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Ed Jordan: Do You Want This Job?

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Re-posted: 10/9/17 at 9:25am. Column by Ed Jordan.

There is a very unique work position available in America. It consists of about 70 hours of work each week, requires a highly committed, reliable person who is willing to put the needs of others above himself or herself. Most of these positions require a person with at least a college degree, and in many cases, also a three-year Master’s degree. Some applicants also have a doctorate degree.

The salary for this position is normally modest when compared with comparable positions in corporations. The new employee can expect to receive a benefits package (usually including health insurance, retirement fund payments, and some business expenses) as well as a salary.

The employee must be on call 24/7/365 and arrange to meet the needs of the clients whenever possible, at whatever hour the need arises. Further, the applicant should note that this job requires the employee to deal well with a multitude of contradictory messages from varied “bosses,” since many clients believe themselves to be the employee’s boss.

The work roles to be fulfilled are many. He or she must be a chief executive officer in advising, organizing, managing and leading the organization. Teaching and training the organizations workers are also major roles.

The employee must produce at least three new, innovative, and motivational training events each week, every week, while holding this position, and these events must always be creative, of high quality, and make a hit every time.

Other roles include marriage and family counseling, grief counseling, being with clients at times of crisis or medical procedures, leading organizational vision development, conflict resolution, managing resources, cultivating new clients, providing public relations interaction with other organizations and entities, as well as with the general public.

This person is expected to attend most of the organization’s secondary organizational meetings, and to stay in regular contact with the majority of the organization’s current clients. This person should maintain good relations with people of all ages, and also to live an exemplarily lifestyle in their family, workplace, and in the community.

In order to carry out these various roles in a helpful and relevant way, the applicant must be very well read, aware of information in a broad variety of fields, stay up to date on culture and organizational effectiveness, as well as being able to analyze culture and organizations in order to help the organization continually be effective in an rapidly changing culture.

This leader must be a continuous learner, a self-starter, and be able to persevere to lead people to go in new directions that many may not wish to go or to make changes most don’t want to make, while offending no one.

Guess what? This is a generic job description of a typical pastor’s work or service. Frankly, it is one of the most difficult jobs on earth, and very few people would seek out such a position if they knew the emotional, creative, and intellectual drain such an overwhelming role puts upon one’s frail humanity.

This is why it is so crucial that the people who fulfill such roles be called by God, and equipped by God to carry out such awesome responsibilities.

Since pastors are called to do God’s will, by serving in a such a consuming and difficult position, the people who receive the benefits of such a pastor’s services are to treat their pastors with double value and honor.

1 Timothy 5:17–18 (NLT) “Elders (pastors) who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”

I am writing about this subject because October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and pastors, rightfully, find this subject awkward to address. I am so grateful that God has planted me in a church where the people treat me lovingly and with honor.

But not every pastor is so privileged, so I am writing to address this subject. God gave you a pastor to serve in your church, and those who benefit from their services are instructed to take good care of the pastors.

Why not determine some concrete ways that you as an individual, and you as members of a church, can do some mighty nice things to show your appreciation in October (and indeed throughout the year), and to bless your pastor and his or her family? They sacrifice all year long to serve God and bless you.

Make sure you take good care of the needs of your pastors so that they can give their full attention and energy to serving God and you!

ed-jordan2This column originally posted on October 8, 2015. Award-winning columnist Dr. Ed Jordan is pastor of Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church, Gwynn, VA. You may also read his past columns.

He can be reached at szent.edward@gmail.com.

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