“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Did you see in the news where a schoolteacher is trying to get approved for medical disability because she fears the students in her class? The anxiety is so strong that she is unable to function, she says.
If she is able to pull this off, watch as plenty of teachers as well as practitioners of other professions jump on that bandwagon. I can see it now: doctors who fear their patients, parents who fear their children, drill sergeants with a morbid dread of recruits–all will be able to go home and start drawing their pay.
Someone told me about his pastor the other day. His first analysis was that his preacher is simply lazy. He preaches one sermon a week and often gets someone to fill in for him. He canceled the midweek service because so few people were coming, and turned over the Sunday night service to a layman. He moved his study into his home, but cannot be reached by phone because he turns his phone off and studies wearing headphones which bring in music.
As we chatted further, the man said, “This is the pastor’s first senior pastor position. Previously, he was a youth minister. I’ve noticed he has a great anxiety about facing the congregation on Sunday morning.”
Congregational phobia. There it is.