The Globe and Mail has announced the results of the General Social Survey by the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago (September 2, 2011 Christian Science Monitor) on the ten happiest jobs and the winner is . . . wait for it . . . the clergy. The main indicators of job satisfaction according to the survey are social interaction and helping people and that is why clergy score the highest on the happiness scale.
21st Century Strategies paints a different kind of picture. While there is no doubt that the ministry can lead to a high level of fulfilment the statistics of clergy leaving ministry and the state of the church in general seem to suggest anything other than "happiness" or "fulfilment". This has led 21st Century Strategies to conclude that "the only way clergy satisfaction can be that high is if most clergy are counterfeit – that is they aren’t called to be pastors. If they were, their heart would be broken over the condition of the church". Other studies over the course of this last decade have indicated that the clergy are in a state of crisis, leading some to suggest that clergy are angry, frustrated, and depressed.
So which is it? Are we happy, fulfilled, and satisfied or are we frustrated and depressed? My friend www.DashHouse.com says that, "Pastoring is one of the toughest jobs out there, but it's also one of the happiest at the very same time". Maybe we are destined for the emotional roller coaster between fulfilment and frustration. Two things I know to be true. First, I am guessing they didn't do the survey on job satisfaction on a Monday morning. Second, pastor make sure you take care of yourself. The highs and lows of the emotional schizophrenia will wear you out. Take care of yourself.
Today's (September 13, 2011) Toronto Star indicates that George W. Bush will be making a promotional appearance for Tyndale University. This will no doubt be controversial. When asked by the Toronto Star about this Gary Nelson, President of Tyndale indicated that even among this Christian university he anticipates some level of disagreement over the former President's speaking on behalf of Christian higher education.
Ironically the article goes on to indicate that according to Nelson, Tyndale should "not be confused with conservative evangelical universities in the U.S. including Liberty University, founded by the late Jerry Falwell, or Regent University, launched by Pat Robertson the T.V. preacher and former Republican presidential candidate. . . . Tyndale represents a more thinking kind of evangelicalism".
I am going to give Gary Nelson the benefit of the doubt and conclude that this is not what he said, exactly. First of all, if this is a quote then he would be indicating that Liberty and Regent are institutions that do not reflect a thinking kind of evangelicalism. I certainly hope he did not imply such a generalization. Second of all, if he did utter these words then having former President George W. Bush speak at Tyndale will hardly make anyone think that Tyndale is not a conservative evangelical university and for some that it is an institution that represents a more thinking kind of evangelicalism.
It should be interesting to see if this generates the kind of publicity that Tyndale wants. Perhaps any kind of news (good or bad) is good news. We will have to wait and see.
The first wave of baby boomers are retiring and I wonder, "what in the world are they going to do?" Some are going to hit their sailboats and come up for air when they are good and ready. Others are going to need to keep on working because the economy has tanked and so have their RSP contributions and pensions. Others, perhaps most of them, are going to find that playing golf is not what it is cut out to be (I am trying not to daydream at this point).
With ample energy and good health many 60 and 70 somethings will be looking for something meaningful to do. Some will be looking for money but most to be constructive.
I wonder, will the Christian Boomers look to the church to provide this sense of meaning? If not, why not?
I wonder, is the church ready to receive them? Will our younger leaders be ready for them?
On August 22 I posted "Hiring an Associate (Executive) Pastor". Today I read a great article by Ryan Townsend Why Your Second Hire Might Be An Administrative Pastor . Taking direction from Tony Payne's The Trellis and The Vine he suggests that real growth that churches should pursue is the growth of the vine (Christians); growing the trellises (administrative structures) is important insofar as it helps the vine to grow.
He says, "vine growth in a church becomes easier and more efficient with good 'trellises' – strategy, structures, processes, tools, and communication. Such trellises both steward our resources and relationships and promote supernatural, gospel growth." That is a great summary as to the why we are pursuing the hire of an Associate (Executive) Pastor at OBC. Read the article it is succinct and helpful.