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.