I got an email this morning. Ok, I got 57 emails this morning, but most of them involved offers to sell me life insurance, pills to help me lose weight, and pills to make me gain weight in one VERY specific area. So, the one email that I’m talking about was addressed to me from Debra, whom I don’t know, asking if we would mind shilling for her ministry on our little blog here at Addison Road. She phrased it much more politely.
My first thought was, “I don’t want our blog turned into a church bulletin board to promote everything that anyone things is worthwhile. I have integrity! I have honor! I have paid ads for that kind of thing!”
But then she said the magic words … “I will gut you like a fish if you don’t post a link to us!”
She sounded like she meant it, and I don’t want to be gutted like a fish. Especially by someone who, I can only assume, is a very decent and morally upstanding lady when not threatening bodily harm to bloggers in order to coerce them into compliance with her marketting scheme.
I went back to look at the website for the ministry she was promoting, and, with sudden new clarity to rival that of the great scales falling from Paul’s eyes, realized that it was a worthwhile cause, and that I should shill it. Shill it from the sea shore. Shill it from the plains. Shill from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Shill it from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; shill it from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Shill it from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Shill it from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every blog, shill it!
So, here’s the link.
They provide retreats for Pastor’s and their spouses. In Debra’s own words:
The United States is currently losing approximately 1,200 small churches and 1,500 pastors each month. One of the reasons is that the work of ministry often takes precedence over their personal relationship with God – the reason they entered ministry in the first place.
While a pastor’s job can be exceedingly rewarding, it also can be weighed down by the responsibilities and stresses associated with serving their congregations. Their ability to succeed and thrive in ministry is deeply rooted in the quality of their personal relationship with God.
That relationship can best be attended to and developed during times of solitude, prayer and reflection, and in company of others who share a similar calling.
The cool thing about it, the reason I posted the link, is because they decided that they would make the retreats free. The ministering couples pay nothing, the cost of the retreat is paid for by private donors. I think this is cool. I also think this shows a lot of insight into the realities of most ministry positions.
So Debra, please don’t come to my house and gut me like a fish. I posted your link.
I know we have several people in full-time ministry who read the blog, mostly in the wee hours of morning when they think dark thoughts about what it would be like to quit the ministry and become auto mechanics or ballerinas. Just saying, maybe you need a minute away from it all. Check out the site, request an invitation.