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Has laziness become a way of life in today's society?
    A look around us should bring anyone with a bit of sense to realize that we as a people have become extremely lazy.  Remote controls even keep us from having to move a lousy 10 feet to change a channel on our TV sets.  Microwave ovens make preparing a meal quick and easy.  Electric windows on our cars make sure we don't get any unnecessary exercise by having to roll down our own windows.  Escalators and elevators keep us from doing too much walking.  Watch a commercial sometime and study the wording.  You will hear things like: All the bells and whistles, all the modern conveniences, etc.  Fast food restaurants have it all setup where you can drive you vehicle up to a speaker, tell them what you want, drive another twenty or thirty feet and someone will hand you your food all ready to go home to eat. The list goes on and on but, well I think you get my drift.  We seem to be willing to do whatever we can to keep from having to do any more work than we have to.
I am amazed when I talk to people about this subject.  Most everyone agrees that we are becoming a lazier than thou society, but I see little if any effort to do anything about it.  The sad thing about all this is that nothing, it seems will be done to change things. We have become way to comfortable with all these modern conveniences.  During my talks with people of different age groups, one thing becomes very clear.  The older the person I am talking to, the better the work ethics seem to be.  It seems that people sixty-five and over have carried on the work ethics of their parents and grandparents.  This age group, even though retired, work every day at something or another.  Most still cut their own grass, raise their own gardens, grow a nice crop of flowers throughout their yards and tend to stay busy.  When ask about this, the overall consensus was: "If I just sit around, I will waste away and just die".  Makes sense doesn't it?  I also notices that the younger the age group was, the more I heard comments that were of opposing views than those of the sixty-five plus group.  The younger the person, the more I noticed that there were more overweight people, more people who complained more about their jobs, more people who wanted a job that didn't require as much physical labor out of them than the one's they already had and on and on.  The very young of these age groups may just have an excuse for their laziness.  These children have been brought up in an age of remote controls, television sets in every room in the house, radios, computers, etc., etc.  I notice that even my own son who is almost four years old, (I know, I am an old man to have such a young child) spends more and more time in front of the television set that he does playing outside.  It has become a battle just to get him to go outside and ride his electric riding tractor and to play outdoors when the weather is nice. Of course he is under the watchful eye of his overly protective daddy when he is outside. But, my point is that even at the age of four, kids have way too many things to distract them from actual physical activity.  I dread to think what my boy will be like in ten years if I do not change his habits before they get the best of him.
    Teenagers - the source of headaches for every parent since the beginning of time. I know, I used to be one.  To hear my parents talk sometimes I think I must have been the equivalent of two teenagers at one time.  That's another whole different article in itself, so back to my article.  Teenagers today I fear for dreadfully.  This age group has been allowed to be circumcised into a lifestyle that has no, or it seems to be the case anyway, work values at all unless it's a job in an office environment, working with computers or in a management position.  My fear is that if this trend continues, who is going to do the physical work in the future?  I cannot blame the teenagers for this attitude, their parents allowed this to happen by not living a lifestyle which portrayed a better work ethic. A source for prayer for sure.

So, my question is this
.  Concerning our preachers and pastors, what category do we find them falling into concerning their work ethic and pastoral efforts? Are they like the senior citizens who work hard all the time or like the younger group who look for the easy way out?  

Unfortunately, I see the work ethic of the teenager and the five - twelve year old group in most of our preachers today.  Now you might ask me how can I say this?  My answer is simple. It's  Easy!  When God called me into this particular ministry, I knew I had no choice but to "grab the bull by the horns" so to speak and take the calling seriously.  I have spent endless hours watching, studying, talking to, asking about and critiquing Preachers and Pastors so that I might learn a little about why so many churches are not growing, why some are actually losing ground and others it seems are getting larger and larger.  What I learned concerned me deeply and with a little research on the Internet, I found that I am not alone in my thoughts.  It seems that laziness of preachers has been a concern for many years.  

Martin Luther wrote the following: Some pastors and preachers are lazy and no good. They do not pray; they do not read; they do not search the Scripture ... The call is: watch, study attend to reading. In truth you cannot read too much in Scripture; and what you read you cannot read too carefully, and what you read carefully you cannot understand too well, and what you understand well you cannot teach too well, and what you teach well you cannot live too well ... The devil ... the world ... and our flesh are raging and raving against us. Therefore, dear sirs and brothers, pastors and preachers, pray, read, study, be diligent ... This evil, shameful time is not the season for being lazy, for sleeping and snoring… Reference Meuser, Fred W.,
Luther the Preacher, pp. 40-41.

