The more we know about ourselves, the less we make it about ourselves.*
Professional ministry may no longer be the respected vocation it once was. Between catastrophic disappointment in our clergy and the general end of Christendom, we pastors and priests no longer wield the immediate respect we once enjoyed.
And yet entitlement is alive and well among me and my clergy colleagues. I’m trying to get my head around this.
We are called to Servant Leadership. We teach Jesus’ message that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. And yet I observe a healthy (or not-so-healthy) dose of entitlement in professional ministry.
Can someone wiser than I speak to this?
I occasionally observe new pastors who are bright and amazing, but they expect the salary, benefits and responsibilities of seasoned pastors. I occasionally observe experienced pastors who are wise and gifted, but they expect people to defer to them because of their tenure. Is there a loving way to say, “You are clearly called to this ministry, but it’s not about you”?
All of us make things about us from time to time. I need to pray often: “forgive me for making this about me” because I am insecure enough to want that – sometimes unconsciously. But what if we work with colleagues who seem to be unaware that they are making everything about them?
It’s not a good way to live. It’s definitely not a good way to be a pastor. Any wisdom out there about this?
*This quote comes from a wise colleague.
Image of the crown of the Queens of Bavaria.