mean preparing your message for Sunday)? What if pastors weren’t also our teachers? What would they do with their time? What if pastors weren’t the creative arts director? How could they use that creative energy throughout the week? What would that look like? What would that leave us with? What if we didn’t demand that our pastors spent 9-5 in an office (I have friends who were in this position)? Should a pastor be paid by the church? Can anyone be a pastor? If so, then what do we call the person that is paid? What are they being paid for? I got a lot of stuff to work through with this one.