Now I know not everyone is or will be a Martin Luther.  No matter what we may think of the Lutheran Movement, Luther was a visionary, a man with a good work ethic who cared for the Kingdom of Christ and did something about it. You can hear the plea in his voice, almost a sobbing cry for men of God to do right and be diligent in their efforts. Luther wrote this just before turning sixty years of age, therefore assuring us that he had plenty of years to learn before saying anything.

"Lazy preachers can get by with just a few hours work a week — they reach into their file cabinet on Saturday night to find out what they will preach in Sunday morning and can spend the rest of the week playing golf or reading USA Today. They never write an article, class book or prepare any original material. Some of these men are great at having tea parties, but they usually do not know the epistles from the apostles." …. Why Churches Die by David Padfield.

One of the things I recognized when studying the different preachers and churches was that there are a lot of preachers who are pastors of a church and put in approximately five to ten hours of actual work each week and yet complain about not having any free time or are so busy they just cannot seem to get everything done.  I personally know of many of this type of preachers and am amazed that they can sleep at night without having nightmares.   I cannot imagine what their talks with God must be like. Imagine talking to God about your Church and congregation and all the time feeling like you were justified in all that you do, without realizing that God knows every jot and tittle about you and your performance within and without the Church.  How can a Minister justify to God their feelings of being so busy they cannot keep up when they spend more time at home doing virtually nothing and spending only five to ten hours per week doing God's work?  Now I know sometimes some weeks are busier than others and during these weeks I suppose the hourly output goes up to something like fifteen to twenty for the Lord's work.  Preachers today and I know this from an actual conversation I had where a Minister emailed a Minister friend of the same denomination and ask him to email a copy of his Sermon for Sunday to them because they did not have the time to prepare one themselves.  NoW for the Love of God!, what kind of preaching is that when a preacher steps up to the pulpit and reads someone else's message verbatim from a sheet of paper and never even had the honesty to tell the congregation in advance that the thoughts and words they were being given to believe were not even their own.  This to me is deception and borders on blasphemy.  Maybe the sermon material was good but maybe isn't good enough.  Honesty goes much further than dishonesty.  There is not, barring an emergency, any excuse for not having enough time to prepare a sermon.  The reason I believe this?  If you have no material ready for Sunday morning, PRAY to the Lord that He would give you a message of some kind that would benefit the congregation.  Any preacher worth his or her (and I am not an advocate of women preachers) salt should know enough Scripture to be able to come up with a sermon with no notice, especially if they were actually called of God to preach in the first place.  That itself is something that I will discuss later on in this article.

"It is not that Christians are "tight-wads" and refuse to support God's work, on the contrary Christians are usually very generous, it's they do not like to support laziness in anyone. The reason some preachers don't get the support they want is they are notoriously lazy and slothful. Many preachers are even too lazy to study. From listening to some preachers a few times one soon learns they only have a handful of original messages and just "preach" variations of them. Unfortunately, one could listen to one of these preachers five or six times and hear virtually everything of substance he has to say; the rest is just "filler." Mature, seasoned believers soon recognize this laziness and are not eager to support it. On the other hand, a preacher who is industrious and doesn't neglect study but regularly delivers vibrant, original messages will often receive adequate or even abundant support without ever asking for it".  … From Liberty to Legalism A Candid Study of Legalism, "Pharisees," and Christian Liberty by Timothy S. Morton

