Posted by: John Edwards | August 2, 2008

The Hardest Job On Earth

The hardest job on earth has to be pastoring a Word of Faith church. I should know because I pastored one for eight long years. My two other jobs before pastoring were a lot easier and safer. I started out in the Marine Corps and did four years there. Parris Island and two deployments overseas away from my family were fairly easy even on top of dealing with poverty as a young married man with babies. After the Marines I became a Birmingham Police Officer for eight years. Working in housing projects and being in harm’s way was a walk in the park compared to pastoring a Word of Faith church. It was easier dealing with murderers and drug dealers than church problems. Believe me, I would rather be in a car chase being shot at with an AK-47 than to be neck deep in church crap.
First of all, teaching the Word of Faith is a breeze. All you have to do is listen to all the Kenneth Hagin tapes and Cd’s that you can find for a couple of years and then you are on your way. It is an attractive message that appeals to needy people with problems. The hard part comes in pastoring the Faith Message because it does not work for real people. It works for the celebrity preachers because they are raking in the offerings and hiding their problems at the same time.
Do you realize how hard it is to try and fit the entire Word of God through one passage? You see, everything the Word of Faith stands for is based on Mark 11:22-24. As a faith preacher you have to interpret the whole Bible on those three verses to make it work.
Being a Word of Faith teacher is like being the defense attorney for a high profile killer. Here you are with your client being Mark 11:22-24. As you try to defend your client, the other side is constantly dumping irrefutable evidence against your client. Sorta like being a P.R. man for Bill Clinton. You are constantly battling evidence.
For example, to teach and pastor the Word of Faith you have to learn how to discredit much of Orthodox Christian theology. You have to learn how to surgically remove the Sovereignty of God. You have to learn how to back spin countless scriptures to make the Faith Message fit. A faith preacher must assassinate the character of Job, redefine many Greek terms in the New Testament, re-write early church history and be able to fit the prosperity message into every sermon that you preach. It’s real hard to fit all those other things Jesus said in with the prosperity message. It can be almost impossible so we usually skip those scriptures if at all possible.
Having Kenneth Hagin’s numerous visions to back the message up is of extreme help. If we cant find scripture for it, we can always resort to a vision that someone had. But even that will dry up eventually.
As a Word of Faith pastor you have to meet with disillusioned church members constantly to try and explain to them why the teaching is not producing the promised results. As a Word of Faith pastor we do have the last word. We can always tell the poor church member that they do not have enough faith, or that they have a bad confession and if all else fails it is a matter of secret sin.
One of the hardest things about being a Word of Faith pastor is burying church members that were believing God for a miracle. Or worse, burying a teenage girl killed in an accident that you had taught the 91st Psalm to, howbeit out of context.
It is really, really hard to be a Word of Faith pastor and have your own daughter drop dead of a brain tumor right in the middle of a healing Revival. That one is difficult to spin. Maybe she didn’t have enough of faith although she could recite whole chapters of the Bible. Hmm. Being a Word of Faith pastor is tough. Watching your church members having to have surgery and medical procedures just like the Baptist folks. Having church members get the flu and have headaches and heart failure even after having taught Divine Health for years is hard to deal with.
Watching poor church members sowing all their money and making confessions and still living in trailers and apartments is tough too.
You finally break down and consult with your leadership but then you get a tail chewing for being weak and doubtful. There is no love and pity in the Faith Camp. You are either a winner or a loser. And please do not ask hard questions to the leaders in
Tulsa. You will be dismissed as a boat rocker for asking tough questions. And you for sure better not question any vision the Prophet has had, or you will be cast out in a flash. You will be branded as being hurt or offended if you ask too many questions.
It is for this reason that I have stopped being a Word of Faith pastor. It sucks.
I have decided to be a regular pastor of a church that is bible centered instead of Mark11:23 centered. It is much more fun to have faith in God than to be a Word of Faith pastor. This way I can let God be God instead of me trying to be God. Less headaches and more joy!


  1. I am thankful that you finally have joy in your salvation. That is the greatest part of being a Christian. Watching God work in your life and in the lives of others is also wonderful. As Baptist we may never be rich, famous or well all the time. I have been through many sad times in my life and I know that God has and will continue to see me through. He does not always deliver us from things but He always is with us.
    Thank you for your messages and it thrills my heart to see how you are learning and teaching the truth. I pray God will continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry.
    In His Love!

  2. Well said, John. Your insight is amazing. I think this is your best post yet.

  3. Your best post yet. My former WOF pastor doesn’t want to be a pastor either. He wants to fly around and sell CD’s at special meetings. Why do i say that? He built a new multi-million dollar building yet bragged that he wouldn’t have an office there. There are dozens of examples of his “counseling” sessions concerning marital problems, loss of a loved one, or financial trials. His advice,”Get over it” or “what do you want me to do?” He never hung around after church to meet and greet the people, until he lost so many in a mass exodus he was forced to change. It’s not surprising though, he told us for years from the pulpit that he never really wanted to pastor, he just had failed at everything else.

  4. Preach on brother.

    You are so right, keep on with the truth.


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