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2010-05-28 digital edition

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2010-05-28 / Church

Minister’s Message

By Rev. Linda O’Neal of Lexington and Blue United Methodist Churches
The Perfect Minister

I once saw an article by an experienced pastor in which he described the perfect minister. It went something like this:

“The perfect minister is a man of the same race as the congregation who is young enough to have boundless energy and to appeal to the younger members of the congregation and is old enough to have wisdom and experience and to appeal to the older members of the congregation. He is well dressed but not vain and does not spend too much money on clothes yet is always a credit to his congregation in his well-made suits. His wife plays the piano and keeps a perfectly clean house, but she is not prettier than any of the other women in the church, yet he adores her and would not dream of looking at another woman. His children are perfectly wellbehaved, humble and quiet. He has a sense of humor but takes his work very seriously. He is willing to be on call 24/7 and yet he never neglects his family. He comes to work early in the morning to please the morning people and stays until late at night to please the night owls, yet he never gets tired or cranky and is always serene. When he preaches he is passionate and on fire yet does not step on any toes or offend anyone. He gives 20 % of his salary back to the church yet never gets into debt and can support himself and his family on very little money and he drives a respectable late model car.”

It occurred to me that pastors would have their own ideas about what a perfect congregation might look like.

The perfect congregation pays the pastor 50 % more than the average salary of its members (and its members are all wealthy) and provides free of charge a new car every year. The parsonage has a Jacuzzi and provides large HD flat screen TVs in every room and the church pays for unlimited cable as a gift to the pastor. No one in the perfect congregation ever has an emergency later than 9 PM or earlier than 8 AM. No one in the perfect congregation ever quarrels with anyone else. The perfect congregation has a catered pastor appreciation dinner every year with caviar, filet mignon and lobster on the menu.

Maybe in heaven congregations will get the perfect pastor and pastors will get the perfect congregation, but here on earth it is NEVER going to happen. How are we going to manage with all this imperfection?? Maybe Jesus can teach us how. Galatians 5:22-26 and 6:9,10.

The Lexington Ministerial Alliance is coordinating these Minister’s

Messages. Any pastor in the Alliance may submit an article.

Please email your article to Rev. Linda O’Neal, the Alliance secretary at mchurch@reveillebroadband.com

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