Living A Lie, Not Developing Marketable Skills

When a pastor loses his (or her) faith, that’s a real problem. Pastors may develop some marketable skills but apparently for some it’s hard to market them, especially in a tough job market. I feel more than a little bit bad for these guys; they’re kind of trapped in a job that makes them feel like hypocrites but have no real other way to provide for their families. I can’t help but think this is nothing particularly new; I wonder how many people have been preached to by clergy (of any religion) who don’t really believe what they’re saying.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Then they can man up and get a different job. Surely if you felt you really didn't grasp the law, you'd either re-educate, or find a different profession, right? If I had mulitple data points to suggest my students didn't "get it", then wouldn't the right thing for me to be to consider a new job?Reality is that a good pastor ~does~ develop other skills. The priests I've worked with manage their specific chruch's budgets, organize volunteers, keep their own schedules (which often included evening commitments and of course weekends). One was versed in latin, another a profoundly accomplished pianist. If a minister really felt that they were living a lie, then they have other options out there besides becoming hypocrits.I don't share your sypmathy. Either search to find your faith again, padre, or own up and consider using those talents elsewhere.

  2. I see where you're coming from, Teacher but we'll just have to agree to disagree there. After a certain point in a career arc, one's past skills, education, and experience strongly stovepipe one's future employment prospects. If I were to stop being a lawyer today, I'd have some difficulty convincing nearly any employer to hire me in some other capacity. It's easy for me to imagine how a pastoral career would produce similar results.

  3. A former pastor at my church growing up left to go into the construction business. We used to joke how appropriate this was because he spent less time preaching and more time building onto the church (and putting us further and further in debt). I don't think it lasted, though.A Teacher is right that they do have a lot of skills, but for some reason they're kind of hard to transfer over to other pursuits. You'd almost have to be an entrepreneur so that you wouldn't have to explain your godlessness in interviews and because most people looking for middle-to-upper management-types are probably looking for something closer to their field.You'd almost have to start at the bottom.

Comments are closed.