Friday, November 16, 2012

Don't You Want to be a Real Pastor?

"What do you do for a living?"

It's a question I dread. First, people act weird around a pastor. But when they find out I am a youth pastor, it's all of the follow up questions I know are coming that cause me headaches. Chief among them is, 'When are you going to become a real pastor?'

The question takes on different forms, but it does come down to this idea that every other form of pastor is merely a stepping stone to the real deal. So I thought I would do all youth pastors a favor everywhere and provide a guide of different ways to answer this question. Because if you haven't been asked this question yet, you will. Just wait until you have turned 30 and people assume you are ready to stop 'playing games with teens.'

'Do you want to be a real pastor?'

1. I took philosophy classes in college. Am I a fake pastor? Are you saying I don't exist? Can you prove that I don't from the perspective of Renee Descarte?

2. Does this mean I'll get paid more? Will I get more than a folding chair in my office? 

3. Wait, 'fun' is what I have been having?

For those that think snarky is not a love language, I have three other answers. You could try these and let me know how they work. I can't vouch for these in actual conversation, because I normally opt for snarky.

1. I am a real pastor. I went through the same schooling that your senior pastor went through, especially for those of us that went to college before youth ministry was a major. (You probably shouldn't use this one if you didn't do college and seminary.)

2. Consider me a specialist. No one asks a pediatrician or an oncologist if they want to be a general practitioner, or a real doctor. In fact, specialists often have to get more education to do what they do and usually get paid more. I suppose that's just a pipe dream.

3. Please ask that question of public school teachers and high school counselors and administrative staff. Oh, you wouldn't? Why not? Like many other people in education fields, I have chosen to dedicate myself to educating our children. I do believe children are the future.

Have you been asked this question? How did you respond?

No comments: