I belong to the world’s most dangerous profession- I am a clergy.
While there is very little physical danger in the life of clergy, but there is tremendous danger to their spirit. Every day they are expected to be certain about matters which no one really knows. Every day they are expected to display some pretended magical power through ritual or prayer. So long as clergy’s “truth” is what people want to hear, they are honored. As soon as they confront their group with an unpleasant reality, they often lose that trust. So long as they minister to the popular and famous, their status rises. As soon as they minister to those rejected by their group, they are usually rejected too.
While my profession is quite easy on the body, it the most dangerous path possible for my soul. Can I reject the temptation to give my group what they want instead of what they need? Can I empower others without becoming their shepherd thus relegating them to the role of sheep? Can I be an authentic human being and not pretend to be anything more?
Some say prostitution is the oldest profession, but it possible that long before anyone thought of selling their body for goods or status, someone else raised their arms to bless the hunt.
I agree, Jim. Being a member of the clergy is a very difficult profession. It’s especially difficult if clergy use their prophetic voice and tell people what they don’t want to hear. Today, I perceive too many clergy have sold their souls to power and status in the effort to make their flock comfortable and/or increase institutional membership. All this at a time when clergy, and the church, need to give more expression to the prophetic voice in America and throughout the world.
It’s also a difficult profession for those who do not learn how to set boundaries in their work too. Even though many workers today are on call 24/7, many jobs still have boundaries–8 to 5– that are set for their workers. Not so in the ministry. One can easily find oneself giving and giving to the needs of parishioners 24/7 only to experience “burn out,” or a marriage and family in disarray. To those clergy who take their ministry seriously and support the Jesus movement, it’s a very difficult profession. No doubt about it. To those who use this profession to enjoy the perks. or use it to ride on the gravy train, it’s probably not.
Walt, very well said.
What a beautiful piece in you and what you do.
I’m so glad you are clergy and provide such a great
example to all of us on being human as well.
Nettie, And I’m glad you will be bringing your gifts to the project.