Posted by: watchman | March 1, 2012

Reasons I Should Pastor: Crack Dealer

Previously on ‘Why I Shouldn’t Pastor’:


Peter Rollins posted another incendiary thought that resonated with me as I look back at ministry. Check it out here –

Within the post, Rollins writes:

My concern is that most of the actually existing church acts as a type of drug den with the leaders being like the nicest, most sincere, drug dealers. What we pay for are songs, sermons and prayers that help us avoid our suffering. These drugs are very appealing because of the quick fix and powerful high they offer, hence the success of such communities. However they do not help us face up to, speak out and work through our pain.

When I was pastoring, I did feel like a drug dealer. I would stand up front and I would offer easy answers to complex questions. I would build flimsy facades around deep and profound mysteries. I would offer an artificial reality to replace what people were really going through. Why? Because people wanted to get away. People wanted to avoid much of the crap that was piling up all around them. So, they sought out  a church and a preacher that helped them feel good and I was an all-to-willing accomplice.

Isn’t that what we are looking for when we abuse substances? Aren’t we looking for escape? Aren’t we trying to construct an alternate reality – a place where things suck so much less?

I wish I could have been better at pushing congregations and individuals to confront the tragic reality of our lives and our world, instead of pushing them to stare blankly at useless facades.

For far too long, pusher preachers have turned the Church into a crack house and now folks are so strung out there would be an absolute revolt if the product stopped flowing.  Once I realized this, I had to get out.

And here I sit, in a self-prescribed rehab, longing for a fix.

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