I know I get awfully negative on this blog, but it's the only place I have to let loose. Maybe the following will make it clearer as to why.
I didn't get into ministry for the money, but I can't work for free. Although some preachers do it, I don't know how to work another job that also allows me to minister to a church.
I spent a major portion of my life preparing for the ministry. I underwent many years of expensive formal education and I have never done anything but ministry, so it's not like I can change careers easily (although I sometimes daydream about that).
I once worked with a church that was still grieving for their last pastor. Many of them were bound and determined not to like me. Grudgingly they'd tell each other, "The new preacher is friendly." Then they'd add, "But of course, that's what he gets paid for."
My reply was, "Not enough," and I moved on.
We clergy people get into the ministry because we love the church, but it doesn't take long before we become angry with them. In many dysfunctional families, the person who tries hardest to help the others is blamed for all the problems. It happens a lot in churches too.
I actually like to work hard. But what would it be like to not be tired? I can only remember brief moments of peaceful energy. Every moment of rest or recreation feels like I stole it. If I take off, someone dies, gets divorced, or plots some kind of childish coup at the church.
Okay, it's hard everywhere. There's no such thing as an easy job. I'm lucky to have a job at all. But when one of my church members encounters difficulties with his job, he can turn to the church for support. The preacher has to go elsewhere as far away from his church as he can in order to discuss his struggles. And if he loses his job, he can't ever go back even to visit the worship service—makes everybody too uncomfortable.
The minister's family suffers the same isolation.
When I was young, I needed and loved the church, and the church loved me. I thought it would be wonderful to serve the people to whom I was so close. But as the minister I have often been the most isolated person in that church. Some people put me on a pedestal and make me into someone they need. Others use me as a target for their irrational hatred. Almost no one really wants to know me
All of this could be manageable if I had friends outside of the church. Some ministers can do that, but I seem to have forgotten how. That's a shame, because I think I'd be a good friend.