being a part of a church is an interesting thing

i was born to a youth pastor and his wife. they moved halfway across the country when i was 3 months old in order to work for a church in fresno, california. they've uprooted themselves on several occasions to pursue what they feel will honor God at that time, all the while being vitally connected to a local church. the vast majority of my childhood memories involve friends from church or church events and yet we lived a life that wasn't isolated from the world around us either.

today, i'm 27 and have a family of my own. we are connected with a local church, which i work for full-time, and we also are connected to the world around us. in our paradigm today this live that we lead is thick with everything from joy to sorrow to confusion to satisfaction. some days i feel like no one has as good a life as i do, and sometimes i feel like our family is an island - disconnected from the world around us as well as the church family that we are a part of. why is this? is it the way of life - the vacillating, oscilloscopic ups and downs that characterize everyone's lives, or is there something unique about the role in which we find ourselves?

there's no doubt that life is full of ups and downs and to rid ourselves of those would be to know a mundane, sullen experience of complete balance, devoid of passion. however, to fill the role of vocational pastor for a local church carries some inherent conundrums. first, our mission is to introduce people to a growing relationship with Christ. whether i work for a church or not, my goal is to share the incredible things He's done with as many people as i can. however, as a paid spokesperson, i feel that my influence there is limited. it's like anything. if i talk to a friend of mine who tells me that Tide will absolutely get my clothes cleaner than any other detergent, i'll probably give it a shot. if i find out that that friend works for Tide, i may assume that he's telling me what he's supposed to as opposed to the truth. (whether that person loves Tide because they work for it or whether they took the job because they love Tide, i don't know, which makes a big difference in my mind, but that can be developed at another time) the point is that people make certain assumptions about me based on my job and while this is probably true about any job, i hate the idea that people might mistake the undying love i have for Jesus for a foregone conclusion or a standard party line.

so the resolution for this continues to elude me. sometimes i think that severing professional ties would do the trick. sometimes i think this has a lot more to do with me than the source of my paycheck.

1 comment:

David said...

I think I understand what your saying and I agree that as a Pastor certain assumption will be made but I think that you are the kind of person that breaks those assumptions. Your style and personality break the mold that I think people like to try and put pastors in. I know that you have for me and it has been refreshing, for lack of a more descriptive sentance fragment.