The Exodus Stories

Leave a commentPosted on December 31, 2014
The Exodus Stories
Note: This is in no way in opposition to previous posts regarding the church and its relationship to our pastors. In fact, it should be read in conjunction with those posts. I believe there is a space in which we honor and respect our pastors, without making them the end all authority on every church matter. Each church, and really each church member has to discover that space on their own.***

I just read another article by a former pastor.

These articles are often thought-provoking and informative. But more than that, I find them troubling. Why are so many stepping away from the church? Sure, there are a few who were caught in some scandal or another, and who were involuntarily removed from their positions. But for the most part, these are just regular guys, who felt it was best to step away from the congregations God called them to serve.

In the last year or so I’ve seen a couple of young pastors (45 and under,) in the first two years of their tenure, have to step away from the pulpit for weeks at a time. Why? Because they were tired. I’ve heard tales of midnight phone calls because a parishioner had an idea for ministry, or pastor’s breaking up squabbles between ministry leaders, or my personal favorite, the pastor and his wife planning their own appreciation banquet!

These pastors, many of whom are bi-vocational, and have families of their own, should not be expected to manage every aspect of ministry within a church. The gift of the gospel is both a burden and a blessing. While it is certainly a joy to be used by God, it is a heavy thing to be tasked with delivering the word of God, especially to those of us, who like Israel, are “stiff-necked” . We should not be adding to that burden. Their job is to preach, and teach and prepare us for ministry. It is not their job to perform every ministry function there is.

I’m reminded of two stories of Moses in the book of Exodus. In one story, Jethro advises Moses to delegate authority to “captains”, or ministry leaders, so as not to wear both himself and the people out. The second story is when the Amelakites make war against the Israelites. The Israelites win battles as long as Moses held his hands up. As Moses got weary of holding up the rod of the Lord, Aaron and Hur come alongside him to help carry the burden.

Dear friends. Our congregations are in desperate need of Aarons and Hurs, and leaders who are willing to do the hard work of ministry. Without them, the pastor and the church suffer.

So hold up. Step up. Lift up. Or the fall could be very great.

Mama Radford

One thought on “The Exodus Stories

  1. LOVE! One thing I love about how I was raised in the Christian faith is that I was taught to read the Word for myself and pray for discernment of the Word from God. Despite the layers of religon that came along with my teachings, that core concept is why I am firmly rooted in my faith. It is my responsibility to study to show myself approved. (2 Timothy 2:15). Also, all Christians are called to be disciples. Ours is not a faith suited to backbenchers. We are not supposed to hand the responsibility of our salvation over to another be it Pastor, Parent or Parisioner. Being a Christian means working at it daily. Being a Christian means staying in tune with the Source so that in your ministry you remain at peace, in balance, to effectively preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised and preach the acceptable year of The Lord (Luke 4:18-19). This “christian fanaticism” that appears rampant in today’s society is in direct contradiction to our teachings and produces unhealthy “Christians” who are susceptible to all kinds of things that can complicate living lives that please God. We are supposed to love one another, care for one another, not overburden one another to see how much they can take before they break. We are accountable to one another because that’s how it is in a family. Churches aren’t businesses, they are families and should be treated as such. That doesn’t mean we don’t handle our business or that we do it slopily, but there is a difference between a church and a corporation.

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