"SPIRITUAL BURNOUT" AND THE CLERGY

Norman L. Parks

The Rev. Vic Hunter (I am using his own designation) is directing a Colorado center for the cure of clergymen who have suffered a "burnout" at their vocation, and a local Church of Christ is holding funds for the maintenance of the center.

This strikes me as a poor way to serve the faith. It would be a good thing it seems to me, if all clergymen suffered a complete burnout and had to turn to the secular world for a livelihood or else become evangelists serving on the pagan frontier, in which role they deserve financial support. Certainly every local Christian community would be better off with out a professional pulpiteer to tell them what to think and to do. No first century assembly every heard of such a pristine character as "pulpit minister." I have observed that primary concern of most such modern day ministers is tenure in their pulpits until they have opportunity to move into one with a bigger audience and more pay. One research into salaries in the Church of Christ established the fact that the salary of the typical minister bore no relationship to his academic preparation or his professional training. One such professional, who flunked out of college and could not pass an elementary course in Greek, was drawing $57,000 a year plus a free residence and all the other extras normally associated with the pulpit, including time off to hold "meetings."

Once exempted from the pulpit burden, think of all the good the thousands of local Christian communes could do to advance the gospel. "Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished." Let's promote burnout!