Yesterday I wrote about how the church system is sort of everyone’s and no one’s fault at the same time. How, even though I have a lot of negative stuff to say about their role, I think that most pastors have good intentions and want to serve God and people. Also, and maybe most importantly, the congregation is just as much responsible for the pastor having too much power as the pastor himself is. The desire to pay someone else to do the hard work for us is the main reason that pastors are even allowed to have the opportunity to be in positions of power. You can largely blame that on our own laziness and apathy.
So no one and everyone is to blame. At the same time, everyone gets hurt by this, everyone is a victim so to speak. I write a lot about how messed up it is that pastors and church systems hurt the most vulnerable and needy people, the people that they should be helping. I write about the lack of discipleship and how the body isn’t able to minister to one another during gatherings because the pastor takes up all the spotlight. The congregation is seriously hurt by the pyramid leadership structure in the church system. It raises up the pastors and lowers the rest of the body, making them somehow second class and second rate. It makes the pastor the final say on what is true and false about what the congregation believes. It creates the danger of heresy and false teaching being believed. It gives the pastor power that can result in spiritual and emotional abuse of the people who come to him.
You know what else it does? It puts undue and insane amounts of pressure on the pastor. He is the leader. He is the one with the answers. He does the funerals and the weddings and keeps the books and has to justify the ministry work he does in light of his salary and benefits. Someone recently said that pastors have easy jobs. There was a great outcry in the comments of that post that stated that this was not even remotely true, that pastors’ jobs are very hard, and they get burnt out all the time. The things that the commenters were saying that pastors have to do were the things that all Christians should be doing: teaching, mentoring, discipling, counseling, and so on. There were a few other things that nobody should have to do, namely administrative work that is inherent in any system. The truth is that pastors would have a much easier time if it weren’t for the system in place. They do get burned out because they are trying in some twisted way to do everything that everyone should be doing for each other, and in so doing they really don’t serve anyone because nobody learns to serve one another.
So we see that congregations get hurt by the system and pastors get hurt by the system, but I’ve got to think that the party most hurt by the system would be Christ. His role is diminished, as there is a hierarchy of leadership, not the simple One Head structure that he designed. There is great hurt and offense committed in his name by the system, thus giving Him a bad reputation as a callous and rude bigot. His followers don’t grow the way he has designed for them to. So, pretty much the system completely contradicts everything the Church is supposed to be: a body that glorifies the leadership of Christ alone, helps one another grow in Christ by serving each other, and demonstrates the love of Christ to the world.
So again, I want to reiterate what I said yesterday, which is that this is not about hating pastors. This is about opposing a system that hurts all involved: the people, the pastors, and Christ.