Looking at the above excerpt one can certainly understand the concept of not wanting to support a minister who was just downright lazy and unproductive.  But, unfortunately, there are many of these types of preachers in our pulpits today.  Just today I was chatting with an elderly gentleman in front of our local post office and one of the things he mentioned was that in his opinion, most of the preachers today just want a paycheck! Wow did he hit the nail on the head!  I couldn't agree more with that statement.  So many preachers today want to work on Sunday mornings or sometimes Sunday morning and evening and collect their paychecks.  That to me is the same thing as Skyway robbery.  What is Skyway robbery?  The same thing as highway robbery but stealing from the Lord instead of a company or individual.  What would a company do to someone who only put in less than half of a week's work hours but insisted on being paid for the whole week?  I can answer that one easily.  They would not accept it.  They would insist that the employee be paid exactly what they had coming and not an dollar more.
I was involved in a particular Denomination recently and was asked by the Pastor of the local church my family and I attended to consider starting a new Church within the Church on Sunday evenings.  I was appalled that this particular Minister thought they needed someone else to hold services on Sunday evening when the only service they preached was on Sunday mornings. Granted that particular Minister was responsible for two services on Sunday morning in two separate towns which were approximately ten miles apart, but Sunday morning was the only services held and that left the entire week with no services and only visitations and such to handle.  Now both of these churches together barely if ever went over 100 persons combined total in both congregations.  This was the only "job" this particular pastor held and for the life of me I couldn't understand why they couldn't handle a couple extra hours each week.  Well, I turned it down, and to this day there are no Sunday evening services in either church.  The pastor made it plain to the Pastor Parish Relations Committee that she needed Sunday evenings to be with her husband.  That my friends is DISGUSTING! There is no other word for it!  This pastor had many hours each week to spend with her spouse. Besides that...accepting the Call from God to the Ministry is a life long commitment and should be approached as a FULL TIME 24/7 calling.  A call from the Lord is in no way comparable to any other "job" one could have.  Lazy!  Just plain lazy!  That's what this preacher was and still is.  That may sound harsh, but wait a minute...I cannot call it any other thing but what it is.  What would it profit any of us to call it something else just so it sounded a little more politically correct. No commitment is what it all boils down to.  One area where I am convinced that preachers are just plain lazy in is COMMITMENT.  There just isn't any commitment anymore.  Preachers want a paycheck, free housing, free utilities, vehicle expense, fuel expense, phone expense, continual training expense, and many more perks, but never even think about how the scales ar
e tipped.  I remember talking to a Baptist preacher one time who said with a sad heart that while visiting a Seminary he asked a lot of the students there about their calling and far too many said it was a good job.  Show me in the Bible where God says, follow me and I will give you a good job.  But, lazy preachers do not care about what the Bible says, they care much more about what they are getting out of their position than what they are putting into it.

CALLED of GOD or of Man?
Now back to the statement made earlier.
"Any preacher worth his or her (and I am not an advocate of women preachers) salt should know enough Scripture to be able to come up with a sermon with no notice, especially if they were actually called of God to preach in the first place".
I am firm in my belief that the majority of the preachers today are not called of God but are called of man by man.  What man you might ask?  The preacher himself!  Far too many of the preachers in the pulpits today decided to become preachers because their dad was a preacher and/or their grandfather was a preacher before him.  It is unfortunate but far too many churches have become family businesses.  Take for example Lakewood Church in Houston Texas. Joel Osteen, son of John Osteen took over the reigns of the Church when his father passed away. 

With his father sick in the hospital, John asks his son, Joel, to preach for him that Sunday.  Initially Joel balked at the idea and said “no.”  He then relented and here are Joel’s own words concerning his preaching that day: "I just got up there and told stories.  I was so glad when it was over, I said, ‘I’ll never do this again in my life". but as we all know, Joel did take over the pulpit because someone had to.  This was his dad's church and somehow they had to keep it going.  My question would be this.  Why not  set out to look for a preacher to fill the vacancy created by the passing of John Osteen.  There are many qualified preachers around the globe that God could have chose from if  Lakewood Church had made the position available to someone other than a family member. 

Here we  have a perfect example of a preacher who was not called by God but was called by himself.  Not only called by himself but a man who didn't even want the position and would rather not have taken it.  Now don't get me wrong and jump to any conclusions here.  I am sure there are many men who God called to the Ministry who would rather have done something else.  That is an entirely different ideal.  Sacrificing for the Lord's work is one thing, sacrificing for one's own family business and calling it a work of and for God is another story indeed.  I applaud any and all men who have sacrificed for the Lord's work.  That is a wonderful and beautiful thing.  But, when a person takes a position as Sacred and Holy as a Call from God, just because no one else is available immediately to fulfill it is just down right wrong!

All of this adds up to show what a horrible condition our churches and pulpits are in today.  Lazy preachers.  Selfish preachers.  Preachers who never were called by God to preach anything.  Preachers looking for a good retirement plan.  Preachers looking for a cozy job where they won't have to get their hands dirty or their clothes a little sweaty and yet still receive a nice paycheck with all the bennies.. 

Conclusion:  There are some wonderful preachers of the Gospel in this old terrible world.  Preachers who heard the call from God, answered it and sacrificed everything they had without a second look back.  Preachers who preach the Word as God wants it preached.  Many souls are being saved today by these preachers but sad to say, there are FAR TOO MANY men and women who are lazy, no good for nothing persons who need to get on their knees and ask God for acceptance of their repentance for their deception.  These lazy preachers need to see what they have become.  I say become, because no man was born lazy, he elected to become that way.  No man was born selfish, he elected to become that way.  No man was born a deceiver, he elected to become that way.  It's not too late.  Jesus is waiting.  If you are reading this article and feel in any way that you fit even a part of this mold,  Change.  Change my friend while you still can.  Call or email us.  We will do anything we can to help you.  We love every one of you. 

Robert Wise