Earlier this month a friend told me some of the story of a pastor of a very large church. “What most people don’t realize,” my friend said, “is that this guy’s marriage is in shambles and all his children are alienated from him.”
But he’s got a LOT of people coming to church. The church he pastors is large and still growing. He leads a huge staff of capable people.
The church, by any measure the United Methodist Church would use, is both “vital” and “effective.”
Several clergy friends of mine at lesser churches than this one work untold hours without a day off. At least one has had church folk “threaten” to make him take a day off.
Yet there is so much work to be done!
I am beginning to believe that the primary reason the story of creation is in the scriptures is to tell us that God, the creator of the universe, rests. “Go thou and do likewise.”
Why do we refuse to take time? Do we really believe the Kingdom cannot carry on without us? Do we really think God wants us to sacrifice our families and marriages for “church work”?
I lost a marriage while serving at a small church, so I’m not casting stones here – but something has got to change. I wish we United Methodists could look to Wesley on this one, but I’m afraid his relationships were no model.