The Work of Pastors and the Work of Parishioners

“The apostles complained rightly when they said it was not meet they should leave the word of God and serve tables; their vocation was to preach the word. But the person whose vocation it is to prepare the meals beautifully might with equal justice protest: It is not meet for us to leave the service of our tables to preach the word.”
–Dorothy Sayers

I wonder how this idea smacks your brain. Many will like it, others will be outraged that she seems to say table-servers don’t have to study the word.

According to Ephesians 4, God has gifted men to edify the Body of Christ. Not everyone has these gifts. Pastors should dedicate themselves to the Word of God just as much as a mechanic dedicates himself to making your car run or the dentist dedicates himself to taking all your money to put over-priced metal devices in your kid’s mouths.

You don’t want to go to a dentist who until last week was a police officer. You want a dentist who is passionate about sticking his hands in people’s mouths and messing with teeth.

I imagine the same is true in selecting a pastor. You want a guy who is dedicated to God’s Word. Those who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. In context it means guys who teach the Gospel should get paid to do so.

The benefit of this is that they can dedicate their minds to the Word. Unfortunately, pastors rarely actually do this. They are too busy doing weddings, separating the fingernails of the singy women from each other’s throats, and doing self-help seminars.

The reason there is a backlash against pastors getting paid these days is because people aren’t getting their money’s worth. Pastors aren’t dong what they’re paid for.

Furthermore, pastors who know they aren’t doing their job then belittle everyone else, condemning them for being too busy to attend their programs they spent all day organizing.

Thus, parishioners resent their pastor’s work and pastor’s resent their parishioner’s work. Perhaps Dorothy has the solution for us?

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