Monday, August 18, 2014

Ministry Monday - You Don't Want This Job

My pastor is going through a series of messages from the book of James. Recently he hit on chapter 3, which starts out this way;

Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.
Now, it's not like I ever get distracted during a sermon, but here's what went through my mind.

1. Is Jimmy basically saying "you don't want this job?"

Any pastor can tell you the practical application of this verse. Judged more strictly? You bet! Because anyone sitting in the pews knows what we could have been done better. It's like armchair quarterbacks. Every guy who watches quarterbacks can look at the screen and yell about the throw that should have been made. But we don't normally have 300-pound defenders aiming to knock us down.

I've never had a 300-pounder come at me after a sermon, but I've had my share of criticism come for something I said, or didn't say.

2. Is this going to make it more difficult to recruit volunteer teachers?

I imagined my next recruiting conversation going something like this:

Me: I'm looking for someone to teach the fourth grade class.
Them: Well, I'm trying to apply biblical truth to my life. And the pastor did just preach about not many presuming to be teachers.
Me: I'm so happy you heard that sermon and not the one I preached about your faith becoming action the week before.

But just so you don't think I didn't get anything out of the message that day.

3. There is truth that teachers carry an expected burden that comes with teaching.

God rightly expects more because teachers do have influence. There's really no getting around this fact. Teaching, or any kind of leadership, in the church is not the fairy-tale life. It is a privilege that couples as a burden. And it is not to be taken lightly.

That's why I would suggest being sure it's a calling. In the end, nothing else will help when the judgment comes.

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