Quiet Hints, Chapter 17–"Discontent”

post date: February 7, 2010

Notes taken from Quiet Hints to Growing Preachers by Charles E. Jefferson, Chapter 17, “Discontent.”

Discontent may be said to be one of the prevailing sins of the ministerial world.

How prevalent it is the public does not fully know, for ministers who are discontented do not shout their dissatisfaction from the house-top.They write it in bulky letters and send it in sealed packages to their ministerial brethren.

The number of preachers now wishing a change of pastorate cannot be accurately computed, but if all the facts were known the world would be astounded.

The explanation of the desire to escape from one parish to another may usually be found in the fact that ministers like other mortals do not like to be uncomfortable, and one sees fewer brambles in a garden which some other man has cultivated than in the garden in which one works himself.

A man never knows a parish until he gets fairly settled in it. The years bring out the skeletons as the night brings out the stars.

He may find a set of rogues in his official board, or a good-sized Pharaoh in the broad aisle. The church may be tied hand and foot by the pagan notions of a heathen clique, or the choir may be in a state of ferment sufficient to drive the spirit of devotion from every service.

A minister should not too hastily conclude that because things are not altogether pleasant the Lord has need of him elsewhere.

Honorable men will not toy with churches.

A man who expects to live with the same people through many years will have every incentive to be sane and  industrious, farsighted and true.

It may be your present parish is obscure, but blessed is the man with grace sufficient to grow in the shade.

In a few years the great trees of the clerical forest will lie low, and your final place will depend in large measure on your present willingness to grow in the shade.

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