“You Still Preaching?”
I don’t hear it too much anymore, but I used to hear it rather frequently. Family members, old friends, former acquaintances, and the average person I never wanted to see again would come up to me and ask, “Hey, you still preaching?”
Maybe it’s the thing to do. Maybe it is customary to ask a person if they are still doing what they were doing the last time you saw them. It makes sense. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of asking:
- “Are you still unemployed?”
- “You still sick with that sickness thing?”
- “You still married?”
- “You still running off at the mouth about things you know nothing about?”
- “You still planning to party with Hitler for eternity?”
- Are you still as stupid as you used to be?
I just don’t get why people ask if I am still preaching. It’s like they think I’ll change my mind or walk away from the ministry, or something.
In reality, it’s not that unreasonable to ask someone who once accepted the call to ministry if he is still preaching. Even though it sorta feels like an insult, I shouldn’t be surprised by other people’s shock. I mean, it has been 36 years since I made my calling public. I’ve known more than one who has walked away the first year.
If more people knew the statistics, few would ever enter the ministry. Stop and think about it, would you enter a career with the highest rate of heart attacks? Would you take out student loans for a degree that demands you work multiple jobs? Consider these sad facts…
- 70% felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only fifty percent still felt called.
- 80% of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
- 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
- 80% of adult children of pastors surveyed have had to seek professional help for depression.
- 70% of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
- 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
Yet, I’m still preaching. It may surprise people who haven’t seen me in a while, but I’m still doing the Lord’s work and still following the call I first heard when I was 16. It may sound strange, but I can’t help it.
“But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!” – Jeremiah 20:9 NLT
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” – 1 Corinthians 9:16 KJV
Today, June 11, is the anniversary of the death of a mighty man of God, my father. He died the week before Father’s day.
Not long ago I went to his grave and placed my Bible on his tombstone. There, glistening in the sun, were the gilded words “Rev. Anthony C. Baker.”
“Daddy,” I said, “I’m still at it.”
- The Secret Pain of Pastors (bluechippastor.org)
- Thinking of Entering the Pastoral Ministry? (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
9 responses to “Yes, I’m Still Preaching”
People who haven’t seen you for a while will try to Identify by suggesting they remember what you were doing. So, when you see others do you remember their job and say, Hey, you still working at the Power plant.
As for The Memories, thats nice to remember Your dad. But, now we have more personal information. Maybe enough to take out a loan in your name.
Go ahead and see how much you can get LOL
funny thing about scams. Just today I got a Email from someone I haven’t seen or heard from for a long time. They were asking for money saying they were trying to get a gift card for their daughter but couldn’t do it on line and wondered if I could get one and they would pay for it after.
I figured it was a scam so I called them directly but I also looked at past Emails Turns out they used a different ending, they used @gmail rather than @Rogers
So I sent them a Email back which would go to them not my buddy. I said,, can you give me a call at 905-579-1520. (that is Durham Regional Police in Oshawa Ontario.) They will get a startle if they do call it. (they wont)
My buddy Barry is Fine he changed his password but cant stop them from using all his contacts. He was hacked some how. Crime is such a nasty thing. I just changed my password .
Stranger yet, Almost forgot. So I get home and there is a package at my door for a neighbour across the road. But, my key is hard to get into my door lock. It looks like some white stuff was sprayed in it. I wonder if someone tried to break into my home. I WD40’d it. But everything seems to be here. It could be the postal guy tries peoples homes and has some lock smith tools.
The world is a rough place.
That’s the truth.
Here is another one. This is 30 years ago. I was changing lights in the RCMP to make the lights more energy efficient.
So Of course I was sharing my faith. LoL. And so the RCMP officer (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) asked me if I knew this lady who was a Nazarene. Well, I said, Yes I do, she is a lovely lady who does a lot of work for the Church Nationally and has helped start 50 churches…
So he says well someone has been photo copying receipts she has given for financial donations. (she did the books for one of the churches.) And so this Accountant would do someones taxes, and pay the person, lets say they would get back $600 they would pay it out but then after before sending it in, add new incomes, and add write offs like church donations and they would use bogus receipts they created from Marg’s receipts.
So One day I was talking with her and told her, that i had spoken well of her and assured him she was not of that character and wouldn’t have been a part of it.
God had put me right in there to help save the harassment that she would have gotten. It likely saved the church thousands in an Audit. There is crime happening all around us and we generally are oblivious to it.
I get asked that a lot too. And I’ve only been in actual “official” ministry for 3 years now. I’ve known several that left the ministry in the first couple years already. So I get why some of my friends have asked that question too. Praying for you man.
Too sensitive. It’s a common question.
And yes. People are still stupid. It’s the human condition.
Too sensitive? Not anymore. Now I’m just a calloused old codger who cuddles my dog.
Nice to have awesome memories of your dad, God will give you the grace to keep doing what he has called you for.