If I ever wrote a book about church, I believe one of the chapters would be centered around the idea of how we need to fire every pastor, including me, and start all over! I think at times we as Pastors have forgotten why we are called, “to reach the lost for Jesus.” We think we are pastors to write good sermons, to visit sick people, to solve petty issues of floor color and musical styles. Maybe we have no idea why we are pastors? Which is why we should all be fired or quit and go from there. I once read, or heard, can’t remember which now, that James White’s philosophy (one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist church) on hiring ministers was that an individual would first have to show that they could raise up a church that could sustain them in ministry, and then the denomination would hire these individuals. I love this idea! It would force us as pastors to REACH the lost! I love this idea so much that when I was nearing the end of graduate school at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI., I suggested the idea to my wife Christina. I asked her what she would think of us choosing a place to live based on the need for a church to be planted and availability for her to have a job. Then we would raise-up, through God’s power, a church. And once it was established we would then see if the local Seventh-day Adventist conference was interested in coming along side and partnering with us. Since at the time I had a conference that was already ready to pay me to pastor, and she had just supported me through graduate school, the idea didn’t sit so well with her 🙂 (I still present it every now and then and I think she is softening to it). I still love the idea, not because I want to quit my job or because I don’t like to get paid for what I do. I like the idea because I would then be reminded daily of why I am a pastor, to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. I pray that I don’t ever forget that is my reason for being a pastor and if I do forget, someone please fire me!!!!