We are living in a time of change…
A time where the church becomes secularized, where the Kingdom will be unionized and the Christians de-sacramentized. With astonishment I heard about an article in Dagen, the Christian daily here in Sweden where a special group is targeting the Free Churches to get involved in a union to ensure collective agreements and security.
In my wildest dreams I can fantasize about these kinds of things, by the way; my wife is part of a union as a medical secretary and she has some experience with these matters. It helps her in her wage negotiations as others already have agreed upon the yearly raise and advantages.
Like I said in my wildest dream I can fantasize… let me try:
- I dream of a union which gives us pastors off on Christmas, Easter, and all the other main holidays.
- Of course I have my 40 hour weeks and do not need to answer the phone during inconvenient hours.
- I dream of being paid my overtime, which by the time that I write this accounts to 4 – 5 years… (Man, I am in paradise!:))
- Good work should be rewarded with stock options … Oh yes, I really like to get ownership of the church. My focus would be on trying to get my hands on the sound system (that’s about the best we have in church and I really need to get another one at home).
- To create the optimal work environment I would like the complainers to be removed from the church, the people with too heavy counseling issues to be replaced and I would prefer cheer girls to perform their dances and movements after every well addressed thought and Biblical exposure when I preach.
- Oh God, I dream of the day when people are not allowed to comment on the services and sermons anymore!
This other almost rebellious dream of me is that of going on strike… Oh, yes! Me and my colleagues gather outside our church with our huge signs stating that “Time has come to take over”, “We don’t take it anymore!” “No praise but Raise!” “New mics or strikes!”
This will help the congregation to have compassion on us pastors, it would help them realize that just because we are pastors, doesn’t mean we have taken the vow of poverty.
As I look at the multi-cultural crowd of church members and church goers who are about to enter the building as we block their way …. I suddenly awake and realize it is all a nightmare!
Thank God it is not true… It was just a nightmare. A deep sense of relieve fills my being, peace returns and I can breath again. Until I see the heading of the newspaper screaming into my face “Free churches need a good collective agreement”.
- If Christ was still in His grave (and by the way He isn’t) He would roll over!
- If Paul would be among us he would dedicate at least another couple of letters addressing the heresy of position, possession and power in contrast to the attitude who was in Christ Jesus… Phil. 2: 5-7 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,…”
As you might understand I am a little bit sarcastic, maybe even on the edge of things. But, honestly speaking… Where is the sense of calling? (ett kall), that wonderful old-fashioned word which explains that there is something beyond the work, the hardships, the frustration and sometimes pain… there is the privilege of a calling which one experiences from God. And honestly speaking, I think we should refrain from trying to unionize the calling from God. Don’t touch it, it is not a job!
Call me naive, call me ignorant. I have decided a long time ago to not fight for my so called “rights” … I think that the essence of faith and ministry is to learn to give up ones rights, entrusting oneself in the hands of Him who is Righteous and Just!
That’s the Way I see it!
John van Dinther