Thursday, 9 August 2007

No Sacred-Secular Divide...Really? Let's Try Pastor Swap..Part 5


Someone told me some weeks ago that full-time workers and pastors are pretty free with nothing much to do. About the same time, someone also remarked that apart from my schedule that looks rather busy over the weekends with various preaching and teaching engagements, the rest of the week should be rather free for me. This person figured out that after all, I only have an average teaching load of 9 hours per week plus several post postgraduate supervision. As such, how busy can I get?

On the other hand, these people claim that those in the "secular" work are very stressed, busy, and do not have much free time like the full-time workers and pastors. After all, their weekends are spent in church and church related activities. They do not have an additional day off like the full-time workers who typically have the Mondays off.

In fact, one of the issues that surfaced in the recent Marketplace Ministry Roundtable discussion group in the NECF National Pastors-Leaders Consultation on Nation Building is the lack of understanding on the part of the clergy or pastors concerning the struggles of those in the marketplace. While to a certain extent, there may be some truth in this observation, a couple of delegates reminded the participants that this is not always the case. Many of the clergy/pastors have had many years of marketplace experience before entering "full time ministry." One even mentioned that while one of her pastors never had any marketplace experience, this pastor clearly understands the issues she faces in the marketplace and is prepared to walk alongside her.

One delegate in the rountable discussion then suggested perhaps clergy/pastors should take some time off to have some years of experience in the marketplace.

Hmmm...not a bad idea, I think, if there is anyone out there who is willing to employ pastors. Better still, perhaps we could do something like the ABC's reality show, Wife Swap. Let's call it Pastor Swap. I would be happy to return to the "secular" world, and perhaps someone would like to step into the shoes of a "full-time worker" and take over my place for a few weeks. Oh yes, don't forget, that would include swapping the salary as well!

Perhaps at the end of the "swap," we could have an honest exchange of views and a frank assessment of each other roles. It would be interesting to know what kind of experience and lessons we would have learned.

Any takers? Hmmm...no sacred-secular divide?

p.s. - For earlier posts on this subject, see here, here, here and here.


Credit: Cartoonchurch.com

14 comments:

Lee Chee Keat said...

oh wow, tat's good idea ..pastor swop!! Please include me and reserve one place for me in 5 years time. I have reread on the book on "the other 6 days" and realise how my church denomination system somehow indirectly caused the distinction of clergy and laity rather than leaders among the "laos" of people (people of God). No wonder when I felt a personal calling to enter full time, pastor was so supportive and the leaders kept quiet til I have to ask them whether I'm suitable or not for such position, instead of the other way round. Can't believe myself what I got myself into. Huge tasks ahead to change clergy-laity mentality in my denominational system. Do you experience that in PJEFC ???? Just wonder ????

rccnlj said...

Lol.. Love the chart thingo... Showed to my girl friends and they had a good laugh too...

Kar Yong said...

Dear Chee Keat,

I guess this kind of sacred-secular divide mentality is deeply entrenched in all demonimtions and churches, despite some paying lips service about marketplace ministy. Even those seen supporting marketplace ministry remain shallow in thier theological understanding and are more keen on promoting "success", "power" and "influence" instead of addressing the divide.

I could share some of my experience in my church with you the next time we meet!

ionStorm said...

I'll be the first in line for the swap... (especially the $$$ part! woohoo!) :P

rccnlj said...

hahahah- would love to be a fly in the wall when you talk to chee keat. I bet ionstorm would think so too! *grin

ionStorm said...

hmm? wassis fly in the wall thing? *splat*

no mo fly...*hehehe*

Kar Yong said...

Rccnlj and IonStorm

No need to be a fly in the room to eavesdrop lah...Just buy us teh tarik and nasi lemak and you can join in the conversation....

Kar Yong said...

ionstorm,

I thought you are supposed to live by faith?

Jon said...

Pastor swap - interesting. I wonder how many people in the "secular" world would want to do this, in particular, swapping salary, if they ever know the out-of-this-world salary the majority of the fulltime workers are getting nowadays.

Kar Yong said...

Jon,

I think if we are all serious, then don't think the issue of $$$ is of concern. Even if there would be a swap, what's wrong to take a pay cut for ONLY a few weeks? On the other hand, if $$$ is ever an issue for not participating in the swap (if the swap ever takes place), then there is no point continue talking about the sacred-secular divide.

Alex Tang said...

kar yong,

well said. eh, would you like to run my clinic tomorrow?

Kar Yong said...

Alex,

Looks like I will lay hands and pray for healing....

ionStorm said...

Hehe...live by faith doesn't mean I don't want $$$! At the moment I want more than the necessities. :P

rccnlj said...

Teh tarik and nasi lemak shouldn't be a problem. Btw, I noticed you seem to have a fondness for nasi lemak - despite your constancy in telling me to count the calories.. :P