Some time ago, I had an interesting conversation with a pastor.
He found out that I was going to be appointed elsewhere to start my probationary membership.
I told him that, though it may not matter, I asked the DS and the Cabinet not to place me in a Korean church.
He went on saying that we second generation Koreans are idealizing the “white” churches way too much. There may be some truth to that. Generally, it seems like the American congregation tends to show more grace toward their pastor than the Korean congregations.
He went on saying that every church has its problems. (Of course. Church is filled with and led by sinners)
And he started to talk about all the things that he does in the church: the visitations, the meetings, the counseling, and so forth. He then said, “Do you think that we pastors enjoy being pastors? It’s hard to enjoy being a pastor at a Korean church. No one enjoys it, but things must get done, and we must do it.”
I don’t know why I thought of that today, but I was very troubled by it.
What did he mean that he didn’t enjoy being a pastor?
Being the Koreans that we are, me being young, him being old(er), there was no way for me to politely suggest and alternative approach.
Thinking of that comment made me real sad, because I’m sure that he is not the only Korean pastor who feels that way.
If you don’t enjoy it, how can you convey the love and joy of serving God, or the enjoyment of coming to church?
Am I too young and naive because I still enjoy being a pastor?
The comment reminded me of Reverend Lovejoy from the Simpsons, who has no love or joy for his ministry.
The problem? I think the pastor is just burned out, and the pride and ego of us Koreans would never allow us to admit it.
I’m sure his kids miss spending time with them. My prayer is that his kids will not grow to resent the church for taking their father away from them. (Many Korean PKs resent the church because of this. I am curious to know if American PKs do the same.)
I don’t know why so many pastors refuse to take vacations. The church will still be standing when you return. Members will still attend the church after your vacations. Your lay leaders will not preach heretical things and have you find them worshiping a golden calf upon your return.
I do get annoyed with the little things at church. The paperwork. Many meetings. Some of the youth here and there.
But I still love what I do. And more importantly, I’m desperately in love with God and want to serve Him with all that I am, despite who I am.
I hope that I never come to a point where I’m so jaded that I resent my duties.
I hope that I never attempt to become a superpastor and try to do everything.
I am learning the best thing that I can do as a pastor is to be real and to live out the gospel as best as I can. No one’s perfect. I hope I never pretend to be.