Monday, November 29, 2004

I was just posting to my Xanga (found here) how being a pastor is a lonely position.

I'm listening to the Smiths, and if you want to feel lonely, that's good music to feel lonely by.

One of the reasons being a pastor is lonely is this: it's hard to make friends. It's hard to be able to share with others exactly why it's hard being a pastor, because most people don't understand the pressure that comes with it. "It must be such a joy working for the Lord" people say. It is. But that doesn't make it easy. I think of it this way: when I worked for CMI, if I screwed up, the worst that could happen was that I would get fired. Or that GerberHart wouldn't pay their taxes because their 10-40 was stuffed between two filing cabinets. heheheheh. When I worked at NU, the worst thing that could have happened was that if I screwed up, I could have been fired.

But in the ministry, there's so much more at stake. I know I'm not the one who saves anyone. But I have such a strategic position that I have to do it well. And it's not easy. I'm just working on becoming organized. I'm just working on getting things going to where I can be proud of them -- sometime in the future. I'm just starting to get that into my sights.

And that's just part of it, a part that most in the congregation don't understand. "We've got such nice youth" they say. Yes, we do. but are we reaching out with any regularity? Are they doing their part as members of the church to help me with "our youth"?

And they don't understand.

Which leads me back to the lonely part. I can't talk to many people about my struggles in ministry. Which is why I hang out on the YS webpage so much. It's fun to unwind in Utherica with people who struggle witht the same things as I struggle with. It's good to be able to kick back and forget for a while the depth of the calling I've been blessed with. The position doesn't lend itself to deep friendships. First of all, it expects a move every few years (especially within the UMC, but also within the Youth Pastor position). I'm the kind who makes friends for life, not just for a while. So that's tough. Just like it's tough having one of my closest friends in the ministry gone to Kosovo. Also it expects a distance -- I was told by someone in the ministry, actually more than one someone -- not to make friends within your church; that I'm supposed to be their leader or their servant but not their friend. I don't think I agree with that, but it's always in the back of my head.

Oh, cool here's some Oingo Boingo. that'll cheer me up!

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