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Monday, 9 May 2016

"The Harvest is Meagre But the Laborers, We Got'em Coming Outta Our EARS!"

"...so tell the master of the harvest to lay off some of the laborers for his harvest,” said Jesus never.

And yet, that actually seems to be the problem for some protestant sects.
Since leaving our former leadership roles in a local church more than a decade ago, my husband and I have talked to many, many people who were once either in college or seminary preparing to enter full-time vocational ministry and couldn’t find a job upon graduation, or those who had been in ministry and for a whole host of reasons were no longer in a leadership role. Some were no longer part of an institutional church in any way.
The lure of the promise to spiritually-minded emerging adults that they are destined to be world changers, given them at conferences, retreats and youth group meetings as they grew up, meshes with the ambition that characterizes this life stage. I’ve informally followed the trajectory of some of the amazing, committed students I knew from my days working at Trinity International University who were preparing for vocational ministry. A percentage did connect with paying ministry positions after graduation and are still employed by a church or parachurch ministry five or ten years later. Others found a ministry position, only to discover that the cold reality of harsh politics and/or dwindling church finances pushed them out of a job before the ink was fully dry on their degree. And too many faced a long hall full of closed doors. These people have moved into other lines of work, hampered by the challenging combination of a difficult economy and a degree that doesn’t always translate neatly to other fields.
Now, of course, there are plenty of once idealistic and now disillusioned Catholics, and there are those priests who, fairly or unfairly, have found their services were no longer required by the Church, as well, but on the whole, unless there is actually something wrong with you as a priest, the Church is going to make use of your calling.
(Not necessarily the best use, you understand... I'm talking to you, bishops and provincials who like to send scholars and dynamic leaders of an orthodox bent to out of the way nursing homes, etc....)

Anyway, I find the whole thing mystifying. Of course, I wasn't aware of that whole "Shepherding" thing and the abusive totalism in some Evangelical circles until recently, so it's not as if I keep abreast.

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