Saturday, July 6, 2013

5 Things About Being a Pastor That Make Me Laugh Out Loud (Sometimes)

1. How the physical activity of keeping house in a church becomes invested with moral significance:  there’s a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ way to do just about everything, instead of merely a preferred or habitual way.  Thus when I as pastor put the candles to one side rather than having one on each side, do I risk damnation.  Who knew?

2. That people sometimes assume I know things – all things – especially when it comes to pastoral care, as in who’s sick, who’s in the hospital, etc.  Investing me with magical powers of knowing isn’t always funny, but sometimes it’s hysterical.

3. That my physical appearance and mode of dress are the object of interest and comment, negative as well as positive.  When I began this journey, I had no idea my hair style would be seen as significant to my ministry.  It’s flattering, scary and sometimes funny to be the object of so much attention.   Really?

4. How those not involved in a church don’t know what to do with me.  Some immediately declare the state of their own faith or lack thereof, apparently fearful that I am going to do a Presbyterian snatch and grab.  Some just wander off, as if I’ve got a mild disease they’d like to avoid but are too polite to say so.  And some invest me with a degree of goodness that I do not possess (church folk seldom make that mistake!)  I especially pity those beside me on airplanes, as they’ve nowhere to go.

5. How the lives of people within the church are not to be the subject of my assessment or comment, but my life choices are open for discussion by any and all.  Thus I am not to tread into the sacred ground of how much money any one person gives or doesn’t give – that is none of my business.  But whether I serve beer to friends at a cook-out is material for the open reflection of the public domain.  I had no idea that I would be public property.  I guessed I’d be the subject of attention and focus, but have been taken by surprise the degree to which an entire community can actually care about what I do.

1 comment:

  1. life in a small town just adds to this. Teachers undergo a lot of the same scrutiny. Ginny