Somebody’s Gotta Do It is along a similar line, but is “less about the dirt and more about the work”, as Mike recently stated in a phone interview I was fortunate to hear.
Mike is big on work. His foundation Mike Rowe Works is about promoting work — simple, honest, get your hands on it work.
Mike contends that we have glamorized education and career to the point that no one really wants to work. Twenty-three year old kids are convinced they will walk out of college and into a 6-figure job with secretary, car, and all the frills.
Ain’t happening. We in America have lost the value of an honest hard-day’s work. Come in early — stay late. Get the job done. Get tired. Get it done. Make a living in the process.
There are jobs out there. Skilled labor. Key word is “labor”. I work in a big box store. Many (and it isn’t just kids or young people) think they should be able to collect a check for just showing up. The concept of physical labor seems to be a bit foreign to many.
The same thing happens in the church world. Young preachers come out of college expecting a church of 200-300 hundred with a high 80K salary range. Church provided car. Cadillac health plan.
80% of churches in America are under 100 in attendance. Many of them are lucky to give their preacher a take home pay of 25-30K per year. Sometimes the work is hard. Late night hospital runs. Nursing home visits. Maybe helping milk cows for a farmer who is laid up from an illness or injury.
But in the church we glamorize the level 5 leader and the rock star preachers. If your church isn’t a North Point and if you don’t resemble Andy Stanley in style you just aren’t “with it”.
Church planting isn’t immune from this either. Many church planting organizations shy away from planting in lower economic class neighborhoods. If the potential isn’t for a church of 500 + then it isn’t worth the investment.
But I ask you….. who ministers to these smaller, less glamorous parishes? Even the most dysfunctional child needs parental care and love. A small group of senior citizens who have been faithful for years shouldn’t be kicked to the curb for simply having grown old.
I am all for healthy, growing churches.
I also think that we can take a cue from Mike and honor those who work hard keeping the small country churches and the struggling city churches alive.