Friday, May 10, 2013
What is a Pastor?
I had an interesting night on Facebook. I know, I know. I should know better. But an article about a school district canceling a grade school graduation because someone complained about a prayer being on the agenda sucked me in. I noted that it might not be the place for a public prayer, due to the fact that everyone in the crowd might not be of the same faith. I also shared the fact that even Christian prayers sometimes trouble me, since not all Christians pray and think alike.
I got a response that started by attacking my grammar and spelling. Yes, it was quickly written, and I was not trying to be grammatically correct, and I had prayer where I should have had pray. But I never quite get the point of starting out by minimizing the other person, before making one's own point.
I got hooked. I replied with a very grammatically correct, and very snarky answer. Complete with big words. It was sarcasm at its best. Quite a work of art if I must say so myself (I must, I must). To which I got the reply back..... "You shouldn't be a pastor."
Shortly thereafter I got an answer that said if I could see both sides of the argument, in other words if I could side for those who didn't want prayer at the event, I was "not a pastor."
That got me thinking. Since I have always felt more than a little uncomfortable with the title of pastor (or Reverend, or minister), a little concerned that I really don't live up to the title, I started wondering, what is a pastor.
So I am asking you? (Replies are welcome).
What is a pastor?
Is a pastor a person who never gets mad? (or engages in any other unsavory behavior? If so I am way out!)
Is a pastor someone who always pushes the faith?
Is a pastor someone who must by definition buy into a dualistic perception of the faith (us against them, you are in or out, turn or burn)?
Is a pastor an "authority?" Someone higher up on the spiritual heirarchy?
Is a pastor someone with all the answers?
Is a pastor someone who raises the questions?
In my little church I do one main thing. I share what I get out of my reading of a section of scripture. I share what I think (hope?) God is telling me, and I hope it is helpful to someone else. I don't even go up front (I hide in the back of the choir) until it is time to share.
So call me perpetually confused.
But based upon the comments I got on facebook,
I would guess I am not the only one.