Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Child's Perspective

Recently, my husband and I took our two young grandsons for a day outing.  As we were returning home, Ricky mentioned that he planned to drop us off at the house and go up to his office at the church for a while.  Our four-year old grandson, Gideon, overheard the conversation and I thought he was going to beg to go to Preacher Man’s office too.  Instead following conversation occurred:

Gideon:  “Preacher Man, what are you going to do at your office?”

Preacher Man:  “Well, I need to do a little work like study my sermon for Sunday.”

Gideon:  “That’s not what you do in your office, silly Preacher Man?”

Me:  “Gid, what do you think Preacher Man does in his office?”

Gideon (exasperated):  “Vivi, you know Preacher Man just plays in his office!”

Me (after Ricky and I quite choking on laughter):  “What does he play with?”

Gideon: “Well, he takes the teddy bears (small souvenirs from England) off his shelf and plays with them.  Then, he takes the golf ball (yes, a golf ball painted with the world on it) and rolls it on the floor.  Then, he takes a nap on his couch.” 

By the time Gideon finished the description of my husband’s office playtime, Ricky and I were laughing so hard tears were rolling down our faces.

Isn’t interesting that a four-year old has this impression?  Hmm, this simple thinking of a child makes me truly wonder what adults believe ministers do on a daily basis.  Here is what I have discovered:

*Many people believe the staff only works at best on Sunday and Wednesday.  They rest of the week the sit around, drinking coffee and relaxing.  Isn’t that sad?

*People fail to see that ministers spend hours praying for direction.  They seek God for wisdom in the message they are to proclaim.

*They fail to realize that ministers spend hours on during the week “putting out fires” that are brewing.  You know these “fires.”  Someone send a nasty note that the music was too loud or the sanctuary was too cold.  Bro. So and So didn’t speak to me on Sunday and should be fired.  These little petty issues can disrupt unity and the work of the Lord if not quieted.

*People do not realize that ministers take time away from preparing for Sunday to visit the hospital, check-in on homebound and visit nursing homes.  They do it not out of obligation but out of compassion for the sick and lonely.

*Let’s not forget the hundreds of hours they spend listening/counseling those who are depressed, suicidal, brokenhearted, in martial conflict, experiencing financial ruin, etc.  they receive phone calls in the middle of the night, during family dinner time, and while on vacation. 

*People (even family members) are always surprised when we share that we never take all our vacation time because there are not enough days to schedule it.  Also, they are surprised that there have been times we have been called back from vacation and lost our money on our vacation for a funeral or some other crisis.  They have told us that they just would not do it.  No, you might not because you are not called out to be a minister and to “shepherd” a flock.

I believe as minister families we should help our congregations that sometimes ministry is not fun and games.  A minister and his wife (and children) work hard to fulfill the roll to which God has called them.  Following the Lord’s example, they sacrifice much in order to win people to salvation.  But even the Lord rested and I believe “played.”

So, feel free to give my husband and I a call anytime and let’s have a play date.  We have the golf balls and teddy bears in the office ready to go.  Afterwards, we can turn off the lights and curl up on the couch or in the comfy chairs for a nap. 

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