In my last post, I talked about a man who walked into the church office with a packet of agenda tucked under his arm.
It’s not a common occurrence, but it does happen often enough that I’ve come to expect these visits, especially when there’s an election underfoot.
I talked about how he came in the office, looked me in the eye and said “Are you the Pastor?”.
I talked about how I’ve come to hate that question, but I didn’t really say why.
I’ve seen other blogs that do an occasional ‘top ten’ list or something similar. So here’s my own “Top Five Reasons I’ve Come To Hate The Question” (or at least how I’d like to answer it).
“Are you the Pastor?”
5. “Nope, our congregation just takes turns sitting here in the church office because it’s so relaxing.”
4. “Did the sign on the door give it away?”
3. “Yes I am, but so is she (point to Christine, who also pastors with me).
2. “Why’s it matter?”
1. “I have a feeling if you would have seen Christine first, your question would have been “Is the Pastor in?”…am I right?”
I know they’re snarky come-backs, and I know people don’t mean anything by asking the question.
But there is something I genuinely don’t like about being ‘set apart’ in the way many people want to set me apart as a pastor.
Usually, when someone asks that question, it’s attached to a whole way of ‘being Christian’ that doesn’t fit me, or Christine, or (thankfully sometimes, not so thankfully other times) our Church.
From telemarketers to emails we receive, to the people who come with agenda tucked under their arm…”Are you the Pastor” is a way of making sure they’ve got the right power broker.
Because there’s a way of doing church where the Pastor is like the CEO…where what the Pastor says, goes. Period.
And there’s all kinds of history wrapped up in that way of doing church. There’s all kinds of history connected to race, gender, economic status, and even marriage related to this title of “Pastor” in many Christian circles.
I will try to respect that, but I’ll try just as hard to respectfully disagree with much of it.
Because I don’t fit there.
That’s why I am where I am.
That’s why WE are where WE are…a husband and a wife who share this calling and this job, who are pretty sure neither one of us would want to do it without the other.
That’s why I hate the question…because I know there are assumptions behind it that make it hard to answer Truthfully.
I know that had you seen my wife, the other pastor who works here, those assumptions would work against her, against both of us.
Yes…I am A pastor here.
Now, Which one of us would you like to talk to about your agenda?