Your Preacher/ Minister

I have been neglecting my blog.
Not intentionally.
It’s just life.

The real estate work Becki and I have embarked on is keeping us busy. And it is a true joy for us to work together as a team. I hope we are successful even as I hope, pray, and work toward success in a new ministry of writing and speaking.

I am writing. And studying. Wrestling with scripture. Trying to pray. And wondering.
Wondering if the God I knew before will be transformed into a God I understand better… Or rather, if I will be transformed into a man who enjoys a closer relationship than my past life entailed.

I hope so…
I desperately need it to be so.

Desperately Wanting to Believe Again isn’t about a disbelief of or a denial of God.
Not at all.

It is, however, about my personal journey.
About my emotional, mental, and spiritual healing.

It is about trying to have a new understanding of the nature of God.
How He acts, interacts, or not in the lives of men.

I have struggled with Deism a bit. It is easier for me to perceive a God who wound up the cosmos and let’ er rip (Sorry for the Beyblade terminology, I am the parent of a seven year old who is forever “letting it rip”). But while Deism might provide a particular framework to help understand why some bad things happen, it fails miserably in meeting our deepest need for a relationship with the one who made us!

And so I move forward, however slowly, seeking the answers that I need.
I am so very thankful you have embarked on this journey with me. I am grateful for the reads, follows, subscriptions, and sharing. Please continue to pass it on…

As I write what I hope will be published one day, I am enamored by the life of Jacob. In fact, up until about three or four weeks ago, the title was going to be something like A Jacob Life. But in a bit of a teaser for the discoveries I am working through and trying to process, I feel another title change coming.

Something a tad more provocative, but you’ll have to read it to ascertain it’s validity…
The Weakness Of God.

So be teased.

In the meantime, someone asked for me to expound a bit more about the insensitivity some congregations have toward their preachers.

Hmmm.
I am not sure if whole congregations should be categorized that way–although if influenced enough by a person in power, I suspect a congregation can have that particular feel or flavor.

So let me preface the following with this fact about myself: I am a prankster. A joker. A kidder. But just because you can kid somebody about something, doesn’t mean you should…

Being a person who has struggled off and on with weight issues most of my adult life, fat jokes and unasked for comments hurt. No matter who says them. Or How.

Am I too insensitive? Should I probably develop a thicker skin?
Not doubt but easier said than done.

Supposedly joking or not, I think it can be quite easy to develop a cultural contempt toward the work preachers do. Even while loving them.

I suspect you know the drill.
“You only work on Sunday.”
“How hard can it be?”
“We pay you way to much money.”
“It must be nice to get something new.”
“Preachers need to be kept poor and dependent.”
“Don’t you have some nicer looking suits?”
“Preacher’s kids are the worst kind.” (Only because we played with the elders and deacon’s kids, heathens all… Just kidding. Kind of)

I once had an elder who did despicable things. His attitude toward preachers? I quote, “preachers are a necessary evil.”

Looking back, I shudder to think how much I just laughed and went along with it.
But the truth is that kind of behavior toward the men and their families who are trying to serve God through the local church creates a toxic atmosphere–the kind that can become abusive. The kind that can drive preachers into looking for any other kind of work. Anything that will support their family and allow them a modicum of self-respect.

And ultimately, while I struggle to find a new ministry voice, I cannot fathom ever again subjecting my family to that…

Your experience may be different than mine. You may have had a preacher that did nothing but milk the system. Those kind exist, but they are not the norm.

So whether you agree or not, do yourself a favor… love your preacher. He works in sometimes difficult positions and harsh arenas. And he loves you with everything he has. Chances are, he deserves better than he gets.

I am thankful for those who minister to me…

Les Ferguson, Jr.