Monday, August 09, 2010

On the Clergy: Deserving of protection or an outmoded relic?

...clergy have seen their job descriptions rewritten. They’re no longer expected to offer moral counsel in pastoral care sessions or to deliver sermons that make the comfortable uneasy. Church leaders who continue such ministerial traditions pay dearly. A few years ago, thousands of parishioners quit Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Ariz., when their respective preachers refused to bless the congregations’ preferred political agendas and consumerist lifestyles.

I have faced similar pressures myself. In the early 2000s, the advisory committee of my small congregation in Massachusetts told me to keep my sermons to 10 minutes, tell funny stories and leave people feeling great about themselves. The unspoken message in such instructions is clear: give us the comforting, amusing fare we want or we’ll get our spiritual leadership from someone else.

~Alex ~~~~~ Notes From An Alien -- My Current Project

Alex notes this article in the NYT citing burnout as an issue among Christian clergy. It's hard to be pastor. The clergy today are something of an endangered species deserving of protection, the book at the top appears to be touting. Of course, Baha'u'llah made it clear what the clergy should do in this day. -gw

    Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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