We’ve probably all met spoilt children. How does a spoilt child act? They are demanding selfish, insisting on their rights and their own way and show little regard for the feelings of others. But what about ‘God’s spoilt children’ as a friend of mine calls them. ‘God’s spoilt children’ who are they?
So often I hear from pastors and others in full time ministry about the expectations laid upon them by others. Sadly, I don’t just mean those outside the church who come knocking at the door at all times of the day and night, bringing their needs. Of more concern are the expectations and demands laid on full time Christian workers by the very people who should be encouraging, supporting and trying to ease their load rather than add to their burdens.
Sometimes it can stem from ignorance of exactly what is involved in running a parish or church, and preparing sermons, not to mention all the other activities that need doing. Perhaps those who have never been in a full time ministry position whether it is children’s ministry or another full time ministry have no idea how much work is involved in preparing lessons and writing sermons.
Having myself, in the past, been involved the position of preparing a 40 minute talk each week on a bible passage as well as spending time with the Lord, helping with the children’s program and preparing bible study questions for the group, I know how the hours can quickly evaporate. And that was just for one talk each week.
Sometimes your pastor might have more than one in a week, especially when you add in weddings, funerals, baptisms and a range of other talks that need to be done. And this doesn’t account for time spent in pastoral care.
I’ve heard of the minister’s wife, criticized because she worked outside the church and was therefore not available to lead bible studies. Or the pastor’s wife, who was a writer since she believed God had called her to that ministry. But the church had decided she should be involved in children’s ministry which she felt she had no gift for. Or the church that thinks once people commit to a ministry like Sunday school they are in it forever rather than a limited time.
And it doesn’t just apply to the congregations. What about the minister who thought his children’s worker only needed half an hour to prepare a lesson for children ranging in age from 3-12, and that included the various activities that need to be organized suitable for each age group.
But before we sit back and criticize the sin of those congregations or minister, we need to take an honest look at ourselves.
Are we one of those who goes to church each week but always expects someone else to teach Sunday school, to serve morning tea and wash up, to make new people feel welcome while we talk to those we call friends.
Do we take for granted the work that our pastor, music team and others put in each week? And never think to tell them what a good job they are doing?
In other words are we, people who take and take but don’t give back. Are we one of ‘God’s spoilt children?’
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