And Another Thing…

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Quick Hits VII: The Quickening

“Now Amos Moses was a Cajun, he lived down yonder in the swamp, he hunted alligator for a livin’, he used to hit ’em on the head with a stump”

Country musician, singer, and sometime actor Jerry Reed passed away from emphysema on Monday. Known as much for his gregarious personality, humorous songs, and moderate acting ability as his innovative guitar picking, he was always a guy who could bring a smile to your face. He was 71. Rest in peace, Mr. Reed.

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Simple and to the point:

[H/T: Film Chat]

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The world has lost it’s coolest voice, ever.

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Patrick Mead takes churches of Christ to task for our often disgusting treatment of our ministers. My favorite quote:

“…it is good to finally have the chance to speak up for the ministers of small churches; those who bear the greatest burden in our fellowship and who are never on the lecture circuit, never invited to our large gatherings, and whose names never grace the latest bestseller. Without them, our religious tribe would collapse. In the same way junior enlisted men are the backbone of the military, these men and their families are the backbone of our movement. They should be treated honorably and sacrificially.”

I don’t always agree with him, but Mead is on the money here. There are thousands of good people laboring in obscurity as they minister to the sick, broken, and needy in our churches. How dare anyone look down their noses at them for not having the cult of personality earmarks that we associate with pastoral effectiveness: lectureship invitations, articles, etc. I’ll take a humble man who is responsible with the Word any day over some self-promoting circuit jockey. I wonder if those who bemoan the preacher shortage in our fellowship ever make the connection?

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Mystery Quote:

“The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.”

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9 Responses

  1. David B says:

    In 13 years of ministry I can honestly say that I have never felt mis-treated by a church, at least not openly. Compared to many members who feel like a number in their regular jobs, I am much, much more honored and respected by my ’employer’ than the average American worker.

    The small church in which I currently minister is a genuine blessing. As far as money is concerned, over half of our church budget goes to my salary; to me the problem is not that churches do not pay enough, but that our mis-understanding in Churches of Christ about ‘local church autonomy’ makes it where we do not intelligently distribute our resources.

    I do believe that there are a number of ministers out there who are mis-treated, but some of my ministerial brethren are, well, whiners. I believe that some get into it for the glory, for the position, and for the status, and realized too late that, as the book says, ‘they smell like sheep’. Ministry ain’t easy, and no amount of ministerial classroom education can adequately prepare you for the daily challenges and annoyances of church work, especially work in a small church. But I love what I do somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% of the time, which is probably better than most any other ‘profession’ can say. I could always use more cash, but for now I can’t complain.

  2. odgie says:

    Dave – I am delighted to hear that you have had and continue to have a better experience. I know that some preachers are whiners, and may even have a bit of an entitlement complex. Some of the problem may be that in the ministry departments of our fellowship colleges they are being trained by guys who all came from big churches, and they expect to have similar experiences.

    Hmm, this makes me wonder if any of our colleges have ever deliberately hired a preacher from a small church.

  3. Kelly says:

    This is probably wrong because it seems too simple, but that quote sounds an awful lot like “The Tick,” so that’s my guess.

  4. preacherman says:

    I think the passing of Terry Reed is so sad.
    Thank you for mentioning it.
    I also really enjoyed the quote! 🙂

  5. Kathi says:

    I got to supply preach at a small, country church this summer and as we were driving home, I told Steve that I think every seminarian should HAVE to supply preach at a small, rural church at least once just to see what it is like. It’s another world. And even though I’ve encountered small churches before (suburban), small RURAL churches are another ball of wax altogether.

    Not a lot of glory – just real life.

  6. Jr says:

    Man, that article and following comments were gut-wrenching. The advice given to me by a mentor of mine seems all the more prevalent.
    (Question 11 at http://jrsheets.blogspot.com/2008/08/interview-with-mentor.html)

    And as to the quote: Dean Vernon Wormer in “Animal House”

  7. odgie says:

    Kelly – a good guess, but JR (#6) nailed it.

    Preach – Always a pleasure

    Kathi – a good point, and a suggestion that I think would serve all ministers well

    JR – I was very impressed with Tune’s thoughts. I hope that he shares them with a lot of budding preachers.

  8. odgie says:

    Oh, and good call on the mystery quote, JR.

  9. David B says:

    Good point about the large church mentality at our schools…it may be that way in the Bible belt, but here on the edge and outside of it most churches are like ours…less than a hundred and struggling.

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