Dear Pastor Whoever….
The Lord told a friend to walk away from his church and all churchianity.But that wasn’t easy to do. He was a pastor, you see, an associate pastor,a salaried associate pastor. He had been depending on his salary tomaintain his life…. just like the store manager, the teacher and theathlete depend on theirs. So he disobeyed the Holy Spirit and remainedwhere he was not supposed to be. His salary kept him captive.
The salary is a factor in keeping the evangelical pastor a pastor. Whowants to change their profession after investing years of preparation?The salaried, no matter what their profession, have one thing in common:they all want a bigger salary. And when bigger comes, they want biggeryet. That’s just the nature of fallen man and religious redeemed man.The want for more drives the ambitious toward advancement. Theyouth pastor eyes the higher-paid assistant-pastor position. And afterthat advancement he covets the well-paid senior pastor’s job. Still notcontent, he fishes for a bigger church with a bigger salary.
That pastor friend was quite gifted, but he was not a pastor. MostPastor Whoevers are not pastors. Of all those listed in my memory,most had the gifting of evangelist or teacher or prophet (see Eph.4:11). Itis the salary and the pulpit that draw men to the role of pastor. Thesalary is an entrapment, drawing and keeping many where they don’tbelong. But not all…
My friend finally left organized religion after about two years. Jesuswatched over him. (“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”) He neverwent hungry and still preaches to many. And what about you, PastorWhoever? Had enough religion? Has the Holy Spirit been speaking?Is Jesus calling you out of institutionalism and into intimacy? Over theyears I have prayed, “Lord Jesus, I am where I am because I think thisis where You want me to be. If it’s not, please say so and I will moveon.” Do you love Him enough to sincerely pray that prayer?
Your brother-in-Christ, Larry Jones