Friday, September 3, 2010

Injury + Insult

Back in the days when I was paying for groceries by ministering to/with youth, there was one Senior Pastor I worked with who was particularly fond of Christmas music: Joy to the World, Silver Bells, Oh Come to Old Faithful...the whole spectrum.

And I really had no problem with that. I'm fairly fond of the fa-la-las meself. Besides, he did force himself to wait until Halloween to actually put any Christmas music in the Mega-Bass, three-CD-changer, shelf sound system unit in his office.

Which brings me to today's subject: the disparity in salary and perks allotted to Senior Pastor/Preacher types and what is imparted unto Youth Minister/Student Pastor/Now-That-I've-Screwed-Them-Up-Beyond-All-Recognition-Please-Save-My-Teenager types.

Giving a larger paycheck, office, education allowance, and parking space to The Preacher than one does to The Youth Guy/Gal is perfectly understandable, acceptable, reasonable, and both okie and dokie. The Preacher usually has responsibilities beyond Sunday morning sermonizing that justify a higher rate of compensation.


This exalted position creates a couple of issues; one that's bad for The Youth Guy/Gal, and one that is a disadvantage to The Preacher.

1) When the planets, stars, and prevailing winds all align to the point of being able to raise the salaries of the church's pastoral staff, some brilliant mathematician decides that increasing each staff person's salary by the same percentage would be the only fair course of action to take. Those of you keeping notes will soon realize, if you haven't already, that this results in a larger increase for The Preacher and a widening of the gap between The Preacher's salary and that of The Underling(s).

2) The knowledge that The Preacher's office is larger and packed with more material blessings than the converted broom closet that The Youth Guy/Gal scrunches into makes said office the specific target of any burglary attempts.

Now...I've said all of that so I can say this...

One chilly night in early November, a burglar burgled his or her way into the inner sanctum of the Christmas-music-loving Senior Pastor I was speaking of earlier in this post. Drawers were rifled, books were strewn, pen and pencil sets were pilfered, and worst of all...the Mega-Bass, three-CD-changer, shelf sound system unit was taken.

Did I say that was worst of all? No...back up...let me change that. The absolutely worst thing—what added insult to injury—was that, in the midst of what had to be a rushed, hushed, and hurried bit of larceny, the perp took the time to open the CD player, take out Julie Andrews Sings Christmas, and leave it behind. It was as if to say, "We want your stuff, but your taste in music sucks!"

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