I will begin this article by relating to you “why I am raising the question” in this blog. In a recent comment written by an anonymous contributor he or she said this:

“You will find that the politics and favoritism will prevail…..These pastors are like every human on earth……Selfish, looking out for number one! It will not get better until Jesus says so. “Giving it a rest” does not mean not doing anything. And what with the reveal yourself plea? All you cowards are hiding, but you want me to reveal! Laughable! So you can take me to the nearest tree and hang me? None of you are converted! I have been around and I have firsthand experience that none are kind, no not one.” Anonymous August 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm:

A scathing reply written by another contributor, “Back Field In Motion”, seemed to be perplexed by some of anonymous’ remarks. You can read the entire sequence of comments by other contributors under the title, “Thoughtless Thinking Part two”.

The reason for the title of this blog comes because I have assumed the Forgotten Shepherdess’s blog is an opinion forum. Therefore, I write so that others can weigh-in on anonymous’ opinionated assertion that there is a “trend of selfishness” among ministers. You, the reader, I hope will express your view on such a bold assertion.

To address this question, I now turn your attention to look at what “selfishness” means. Selfish defined means:

Looking after own desires: concerned with your own interests, needs, and wishes while ignoring those of others and, demonstrating it by showing that their needs and wishes are thought to be more important than those of other people.”

A selfish man/woman is one who acts for his/her own sake – one whose actions are directed to benefit oneself. I would quickly summarize it by: “I am doing this for me”.

In an article written on Thursday, February 18, 2010, entitled, “What is Selfishness?” posted by Ifat Glassman, he looked at selfishness from a psychological point of view. He says:

“This, however, is not as simple as it sounds. What constitutes doing something “for yourself?” Is it gratification of emotions, regardless of their source? Is it pursuit of some end, regardless of the nature? Is a man driven by chronic anxiety, trying to destroy other people’s happiness a “selfish b…”? ( (you can go to this website and read an entire great article on this subject about selfishness and it’s psychology)

My investigation has found that a quest to find the meaning of selfishness might be more difficult than what you can imagine as “Dolemite” mentioned in his comment. An understanding of this subject reveals that we should be careful about referring to someone as selfish until you know their true inner motives.


For those who want a biblical twist you might consider these interesting characteristics and corresponding texts from the bible:


2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,


Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.


1 Corinthians 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.


Isaiah 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.


Matthew 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.


2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.


1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seethe his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?


Malachi 1:10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.


Micah 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.


1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;


Examining the above scriptural characteristics we could say, that yes, “some” ministers are selfish as well as “other people” in general. This depends on whether they fit into the definition of what a selfish person might be.  To make this determination you might consider asking yourself, “Am I being Judgmental or prejudicial? An opinion may have been shaped because of a bad experience with some ministers you had a negative encounter with. Consequently, if you believe as “Anonymous” stated, you may have unfairly corralled all ministers as selfish. We should keep in mind that ministers are humans like other “living” people on this planet.

Here’s My Point Of View

I would have to admit that some ministers personify the perception that they are all about their image and the next upward career move. For some, it seems to consume them (Watch “some” of them Frat Brothers). However, the majority of the men and women are dedicated to the service of Jesus Christ. They have worked hard in this field of service regardless of not receiving a raise in recent years (Give them a great round of applause).

Believe it or not they show up for the job even when they are underpaid—when their salaries are compared to other denominational workers with the same education. They spend long hours preparing sermons, visiting the sick and doing 150 other job descriptions members expect—which have been published in ministerial journals.

The occupation of ministry is considered as part remunerated and part sacrifice. Most of the ministers realize that they may never become wealthy or even well off on the salary they earn. Some have been slapped, knocked down, spit on, chased down by vicious dogs, held up at gun point, disrespected at board and business meetings,  cars keyed, jailed, utilities turned off because of lack of money, children neglected by church members and the list can continue to grow. Yet, they remain dedicated to their church community assigned to them. We might throw in all the “forgotten shepherdesses” around the conference who are over looked who are partners with their husband’s ministry.

