I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Full-time" Ministry

Do you ever wonder where the concept of full-time ministry came from? Sometimes I think it might be the devil. Shocking coming from a "full-time" minister? I'm sure. Honestly, at times, I feel more like the clergy guy that we typicaly belittle - you know "Reverend __________" at the denominational church down the street. I mean how did we get to a point where we needed to hire someone to visit people...go to hospitals & with folks...counsel church members...attend seminars and luncheons...chat with random members who show up at the church building...cast vision...be the point man...listen to complaints...develop strategies...organize events...and, of course, "preach" to Christians every Sunday? Whatever happened to every member ministry? Sure, I'm a part of this system and part of me says just work within it because it's basically all we got. The other part of me sees it as a big man-made club endeavor. You know - give the people the programs they want and keep them coming and giving, etc. Let me also note that I'm very familiar with the arguments that are employed to support our modern minister concept: 1. He an evangelist. 2. He's a paid elder. But the typical modern senior minister (not to mention the plethora of other "ministers") concept just isn't to be found in the Bible (IMHO). Now the Bible doesn't explicitly prohibit paid minsitry be it teaching or mowing the lawn or cleaning bathrooms. I guess I just wonder how productive it really is. We have our professionals and some are extremely bright and articulate. But, meanwhile back at the farm, there are a bunch of infantile sheep sitting on the bench listening to sermons. Might their dependency on the professionals stunt their growth? Think about it: if they "evangelize" at all it usually is just getting someone to talk to their minister. If they have a need the other members of the body are welcome to help, but there's just something special when the minister shows up. What would happen if every Christian was expected to do ministry, not just fill some riole in the preacher's program(s). It's funny how cults like the JW's exist fine without "paid staff." They seem to get everyone married & buried too. Of course they're bound for Hell (just in case you think I've totally lost it).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now you've gone from preaching to meddling. I hear where you are coming from though. WTBW has really been doing some talking lately.