I’m reading Daniel Goleman’s latest book, Social Intelligence. In it Goleman rehearses some classic thinking about relationships. He describes the "I-It" relationship where one person is virtually an object there to meet the needs of the other. Their feelings, value, etc. is not ever really considered, just what they have to offer to meet the needs of someone else.
I remember being taught in college that I could "use ministry to build people or use people to build ministry." Goleman has turned my lights on to understand what that phrase really means. In an "I-You," relationship both people have value, feelings, thoughts and both are important to each other as we relate. In "I-It" relationships only one person matters, the other basically has only one purpose, to meet the other’s need or want.
When ministries or should I say when ego driven pastors, use people to fill seats, fill coffers and inflate egos they really are no different than what is taking place in the "P*" industry. Only one person matters and all others are mere objects to be used in self-gratification.
When it is all said and done, many pastors will answer to the Lord for using people more than loving people. Many will answer for building a ministry using up and spitting out people rather than giving of themselves fully to engage with and build up the lives of others. Why am I so sure of this. Because, I for one have been guilty!
*The "P" industry is used because My Space will not let you publish the word referenced here. It is an industry that uses female bodies.