Some members can start a community service project to “save the dogs” rather than a ministry to save their pastor. In my church I have seen members vote to give a thousand dollars out of the church funds to pay someone’s past due rent rather than give an appreciation to their pastor.  Are we as church members selfish when it comes to ministers who care for our well being? I am told that some time ago a minister received less than a hundred dollars for appreciation after a long tenure of good service. Is this selfish on the part of the church who may have given far more to those who could not pay their rent?

I feel sorry for many ministers and instead of calling them selfish I see them even more as dedicated. So forget the squabbling at constituency meetings and give them a “BREAK.”

It’s important that you weigh-in on this issue. I would like to read your opinions. Please feel at liberty to list some helpful solutions or advice.




About The Forgotten Shepherdess

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  1. adventquestioner says:

    Are Ministers Selfish? How in the world can such a question even be answered?

    Someone may say, “Hey I had a pastor who never answered his phone and we only saw him on Sabbath…” then someone else may say

    “I call my pastor and he always at home answering the phone…he ain’t doing nothing..”

    We must admit that pastors do get disrespected…and sometimes pastors disrespect members…and sometimes we don’t know what we are doing…and sometimes we do…

    and on top of the whole thing…how you gonna answer that question for most pastors? Some definitely are…I must admit that I have seen some that have done things very disrespectful to members…But then again, I have seen pastors go out of their way to do things that were never publicized…Sometimes even the same pastor…

    Are pastors selfish? Some are…Some ain’t…and even some of those that are sometimes they ain’t…




      I don’t think that I have read a comment yet that you have written that I didn’t like. You bring out the most important aspect of a post.


      The blog is being monitored for which is a good thing. People have the right to state an opinion. No curse words and they must try to be civil. Anonymous offers nothing that is helpful. Yes everyone on the face of this earth with the exception of Jesus is selfish in some area of their lives. However, I thought anonymous raised a valid question for someone to write about to explore where members thinking might be. I BELIEVE SOME PREACHERS ARE SELFISH AS WELL AS SOME MEMBERS. If there exists a trend, ministers need to address this quickly and try to correct it.

      I think the majority of pastors are hard working. Some are stuck with indifferent members who don’t want to do anything but expect a cadillac church. I think the president’s problem will be how to help pastors reinvent themselves who need a break from pastoral ministry after 20-35 years. They may not realize this but they killed and are killing many ministers by not predicting ministerial burn out and addressing this trend. What you may be seeing now is a budget crisis and a move to streamline the work force through eliminating nonproductive ministers. The denomination has not resolved this paradox. The solution of those who are presidents is “fire” or “retire” or “an offer they can’t refuse”.

      Those who posses this mentality have spent limited time in pastoral ministry. They come to the conclusion that they are more blessed than those preachers they deem as “sleepers”. Yet, they say that the pastoral ministry is the highest level of the church to serve. If this is true than ministers should be paid the highest salary. I think some ADMINISTRATORS are in compassionate and insensitive. They will get rid of a minister just because they disagree with them. The last administration has much to answer to concerning their vanity as seen in the campground. That was selfish. They forgot that faith and praxis go hand in hand.

      SECOND, the blog from what I am told needs interested people like yourself to submit an article on a subject. When the last administration painted a negative description about the blog some of those people told their members not to participate. It had little impact. You don’t have to reveal your identity which is a good thing because you can say what you mean without being called out. However, your material is still copyrighted I am told. Someone can’t steal your stuff and use it or parts without citation. PLEASE WRITE A POST AND SUBMIT IT TO THE FORGOTTEN SHEPHERDESS. YOU HAVE GREAT IDEAS AND OBSERVATIONS. The blog supporters are trying to move to the center with doable solutions. Members do want to know the ins and out of the SWRC and a forum to express an opinion. By providing this kind of outlet we are helping the SWRC and our church at large.

      FROM THE ONE WHO IS AND AIN’t scared


    • dolomite9 says:

      Nothing news worthy?what is going on?Mighty quiet up in here!


    • Anonymous says:

      What say you about the Unions? What function do they have? Please don’t insult me by posting the generic functions of the Unions, I know what they are. My question is, are they relevant or a financial albatross around the necks of the local churches? When are we going to speak up and say “Get rid of the Unions, we only need the NAD” They are obsolete and dualistic. All the while our churches suffer from sending up an enormous amount of money that could be better served to bolster the ministries and growth of the local church. I think we can get rid of them if we band together. It will take work and some will have to die, professionally, as it relates to church employment. It can and must be done, if the church is to survive.


