Charles Jefferson decries the lack of appreciation for “pastoral ministry.” He says the following:
One result of this disparagement of pastoral service is visible in the sentiments entertained by many young men entering the ministry. They say quite openly that they despise pastoral work. Study they enjoy, books they love, preaching they revel in. But as for shepherding the sheep, they hate it. They like to feel that they have special gifts for the pulpit. When their friends prophesy for them a glorious pulpit career, their heart sings. The work of the shepherd was an abomination, we are told, to the ancient Egyptians, and so it is to all the pulpit-Pharaohs who are interested in building pyramids out of eloquent words. The fear of ailing in pastoral duty is never once before their eyes. A slip in the pulpit brings gnawing remorse; a blunder in pastoral work gives the conscience not a twinge. Public worship is to them the be-all and end-all to ministerial life. They have not read the New Testament sufficiently to observe that public worship is not made the one thing needful, either by Jesus or the apostles; and that while it is not to be neglected, there are many weightier matters of the law.
Charles Jefferson, The Minister as Shepherd, pg. 24
I’m am certain, as unpleasant as it may be, at times it is healthy to read things that I strongly (and negatively) react to by nature. When I first read this paragraph I was angry at the characterization of young men. In my pride, I miss the point. This is a good reminder I think.