Monday, October 29, 2007

myth number three....all ministers are alike.


In my quest to be pastor for the world, you need to know more about me....and then I want to get to know about you. We both need to shed our preconceived notions. Along the journey we will hopefully learn more about this world we live in.

I am a minister of the Word and Sacrament.
Myth number three: All ministers are alike.

Why is it that most people understand that all churches are not alike. A person with only a little experience or knowledge can describe basic differences that exist between churches.

Catholics kneel and pray a lot.
Baptist sing and preach a lot.
Pentecostals jump and yell a lot.
Presbyterians think too much and are very organized.

Yet, put all the ministers in a room or simply bump into us out in the world and all the sudden we inherit the same identity. For instance, I have attended a number of parties in my life. Parties of all kinds. Some of the parties I have been invited to attend have even served alcohol.

Just say, I am at a party and am standing with a few people I know and someone that does not know me or what I do approaches. At first I am privy to having no set identity.

Countless times people have come into the circle of people I am standing with and begin telling an edgy joke or slip out a "socially acceptable" curse word, and openly drink the alcohol that is in their glass or bottle. And then, the news hits.

The one who knows me introduces me to the one who does not know me. "I want you to meet Blake. He is a minister."

Oh the stammering that begins. All the sudden the alcoholic drink is hidden behind their back and apologies are spoken for any offense I might have taken. This is usually followed up with confessions, or reasons as to why they don't attend church any more.

My favorite is: "I used to be very active in the church until the minister did such and such....That minister hurt me. I can't go back to a church."

Why does the stupidity or arrogance or blunt honesty of one minister define all ministers? Why do people assume that what might offend a minister of one faith tradition automatically offends ministers of all faith traditions.

I can only speak for myself here.

I did not take a vow of celibacy.
But I understand the importance of my marriage vows.

I did not take a vow of poverty.
But I understand that faith is a calling to serve.

I did not take a vow to never drink alcohol.
But I understand the importance of moderation.

I am not a Conservative American Evangelical.
But I understand that I am called to share my story of faith.

I am not a polly-anna nor am I easily offended by humor, or the realities that life often brings.
But I understand the importance of living life with gentleness and humility.

Ministers are not all alike.

Before opening your mouth and putting your foot in it....take time to get to know the person who happens to be a minister.

You may be pleasantly surprised!


2 comments:

Fat Doctor said...

Tell me this, when people find out your profession, do they tell you about their bowel habits or history of a particularly oozy abscess in their armpit? I never tell people my profession. I do, however, say, "This is my husband, a minister, the Reverend Judge of the World."

MY OWN WOMAN said...

FD, as always, you are a hoot which is one of the many reasons I love to read your blog so much!

Laughing Pastor....both of those videos were for you. I've been thinking of you often as of late. I've been praying for you, but I'm not sure that's the reason I've been thinking of you. You see, I remember a bible story from long ago that Jesus told. He said when you annoint others with oil, more of the oil remains with you than goes onto others. No, those were not the exact words that he used, but I think I paraphrased it without too much damage. I guess I'm being selfish, I want more of the annointing myself.

Spiritually difficult times comes to all of us I suppose, and this has been a whopper of a month for me. I have cried more than I have laughed this month. Most of my tears have been hidden, and they will remain so. My tears are between me and my God.

So.......unfortunately, you are the focus of my attention. NO, I'm not stalking you. (What a time to tell you that just after you've told everyone your name.)

I have sent you two presents, today is the 3rd and the last. I wonder who is getting more out of these presents....me...or you? .....Thus the oil that annoints.

Please go watch my video.