We kind of just do it for fun

As the Ref Pack told Slate Magazine this week, we "kind of do the podcast for fun." That's even the case now, despite doing it under the distinctly unfunny iron fist of the Mad Woman in the Attic.  As one might say: yes, we are a movement; yes, we are a revival (what does that even mean?); yes, we have produced great leaders; yes, we have millions of hits on our website but never regard that as a sign of God's favour or even mention it -- except for fundraising purposes; yes, we constantly worry that the world will end if we don't offer the final word on any given topic; and yes, you should be very, very grateful for us.  Yes, yes, yes -- we are all those things.   But above all, yes indeed, above it all, we are a podcast.

This week, however, we do try to do something vaguely useful by tackling the subject of the abuse of pastors by congregations.

We do need to make certain qualifications.  Whining pastors are a reality.  Yet pastors need to remember that many -- maybe most -- of them do not have to face the routine hostility to their faith which many of their congregants experience on a daily basis.  They do not have to stand firm when asked to perform immoral medical procedures.  They do not have to listen to co-workers describing their immoral antics on the shopfloor.  Pastors may not often be well-paid but there are advantages to the calling which are not enjoyed by others.  Remembering that once in a while would be good for those pastors who always talk about how hard the calling is and who parade their suffering in public.  Pastors in the USA today are generally not martyrs and do have it a whole lot better than their counterparts almost anywhere else in the world.

Having said that, as Todd points out, congregations can be abusive.  Some churches treat the pastor like an employee, others as a social worker.  He is neither.  He is called by the congregation to preach the Word, to baptise, to adminsiter the Lord's Supper, and, along with his fellow elders, to shepherd the people.  That is an honorable calling and worthy of love and respect.

In the meantime, though, remember this.   MoS: we're not just a movement, we're a podcast.