Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Prophet and Politician

It's been hitting me recently that pastors have a lot more in common with politicians than we might realize.
- Only pastors and elected officials are commonly required to live in a house specifically provided for those fulfilling their role. Ie. White house, governor's mansion, parsonage. Who else has a designated house? (besides monarchs, but they get to stay there for life.)
- Only pastors and elected officials have traditionally involved automatic roles for the spouse. First lady is a job you get automatically by your husband getting elected, and traditionally pastor's wife has been the same sort of thing.
- Both are elected. Many other leaders are not - like ceo's (at least i don't think they are).

So then it hit me, why are we surprised when pastors start caving to pressure from church politics? it's the way the job is set up - we are in many senses politicians. Churches and pastors alike generally think of the pastoral role as more prophetic - we look to Moses and Jesus as our role models. But neither of them were elected or faced re-election or being voted out. Of course we're having problems if we expect ourselves to somehow be prophets and politicians at the same time. We're going to fail at one or the other because they are incompatible.

3 comments:

Zac said...

Very good points! I think that most pastors will cave, and become the politician because the fear of loosing the home that is given. They want to be the prophet but the fear of loosing the job and the home where his (her) family lives, is just too much.

I know this because my dad went through this very same problem. He chose the politican for many years and hated himself for it, until he resigned. Now he is happier than I have ever seen him.

Joy said...

Yeah, i didn't mean it to sound like i thought all pastors will cave, because i know a lot who don't, but it's almost impossible to do both jobs well.

Zac said...

I agree...I know what you are saying. It is impossible to do both well.