As told with a little help from the brilliant 1996 movie That Thing You Do…
- When you first announce you’re headed to seminary, your friends are like, “Well, if you want to make a lot of money, you probably shouldn’t be a pastor.”
2. You spend your seminary years in a library and you’re all:
3. Then graduation comes and you start applying to ministry positions.
You’re nervous and excited and a little terrified, so there comes a point in every interview when you basically just…
4. Finally a church calls you (YOU!) to be their pastor and you’re totally:
5. You accept a call and start pastoring, even though you really have no earthly idea what you’re doing.
Seminary teaches you many things, but reading a budget? Moderating a board meeting? Dealing with a lady who passes out during the announcements? Notsomuch.
So you fake it till you make it…
6. Then you begin to get the hang of it, thanks to folks who have walked the road before you–mentors, board members, patient congregants–and share their wisdom.
But every few weeks you still encounter something totally out of your realm of knowledge and you’re all…
(that’s a root beer, by the way…)
7. Sometimes you get a phone call that there’s been an accident, or the cancer is back, or the divorce is pending, or that someone you love dearly has died.
You’re devastated, but have to pull it together, even though your heart is breaking. If you’re the pastor, you can’t lose it at the funeral. So you don’t.
8. Sometimes your sermons are okay. Sometimes they’re not all that great, no matter how much time you put into them.
But then there’s a sermon that ends up going really, really, really well. You’re a professional, so you keep your cool. Mostly.
9. Because you minister to a diverse congregation in a divided society, you keep your political opinions to yourself. But occasionally one slips out in the company of someone who not only disagrees but thinks everyone of your political persuasion is going to hell in a hand-basket. And then…
10. But you always end up realizing anew that God lets you witness amazing moments of his holy work, that your congregants invite you in to deeply personal moments, and that you are really, really, ridiculously blessed to do what you do.