I QUIT! I quit … viewing the pastorate as a career.

I quit … viewing my community as a market of potential consumers of religious wares

I quit … seeing the congregation as a job site

I quit … looking to others for validation of the ministry that God has given me

I quit … gauging success by worldly standards

I quit … validating the worldly idea that ministers should be distant from their parishoners

I quit … succumbing to the temptation of the promise of better things

I quit … viewing my flock as anything other than what they are: my community, my family

Too many small congregations have been exposed to decades and decades of religious abuse by pastors and, indeed a culture, that views them only as stepping stones to something “really important” like the mission field or denominational leadership.  I say, “I quit!”  I quit looking at the people of God that way.  Instead, I choose to see ministry for what it is, a calling of God to serve and sacrifice in a particular context.  I would to God that men would arrive at their congregation and commit to spend the rest of their lives in service to that flock.  I wish men would stop looking for the next big thing, the next place to go, the next career opportunity.  I quit being part of the problem.  The parish church is the church of the Bible.