Random and abrupt thoughts of mine were these on this day.
I often wonder, "How well connected pastors really are to real people in real places living real lives. To me, it seems so easy to spend a lot of time rehearsing for another television production. It seems so easy to bury oneself in ones office writing sermons. It seems so easy attending meetings, planning lectures, meeting people for lunch, preparing for and doing broadcasts, planning building programs, and whatever.
How well do they KNOW the plights of people in remote places where survival is a constant struggle? Who, WHO do they really know that actually lives in such places...... in the Philippines, in Malaysia, in Indonesia, in Vietnam, in Africa, in South America? Who do they really know in the USA? (I know! Set up a task force. Send a missionary. Pass the buck. That's not my calling. etc).
It seems that churches are built to shun the poor and struggling and exploit those who are successful enough that they don't have to work on Sunday (or on any other church meeting day). It seems that pastors (I don't know how many or how few) live and work in bubbles that insulate them from real worlds of real people doing real struggles. Seems to me it's all about comfort zones.
Are churches existing simply to support clergy? Are they any more than welfare vehicles for clergy? While everyone else is hammering nails, waiting on tables, dealing with irritated customers, enduring the outdoor elements, fighting traffic, and STILL making time to visit people in hospitals, care for sick people... What are pastors doing? (Attending church is not an EXTRA activity for them like it is for everyone else.).
I think it ought to be a requirement that anyone wanting to fill a clergy role must spend a year or so in a place on earth where modern conveniences are few (if any), where people bathe in buckets of water or in rivers or lakes, where people carry buckets of water from the water source to their homes, where people live in houses made of simple bamboo poles or plain cinder blocks, where entire families sleep together in one room, where laundry is done by hand and hung up to dry....
I think clergy prospects should work jobs (at minimum wage) on Sunday and Wednesday for at least a year before ever being allowed to head a church...
I think no church should be allowed to exist that cannot show, explicitly, how it intends to help create jobs and help people who needs jobs get jobs.