      • Back Field In Motion says:


        I will tell you the truth. In my opinion, Unions in the Seventh-day Adventist Church are the most wasteful area of our money. Anyone who has any real sense of organization recognizes this area of church organization is the most wasteful. We can always point out what good they do–and the men and women are doing good. But look at it from this point of view–how much more money would be freed up for conferences and local churches if this level of organization was eliminated. More men and women could be hired if unions were done away with.

        We have passed the Roman Catholic Church in regard to church organization. Our pioneers never envisioned a church structure like ours and would role over in their graves.They have no constituents to face on a weekly schedule as pastors and local conference workers. At the end of the day, they can all go home and start a camp fire.

        The only reason that I can think of in regard to the elimination of unions would power. Union presidents possess a lot of power when it come down to the election of NAD presidents and GC as well.


    • dolomite9 says:

      Let’s get busy!!!!!!


  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been away for sometime myself due to some resent events, in church,conference and personal life. It is an interesting remarks about “are ministers selfish?”. I have to agree that all ministers are not selfish and not all of us are not selfish. It is also true that we all struggle with selfishness. All selfishness is not bad. We are to be selfish to see that we provide the best we ca. n for our family and the education of our children in God’s will. We are to be selfish to the point our church is viewed in the community of rest, safely, incouragement, and place where God’s word proclaimed and revealed to all. We are to be selfish to the point that we will do our part to reach souls for Christ and support our pastor to reach souls of Christ. Selfishness is bad when we are only concern for personal gain and we feel that it is our way or no way. This attitude is dangerous in our church, at our board meetings and even at our conference executive committee. As we remember the scriptures provide to us in the subject,”are ministers selfish?”, we will follow God’s will. Therefore we will move on with no fear.

    Your fellow follower of Christ and His Word,

    No Fear


  3. TWO SCARED says:

    Whoever wrote this article, thank you for telling it like it is. We are not selfish in the way anonymous has so described us. We may have our issues but we are not unloving to the people we serve.

    I give this article two thumbs up! I’m a dedicated follower of this blog in spite of what the Excom said. Thank you Forgotten Shepherdess for this blog. By the way where is Winston Stanley? I liked his articles.

    Guest what? I’m a preacher who would like my raise…but I’m TWO SCARED to reveal myself.


    • Anonymous says:

      So sad that you have to be scared:-( It’s the nature of the beast in this environment. Imagine, this is the church? The sad part of this whole thing is that most of your fellow pastors would not come to your aid if you speak out. Why? They are only looking out for number one.




        Thank you for visiting the blog and sharing your opinion and welcome back. We have read your comments and one of our contributors addressed your area of concern in the article on selfishness. I think you can agree that most humans if not all are selfish in some area of their lives, including me. We found in the post that we have to be careful who we judge to be selfish.

        I don’t see the church as totally hopeless. We definitely have problems that need to be adressed. WHAT SOLUTIONS CAN YOU SUGGEST. TRY TO LIST THEM. WHO KNOWS THEY MAY GOOD ONES THAT CAN HELP.


  4. dolomite9 says:

    I am so glad that you love your pastor because there is not enough of that going around these days.As far as too good to be chewed,if something seems too good to be true it probably is and if it is too good to be chewed then we should leave it alone.As far as appreciation gifts go,if $100 is all the church can afford then so be it but in too many cases,members can do more. The funny thing is that when we were in other denominations,there was no question about showing appreciation but now we think we are entitled to dictate, demand, control,and demand a new pastor when the one we have does not entertain us or please us anymore!Even so come Lord Jesus!Let the church roll on!


    • TRUTH FOR TODAY says:

      Hello everybody!

      Right on dolomite! If a small church could pay the rent of a thousand dollars to some unfortunate soul, they could have given their pastor a respectful appreciation for time spent for service.LET’S CALL IT LIKE IT IS…SELFISHNESS AND DISRESPECTFUL.

      This is why little minds get little.


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