Sunday, March 28, 2010

A loss of identity

I had this thought the other day while running...

Being a pastor means a loss of individual identity. Once you are a pastor in a congregation you are forever a pastor. In fact often it means that you lose identity outside of "pastor." Your name is sacrificed for the title and job. You are no longer seen as a person with purpose or identity outside of that of pastor and you undergo a metamorphoses from a normal person with normal hobbies and interest to "pastor."

There are few other professions/vocations/jobs that cause people to undergo the same change as that of the vocation of pastor. Most other jobs you are able to leave work at work and have a life at home away from the stresses of work. Most other professions do not require 24 hour on-call availability and even your days off become work days due to the requirements of the office/members/etc.

And so what does this all mean, especially for me? I'm not entirely sure. Right now I am neither pastor nor member of the congregation that I am working with; I'm in some sort of limbo in between. It's not as if I wasn't already aware of what I was getting into. But the more that I work at the church the more I realize that the role of pastor is not one that just anyone can fill; and how much more I appreciate the 40 years of ministry that my supervisor has done. And who knows, after a few years of my own ministry in the church I'll have a different perspective on all of this.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean. Another thing about being a pastor is that congregation members seem to believe that pastors have no feelings whatsoever, and that they can say whatever they want to pastors, even if it's really rude and insulting. They would never say these things to anyone else, but there's some sort of assumption that it's okay to abuse the pastor.

    That said, I think I still want to be one. And so do you. :)