Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I used to be a minister

I used to be a minister. Well, let me change that. I used to get paid to do the job of a minister. It was my job to study the bible, to teach it, to counsel people, to preach, to lead worship. All the basic activities you would associate with church work, I did. And I got my salary from that function. That's what I mean by, "used to be a minister." Being a minister has its advantages. I miss some of those. I miss the ebb and flow of the seasonal aspect of the work. I miss the times of reflection and study. The comeraderie among co-workers is not there. These are true losses. One thing I don't miss now is the reaction I got from people when they asked my what I did for a living. If you want to shut down a conversation, tell someone you're a minister. 9 times out of 10 it got silent really quick after the announcement. Now I can just say I drive a truck. At least the conversation doesn't close. What is more fun is to tell people I used to be a minister. That seems safer for some reason. I get responses like: "How come you're not anymore?" "Why did you quit?" "Did you lose your faith?" Saying "I used to be a minister" leads to more interesting conversation. I should have tried that years ago. It could have been my little secret when I would get on a plane. Evangelical pastors (except me) seem to thrive on airplanes because all their best stories are about people they witnessed to on the plane. If I had a dollar for every speaker who started their talk with, "On the plane here, I was talking with the person next to me, and.....blah, blah, blah." I really thought that that if I flew more, maybe I would help me tell better stories. Had I known years ago that people seem to be a little more open and honest with an "ex-minister...." Oh, well. Live and learn.

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