After celebrating a bit of thanksgiving with some listener letters, Wayne and Brad look some news stories talking about the demands and dysfunctions of being a pastor in the 21st century. Have we created a position ripe for disaster, both for the person who tries to fill that role and the congregation that wants him to? Then they look at a humorous and incisive article called, "The Flabby Body of Christ" that was written by a psychotherapist about the problems we encounter today as so many people view at the gatherings of believers as theater instead of community.
i don’t appreciate the title here “pastor XXX” and am immediately put off looking at your site (my 1st time).i am British and this word is offensive to me-maybe its not offensive where you are sitting but filthy language is something i’ve had to repent of and am shocked to find it on a Christian website. (Col 3:8).
…as a pastor who just stepped off the cliff to follow the Father out of the box…I love the story about the pastor who resigned because of idolatry…what an awesome place of honesty…….and then…they need to hire another pastor….hope something has been learned in that congregation (and in my own) before they just “fill the hole” left by the previous pastor…or perhaps it’s the need to replace the “big head” that sits on the flabby body…..
Mulligan makes a very good point guys. Perhaps the site could carry the following warning, – “CAUTION, religious people may be offended by some (or all) of the content on this site. Proceed with caution. For everybody else, relax and pull up a chair.”
Just a thought……….
Brad and I debated whether to use that word in the title or not and obviously Brad won. That word has become quite common in American usage just to mean ‘crud’. And let’s not forget Paul used a much more crass expression in Philippians when he talked about how he counted his flesh (Phil 3:7-8). The Greek word there would not be correctly translated rubbish or garbage. It’s much stronger than that.
I liked this podcast quite a bit. My aunt who is a pastor listened to it as well, she had an interesting point on the church being the ‘other woman.’ She isn’t a depressed pastors wife… her revelation is that she’s excited about the Church as much as her husband is and thinks other pastors wives could be excited too if they caught the same love for the bride. Their congregeatin is a little different though… relationships are their main focus for the most part.
In regards to Mulligan… I lived in the UK for 3 years… as a Canadian I quickly learned how rude the word crap is over there. But honestly, in Canada and the US all it means is garbage… or rubbish where you come from.
I do not think reading, or writing “crap” excludes me from heaven, but I can see others point of view. I guess it comes down to 1 Cor 3:2.
Beyond the title, the podcast really has many good points. I’m not sure I entirely agree about your discussion on Narcissism, but it’s wonderful food for thought!
Keep walking in the Light!
Based on the title, I thought you guys were going to talk about a specific Pastor, not just the “stuff” associated with the pastorate. Was glad to discover that wasn’t a surname. The stories you shared are heart-warming and heart-wrenching, from the pastor who repented of idolatry and resigned, to the one who took his own life. My wife cried when she heard your description of the church as “the other woman”. That has, sadly, been all-to-often true in our marrage and ministry.
We really appreciate your humor and insight; and the compassion you have for those of us who are still “in the system”. After years of trying to reform the institution, I’ve come to share your assessment that the system is unbiblical and broken. What we have created is not what Jesus had in mind when He breathed life into the Church. Thanks for pointing us back to the heart of Father and to His love for His Son’s Bride.
Jim from Virginia
I find “crap” very endearing…In fact, I think it might just be way too nice, It screams FREEDOM from the past bondage I have experienced in the corporate pastoral prison. I’ve been on the mega-church staff before…mafia might be a better word for the upper management…talk about MAJOR sense of ENTITLEMENT and Narcissism. Wow! But not for the pawns. You are “pruned” if you do “pruned” if you don’t…once they right you off as “not one of them.”
I agree with what you call a healthy sense of narcissism. How would be we able to love others as ourselves if we did not have a healthy sense of self-love. I’m not sure I always have a total grasp on that , but that is part of the God Journey.
I will say, I am so happy to be in a place where I am free to run and to seek God’s direction for the ministry around me rather than have it prescribed to me like a mindless pawn. Somebody pinch me. I am in a small “church” again where life is sane…not perfect but sane. My family is engaged with others in the “church” and with so much more of me as dad and husband. Health is returning. Thank you Father! And thanks, Wayne, for pointing out Philippians 3:7-8. I will keep that in mind.
I really enjoyed the podcast. It was a great reminder to me that it is “the system stupid”!! So often I can get to being very upset with the narcisistic disordered leader and forget they often are as much a victim of the system. I would really like to hear more about what Brad started to say at the end about trying to lead people to the “more” but they are just so ok with the system. I know you don’t miss what you never had but I knew almost as long as I have been a christian that something wasn’t right with what we were doing. Its like looking at this terrible co-dependent relationship shouting…..stop the madness! And no hears you! I wanted to also comment on the article and the idea mentioned about when a man is leading there is always fear. I remember speaking to several pastor leaders in my city (when I ran in those circles) about a pastor that was just not treating people right, esp staff and how many people where leaving there devastated. Their reply was we have to work with him in the city so there is nothing we can do about it. They too were operating in fear of how confrontation of this one would hurt their work………The maddness has to stop!!
Thanks for the Flabby Body of Christ article. I reprinted it on my blog and received the usual litany of defensive comments with just a couple surprises that encouraged me.
It’s nice to know I’m not alone on the journey. It’s a lonely slog for me because my husband was radically changed about seven months ago, and I would desperately love to be where he is (immersed in a relationship with God), but God hasn’t revealed himself to me in that way.
I have to keep reminding myself that there’s no 3-step program to lead to a greater relationship, but instead talking with God is probably just a great place to start.
As an elementary school educator I found this podcast very encouraging. I had to laugh out loud at the treadmill and exercise bike analogies as they ring true for my work. I’ve tried many approaches and formulas to make things ‘work’ but none have delivered on that promise. I pedal harder only to find myself back in the same spot. I tried to lighten the load of those troublesome baggage pieces, namely the heart, conviction, joy, and purpose only to find myself still in the same place with some new baggage onboard (bitterness, anger, resentment, frustration). The energy has been waning and the reality growing that I can’t do this by my power or ability.
In the last week I decided to open up for the return of the heart, conviction, joy and purpose. God will need to lead this dance and perseverance regardless of what will come will be necessary.
Standardized tests are the bubonic plague of education, they are the ‘Stone Soup’ and ‘Emperor’s Clothing’ of academic measurement. Somehow the Joy of the Lord must be my strength, Faith, Hope and Love must be welcomed back in.
The Body of Christ is made up of Living Stones. These stones are everywhere. People will always be more than numbers and success more than a formula. Perhaps that is what is so amazing about God’s creation. There are formulas and systems everywhere and yet they are not the ‘key’ to life. When we ignore the components of life that are not measureable (soul, spirit, love etc) we end up with a corpse. Even horror movies must acknowledge the connection of life and corpse as they must have the corpse move in order to create their horror. What’s the big deal with a corpse that doesn’t move? Nothing.
I love the title “Pastor Crap,” as one that started listening to your broadcast recently and loved it, I went into your archives, and if it wasn’t for that title, the controversial and totally honest ring to it, I wouldn’t have listened to (In my opinion) one of the best podcast on the list! For me it was water to a thirsty, parched throat! I started living outside the box a few months now and your podcast have been the greatest source of encouragement thus far.
I was the worship leader at the institution I was part off, and I can relate to the truth this podcast is addressing. I pray for my former pastor because I can see his heart and how he has become a victim of the institution he is serving! The institution I was part off is still reeling from my decision to walk away, but it was a no brainer the moment I realised I wasn’t doing what I was doing “For God” but for all the wrong reasons, ranging from Fear, guilt, to what people thought of me.
I wouldn’t trade the freedom I now have in my walk with the Father for anything in the whole wide world. I have replaced the feeling of being constantly tired, and burn out ever threatening with the feeling of total freedom from the shackles of Religion. Thank you Brad & Wayne and thank God for your ministry.
I don’t carr what you called this podcast!!! It is most amazing….I am looking at the date of it wondering…how did you guys know this back in 2009???? Life circumstances – crisis as a result of living in the “machine” blasted my prior perception of “church” and what I had so willingly given my entire life to. You both are an amazing encouragement to me & I can’t wait to sit down and listen to this again with my husband. And yes, you sound JUST like “Click & Clack,” give them a listen sometime!!
I’m also British but do not find the title offensive, in fact I loved it!. Maybe it’s a generational thing with some. When I saw the title on google I had to read it. I also love the insight and simplicity on here that stirs my inner being and want so much to learn more of this real life with Him.