Would you hire him?
Wow, is it ever hot! Rain is on the horizon, but this time of year all we ever get is the smell of it in the air. One can only pray and wait. I’m kind of being lazy this week, a semi stay-cation. Here’s a story, something to think about, because we don’t know the hearts of men like the Lord. Got to go -- Bella wants me to go outside and play with her.
[Ephesians 6:7] “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men ...” Would your church hire this guy? Re: Letter of application for employment.
Dear Sirs: I understand that a position as pastor is open in your church and I would like to apply for it. I am almost 60 years of age and have been in the ministry for about 25 years. I’ve never lasted very long in any one place, but once I did stay in one church three years. People say my health is not good, but I ignore these kinds of irritants and press on anyway, believing my ill health is actually an advantage to keep my big ego in check. I’m a strong leader and have usually wound up in charge of everything I’ve ever done.
I’ll be frank with you, I’m not always popular, and have been expelled from a number of cities where I ministered. But in every case it was because of a trouble-making opposition I seem to get everywhere I go. I just preach the truth and some people get angry when they hear it. You may hear about the time when I confronted the highest leader in my denomination to his face -- in front of an entire church body. But he was clearly in the wrong and he backed down. It is that simple: I was right, and he was wrong. I spoke the truth, as I always do, and the truth won the day.
I have seldom been able to work full time in the ministry, so I have usually had employment outside of my ministry to help support me. In some churches I received no salary at all, and occasionally my job even provided for paying the staff too, though that was not the average situation. Don’t get the idea, though, that I worked only with large churches. Most of the churches I’ve worked with were small, and all of them were able to meet in a house or small hall.
I am a good preacher and well-trained in the Word of God. I often preach longer than people think I should, sometimes for several hours, and I have even preached all night at times. In case you follow up on my references, you may discover some questionable events. So I need to give my side on these stories.
Yes, it is true that I am guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. But that was before I was baptized into Christ for the remission of my sins. And it is true that because of several problems since becoming a Christian, I have been put in jail. But most of these were short stays, though I have just been released from a four-year stint -- two years in Caesarea and the last two in Rome. But I’ve never given up on my faith, even as a convict. Yes, I have been accused as a trouble-maker, but these are false accusations; the real trouble-makers are the Jews who keep following me everywhere I go stirring up trouble against me.
Spiritually I have had an incredible journey. I have always worked in a staff ministry, and usually expect a staff as normal. If your church can’t pay them, I will figure out a way to have them work directly for me. My staff is generally loyal to me; in fact I demand it. I have been used to working with a large staff, but I admit that I’ve had a lot of staff turnover -- few of them stay very long.
As to my wife, I do not give any details other than I will be accompanied by her wherever I go. A physician, a faithful layman who has been with me for quite a while, will also be moving with me to wherever I go next. Sincerely, Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ. (Hired or Not?)
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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