Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another good article - ministry and addictive behavior

This one is a near-must read if you're a type-a minister like me. Sally Morgenthaler writes from personal experience how destructive cycles in ministry can fuel disastrous addictive behavior. She says that a sense of entitlement can be at the heart of making excuses for sinful behavior, and that that sense of entitlement is often the result of an unwritten contract between pastor and church: I please you, you pay me well and honor me and show me gratitude. The problem is that this system is based on making people happy. Besides its deep theological flaws that short-circuit the divine blessing in ministry, it also doesn't work. People tend to be less happy about their pastors than they should be, and pastors tend to be less happy with the way thier people treat them than they should be. So pastor is either witheld honor and gratitude, or he/she believes that it is withheld, and then he/she gets resentful that the church isn't treating him/her fairly, and then he/she starts making excuses for private sins because he/she believes that he/she deserves it.

On a side note, I still can't wait for a good gender-neutral pronoun - maybe we should just keep using "they" until all the grammar books give up and go along with it.

But really read the article - it's here.

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