The article I received today is entitled, "The Pastor's Joy + Church Members". The article is very brief. Go on over there, read it, then read my comments below.
What I love about the transcript most of all is the very tough question it asks - am I a joy to pastor? His joy is linked to you.
I know it's probably taboo for me to even blog about this, since I'm a pastor's wife. So I'm taking off my pw hat and commenting on the above transcript as a church member, reflecting back on the time when my family and I attended other churches where my husband wasn't the senior pastor.
I think many people, especially homeschoolers, can be difficult to pastor. We are so accustomed to being outside of the proverbial envelope that our hackles are easily raised by anyone in authority, even pastors. I think we're too touchy. We are defensive because we've had to be, getting questioned by family, friends and even strangers over the years regarding how we're wrecking our kids by not having them in "real school" and all that. This transfers easily to the church. We assume that our pastor will be hostile to homeschooling unless his family is homeschooling. We typically are the first to speak up when there's something we don't agree with in church. We send emails and monologue about how we think things oughtta be. Now before I get blasted, I'm certainly not saying all homeschooling families do this. But the vocal minority who do are very vocal, and do cause some trepidation among pastors. We fight for our rights, when we should be praying, gently encouraging, and doing our best to assume the best of our pastors / elders.
This isn't just a homeschooler issue. Perhaps you've been hurt before by a previous pastor. Maybe you're a PK (pastor's kid) and resent pastors for pressing people to serve. Maybe your current pastor doesn't gel with your personality, or likes things you don't, or hates things you love. Regardless, the question remains... are you a joy to pastor?
We could ask the same question of many relationships in which we find ourselves.
Are we a joy to our spouse?
Are we a joy to our children?
Are we a joy to our employer?
Are we a joy to our neighbors?
Pray about this. Ask God to show you ways in which you may be a joy to others, especially your pastor. Help his job to not be burdensome, but joyful. You may think you won't make a difference, but you will.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17[ESV]