Saturday, May 28, 2011

FW: A 12 Step for Clergy

Pastors and NotPastors…


Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Saturday, May 28, 2011 10:14 AM
Author: (Pastor Peters)
Subject: A 12 Step for Clergy


Hi.  My name is Larry and I'm a Pastor.  Hi, Larry.  So goes the standard opening line of the twelve step I am starting for Pastors who are either embarrassed or ashamed that they are Pastors OR for those who wish they were not Pastors.  I am sure I will not have much trouble drumming up members of my little group.

First we have those who refuse clerical collars and insist up dressing "just like everyone else" (translation, khakis and polo or tee).  They insist that being a Pastor does not make them different and so they eschew anything that might distinguish them as Pastors -- especially vestments or a uniform.

Second we have those who refuse to be called Pastor (often in concert with those above).  They bristle at being called Reverend, Pastor, Father, or Brother and rather enjoy being called Larry.  They see the moniker of Pastor (or other similar title) to be distancing from people and they would rather just be one of the guys.

Third we have those who will dress up like a Pastor on Sunday but look like Bubba every other day of the week.  They dress up like Pastor out of guilt or duty but they don't like it and they certainly would ditch the Pastor clothes or vestments if they could get away with it.  Often, these like to be called Pastor but they want people to know that they can be holy on Sunday and just one of the guys the rest of the time.

Fourth we have those who entered the ministry for whatever reason and actually wish to leave but their education prepared them for little else and they need a paycheck after all.  They also do not want to face the guilt of turning their back upon God (remember Jonah) and so they are Pastors but it is pretty clear to the folks they serve that they are not comfortable in the Pastoral role.

Fifth we have those who believe that it is a false piety to be called Pastor or to look like a Pastor and so they show their genuine piety in that no one could ever mistake them for clergy.  These people might actually believe that being a Pastor and looking like one is a lower rung of the righteousness ladder than just about any other legit vocation.

Sixth we have those who love being Pastors and don't know what it is like to take a day off or time away or wear ordinary clothing.  These are the real addicts.  Family, friends, home, and life all come way down on the totem pole of priorities.  We have them come just to sit and make the rest of those at the meeting feel even worse.  Actually, these are our role models.  Lord knows we all really want to be like them!!

Let me know if you want to join me.... we meed Sundays at 1 pm (after the charade is over) and our meetings last only about an hour... (or as long as it takes to commiserate about our dilemma)...

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