Sometimes I feel inadequate to minister to young professionals (who are increasingly becoming a larger part of our community). Having only a small taste of cubicle life, who am I to understand the daily grind of deadlines for reports, sales calls, long meetings, the “evil” boss, and general listlessness that seems to plague corporate America?
Plan A: Should I exit full-time ministry and work for at least a year in a cube?
For me, the answer would be “no” because my passions are not in business; further, I need all the experience I can get in full-on pastoral ministry–I’m a slow learner!
- Learn from those Christians who are in corporate America.
- Read Dilbert; watch The Office [NB: I tried the latter last fall.] 😉
- Engage with ministries like Priority Associates which have some nice training resources.
- Remind myself that even working in a church has many of the same attributes of corporate America:
- deadlines for reports => teaching on Fridays; preaching on Sundays
- sales calls => pastoral care through visitations and follow-up
- long meetings => long meetings
- the “evil” boss => [thankfully I haven’t had this one, but other pastors surely have]
- general listlessness => [yes, can strike pastors as well]
Those who have not worked in a church often whimsically think that working in a church is like craft and snack time at VBS. But fallen humans work in the church and, sadly, politics are often a reality.
- Rest in remembering that I can’t literally be in the shoes of every person in the congregation (what about the blue collar worker, the full-time mom, the physician, the lawyer, etc.?), but that God gives others in the Body to help me (see above) and that the Gospel meets the real needs of all.
In short, I’m convinced that people don’t want a pastor who can simply relate to them, they want a pastor who can point to a God who can relate to them. That is, if Joe Pastor spends so much time on trying to be “relevant” to his young professionals that he forsakes his call as a pastor to set forth the glories of the Gospel, he will not only fail in his calling as a pastor, but he will also fail his people by trying to substitute himself–rather than God–as the healing balm.