I wrote this elsewhere and was encouraged to put it here. It is a comment on what a pastor is. Today, this is not very well understood, and God’s people suffer because of it.
There are four professions: medicine, education, law, and religion. Each of these, when done at a professional level, is marked by the wearing of a gown. A gown is a garment of leisure.
Each of these mandates that a man be paid to have leisure time. Do you want a busy M.D. looking over your general health? A busy judge deciding your case? A busy professor teaching you? A busy pastor? No, not if you’re sane. Each of these professions entails having lots of time to listen to people, and also lots of time to read and keep abreast.
That’s why real tentmaking, like Paul did, fits just fine with being a Christian minister. But a “day job” does not.
Each of these professions requires that a man have lots of time to listen to people and to reflect on what they have said. Also, each requires that a man have time to study and consult before making a life and death decision. In a sense, the academic professor is not making a life and death decision, as the judge, physician, and pastor is. Yet, he also needs time to sculpt and mold the mushy mind of his students.
This is why “parttime” pastors and ruling-elders as the same as pastors does not work and is a major problem. People instinctively know that the fulltime guy is the real pastor; unless he’s a jerk who keeps his door locked and thinks he’s a great scholar and is not available all the time to his people.