I did not enter the ministry for money or power or respect. I did it for the constant criticism of everything I do and say.
There are several pastors in my family. I saw these older men in my family get pummeled by the ministry. I did not enter the ministry without an idea of what was going to occur. Growing up in that environment did cause me to hate church.
When I attended college I stopped going to church. I read my Bible and I attended a Christian college and got a degree in Biblical Studies, so it’s not like I became an atheist or anything. I just needed a break from church.
There was a point in my second year of college where I knew I was going to be a pastor. This greatly depressed me at first, but then it made sense. I know what the church is. I know what people do in churches. I have knowledge that could be put to good use.
I discussed this pastoral idea with one of the guys in my family who was a pastor. He said. “Don’t do it. It’ll break your heart.”
He was deeply saddened by my decision. But he also said, “But I understand. If you have to do it; you have to do it.”
Unfortunately, I did have to.
The stuff I saw happen to those guys began happening to me. The same stupid problems and struggles I watched them endure became mine to endure. I knew what to expect, and wow, did the church deliver on those expectations.
I’ve been criticized for the clothes I wear, the car I bought, the house and neighborhood I live in, where I send my kids to school, saying “shut up” in a sermon, arguing a call in church softball, not arguing a call in church softball, being too legalistic, not being legalistic enough, not knowing grace, making too much of grace, every doctrinal opinion I’ve ever expressed has rubbed someone the wrong way. I was even once criticized for being seen riding my bike.