Salary Anxiety

Some years ago, advice columnist Ann Landers published a letter from a college student who was pondering his career choices. “My classmates are all in a race for the biggest salaries. I want security, a stable salary, and peace of mind. What jobs should I consider?” Ann reassured the young man that his desires were normal and acceptable, and listed several careers that offered the stability he wanted: civil service, postal work, the clergy—the clergy?What an interesting idea. Oh, I’m sure somewhere—probably in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex—a parish priest rests secure in his benefice, whiling away long afternoons writing uplifting novels. But my experience of ministry, and that of most clergy I know, has been quite different. Our calling is, of course, to be for others—to change lives for the better through practical service, spiritual challenge, and moral support. Ironically, though, even more than most employees, we must be our own advocates when it comes to the business side of our profession.

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