OK, perhaps it's not new, but most of us haven't heard it put quite like that.
I have been in "the ministry" for quite some time now, but only a vocational pastor for a little over two and a half years.
The honeymoon's over.
While it's not a pleasant mind-picture, if I removed my shirt, you could see the big target painted right on my chest. If I turned around, you could see on on my back. I don't even want to talk about bending over....
As our church is taken off the bench and gets back in the game, so to speak, several different dynamic forces are in play.
- The group of people who were comfortable sitting on the bench prefer to remain on the bench and gripe at the quarterback for wanting to play the game.
- The group of people who weren't content to sit on the bench find that they either don't remember exactly how to play the game or find that their bodies ache from the stress of activity. They also gripe at the quarterback.
- The group of people who are new and don't know the rules gripe at the quarterback because the game doesn't feel anything like the different game they played on their other team and think we ought to be playing it differently.
- The group of people who played for a long time gripe at the quarterback because he's calling audibles instead of them. They think that since they've played the game for so long, that, even though they are linesmen, they should be making the calls.
- The group of people who want to play, but don't want to come to practice gripe at the quarterback because he won't throw the ball to them, despite the fact they haven't caught a ball in years and won't put their helmets on.
An old wise retired pastor told me yesterday that every church has the Devil's Emissary; someone seemingly appointed by the Devil, himself, to cause strife and division within the church. An unregenerate church member who is there to carry out the cause of Satan; to kill, steal, and destroy. Unfortunately, more often than not, it is the pastor who has the target on his back.
Good post Rick. 2009 was the end of my honeymoon after 3 pretty incredible years. The enemy's emissary got in there and did her tricks. But after some pruning it appears that we are on the rebound. It does get better. Oh btw: I think my target was between my eyes. :)
The part that really wasn't fun was when my family had targets on them as well.
Satan's a jerk.
The retired pastor of FBC Springfield, MO moved in next door to my Dad (in a retirement condo) and they began just droping in on each other. I was there one day when Brother Guy looked at me and said "Bob, don't you ever think that when you're my age the devil will leave you alone. I'm 88 and he's after me as much now as he ever was." Good advice on something I hadn't thought about.
I'm gonna call you, "Mr. Encouragement" :-)
Thanks for the comment, as always.
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