One of the interesting, and in my experience quite recent, phenomena encountered of late with many of those who are 'called' is called 'not doing anything' [NDA]
The scene for this challenging behaviour is set when those who are collared are still doing stuff as laity. They're not even potential ordinands or engaged in Lay ministry (although I have detected the early signs of this disease in some who are Lay ministers but assume this is merely an abberation) for the early signs are associated with anyone who find themselves on a rota. The symptoms are subtle at first and it's only when trends appear that diagnosis can be made and yet, ironically, by that time the grip is so tight that an attempted cure can be fatal.
Let's take as our example 'Bob' - a really nice chap who attends almost every week and because he's there he volunteers to do the tea and coffee. He enjoys it and the approbation the role brings from others and so he volunteers for the rota. Every week he's in church and whenever his team are making the drinks he's there 'doing the stuff'. 'What a man, what superb coffee and look at the tea, you can't see the bottom of the cup,' the congregation cry - and all is well.
But then the spores of NDA blow in and begin to take effect and an invitation to a Balinese nose flute contest beckons and since they're not doing anything, Bob pop off for the weekend. The week after Bob is dutifully back behind the counter serving a cornucopia of liquid delights and all is well. Well, as well and well can be because Bob has realised that when he has 'nothing to do' it's fair game to be somewhere else as his absence has no consequence for those still there (drinks are served by someone else) and he's away doing whatever it is that's bringing him joy at that time. 'After all, it's just a little 'me time' and that's important isn't it - you don't want to see me burn out do you,' thinks Bob to himself.
Soon Bob finds himself checking the rotas to see when he has to be there rather than find out when he might be able to take some time away and the process is complete. Now infected Bob can continue to do what he does (when he has to) and as the condition continues undetected he might eventually find himself taking on other roles, perhaps even becoming a lay minister or ordained even. But the symptoms continue - the need to not be present when you're not on the rota and NDA becomes more acute and fuelled by the fact that if you don't 'need' to be at work. . .
Well you know what I mean - after all, who goes in to work on a Saturday if they don't have to? Same applies when the job is church - doesn't it?
And if you're ordained and you're not doing anything, after all you were on the rota in the morning, it's fair game that you take the evening off. Yeah, I know it's Sunday but you're NDA so why would you go?
'What's that Sweep? Sooty says that being a Christian he thought you'd want to be in a church building engaged in worship because that's where you'd want to be - not because it's your job!'
What a silly Sweep - you don't need to go to church - you're not doing anything!
As a postscript I was thinking back to a time when I was doing so much in church that I realised that I was no longer living with Christ but was clocking on and working with Him and then when I clocked off again we parted company until tomorrow. When I had to be at work with Him.
I'm not advocating that those who do stuff in church need to be there all the time - but appealing to those who might have forgotten that if we don't want to be there and only go when we have to do stuff - we might need to step back and get perspectives and relationships sorted ;-)