Let me rant for a minute. I must express the frustrations that I feel as a seminary student. I will write these words freestyle, shooting from the hip, and bypassing all academic standards and expectations.
The requirements of a pastoral vocation, compared to any other profession, are ridiculous. I’m not talking about the biblical standards, though they are high, I’m talking about the unrealistic expectations of people.
Most professions can be separated from family life. As a pastor there is only a slight blurry line between the two. For my own humor, and perhaps yours as well, I will look at the pastoral expectations applied to other professions.
Imagine I am graduating dental school. Would my wife be stressed? Would she wonder if she will be accepted as a “Dentist’s Wife”? Upon interviewing for my first job, would the owners of the dental practice examine the teeth of my children? After getting the job, would patients stop by my home after dinner to see if I was flossing? Would they question the my integrity if I used a different brand of toothpaste than they?
Imagine a heart surgeon. Would the patient ask to meet the surgeon’s wife before surgery? Would the surgeon’s wife be bombarded with questions about cardiology? What about his kids? Has he taught them anything about the chambers of the heart? What are their cholesterol levels like? Don’t they have family heart studies together?
Here’s a good one. Imagine you need a plumber. He comes out to your house, examines the problem, and he sounds knowledgable. He starts to get his tools, but you stop him. “Sir, I would like to go to your house and check out the plumbing.” One little leaky faucet would disqualify him from working in the plumbing industry. How dare him tell you not to flush paper towels and hot wheels down the toilet! What gives him the right?
I could go on and on but I won’t. I started seminary, not for career purposes, but because I knew God was leading me. I chose to follow and I accept that my life will never be separated from my future career…not completely.
A dentist will occasional get a cavity. A doctor may have high blood pressure. I plumber might have his own busted pipe. I pray that my family will be protected from the microscope of ill-intentioned people.
If you seek to examine your pastor for imperfections you will find them. In doing so you are making him the focus, not God. We all need accountability in our lives and I am saying nothing contrary to that. (some people will examine this post for flaws and claim I am saying something I am not) I want God to be the focus. Examine his word then your own imperfections will be readily seen.