Monday, September 15, 2008

However, joining the institution still frightens me

Having said what I did in the post below, I am still concerned about becoming a candidate for the Sydney Diocese. A few of those reasons are;

1) Spending 4 years full time at college.
This seems a long time, and I fear that I will become too comfortable in Christian community and care more about reading books than interacting with people, especially non-Christians. I will care more about talking the doctrine rather than living and promoting the glorious doctrines of the Christian faith. I can actually see it happening already. I know I need to be patient, but I'm not sure if I see the 4 years as incredibly necessary

2) 3 years as an assistant
It's not that I don't want to be an assistant. I think I am actually more of a no. 2 guy. My gift is not as 'king' as Driscoll put it (I'm not an organiser or planner, basically). My fear is that I will be 2ic to someone I don't respect and will not learn anything positive from, only how not to do things. I want to sit under someone who I know I truly respect and can be committed to their leadership, who is innovative and actively seeking to grow the church and get into the community.

3) I will become lazy
Man, the coin for a Sydney candidate is sweet. It's like an 80, 000 a year package . I don't want to become the minister who only preaches on Sundays, does weddings and funerals, and makes sure everyone in his congregation is happy and enjoys a comfy lifestyle with no sense of urgency or hardship for the gospel.

I know all these things don't happen because you join an institution. I'm sure wherever you are you could have a bad attitude, or not have a good leader. It will most often come down to your character. But it seems to me you will not always be challenged, and the temptation will be great.

These are just some fears I have, they are not set in concrete conclusions.


Dannii said...
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Dannii said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dannii said...

You should give away half of that $80k package. It might prevent laziness... might not. But at least you'll be giving it away.

Is laziness really a likely outcome though? So many pastors burn out...

geoffc said...

Tks Dannii

The package involves your house. Your rent is paid or you live in a rectory. I imagine the guy who's living in the rectory in Vaucluse, Kirribilli or Double Bay has a package worth much more. The guy in Druitt or Tregear's is much less. Make sense?
But the Sydney Diocese makes sure you are looked after, and for me a weakness could be; "hmmm, better join Anglican, you get a house and car budget"

Yeah a lot of pastors are burnt out, and this is also a concern. I've heard it said that pastoring a church is the second most likely proffesion to cause depression...after being a dentist.

however, a lot of pastors have congregations who aren't concerned about evangelism and are just pew warmers, and come for the community.

But having said that, I know as pastor it would be your job to have God change the culture through you, and God can defiantely do that!

Dannii said...

Hmm I suppose I don't really have any idea how rent is in Sydney, and with Sarah and Noah you do have to be a little less irrational...

shanerogerson said...

hey Jeff
the two dangers for pastors are laziness or workaholism. How much you pay them is somewhat irrelevant.

and technically its not a package or a wage but a living.
ie used as it is meant to be a stipend gives a family of 5 or 6 enough to live on, run a car and have somewhere appropriate for runnning a ministry out of.

if you use it as its structured, - and you don't send your wife off to earn a second living for your second house that you can't live in - then its not that big a living.
remember that a first year teacher gets around $55 k. i am not sure what the average oz income is but I doubt it would spend anywhere near the average pastors household does on hospitality or travel assoc with work.

all I am saying is a living of $49k + $8k car and house seesm like a lot - but not really comparitive to earnings and capital growth of the average Australian household.

the other thing is that having these provision means there is less likelihood of gearing ministry to where financial return is. and unlike other ministries that are spending hours a week in fundraising, it frees you up to get on wiht the business.

and for all the percieved benefits, most churches I know get their pound of flesh, not a lazy blaggard.

if you are still worried, come to us where I will work you hard and can guarantee that we can't afford to pay you double honour.

Nik Hamilton said...

I love that our church gives generously to us. It means that we can be generous too. Not just in hospitality, but to alleviating poverty and sending financial resources to places that are doing a great job in sending truth out into the world (like desiring God).
I think it's totally about being good stewards of what you have been given. If you don't need it, give it away. Paul was content with little and much, which means that at points in his Christian walk, he had "much".
=) You've got a good heart Geoff, a heart that will become more compassionate towards the cause of Christ with each day learning doctrine at college or living life reading his word at home.
Do you really think you'll become a materialist? Seriously?
What's really behind your post? I think there's more to it than what's been written... (just hunching)
Maybe, sure, Christian community is alluring, but I swear to you, that no matter how hard you beg, Moore won't want to see you back for a 5th year or 6th year "just because you like the community".
And I'm thinking that the ppl posted in Vaucluse may have a nice property to live in, but i think they'll earn the view. It's just as tough preaching God's confronting gospel to rich people as it is to poor people.