Dec 052014 3 Responses

The Greatest Perk of the Pastorate

Many pastors talk about how hard the pastorate is. It’s a very legitimate discussion, albeit, in my opinion, it’s a discussion which should be had between pastors and church boards and not aired in the open public. Whining pastors are one of my pet peeves. Yes the pastorate can be difficult but so is being a teacher, a police officer, a stay-at-home-mom, or an accountant. Life is hard; it’s part of it. Any time you hear a pastor publicly talking about how hard his life is,  you should question if he is being transparent or trying to put on an act for others. More often than not, it is the latter.

But what pastors don’t talk about much are the perks that come with the pastorate–and I’m talking about more than just the best parking places at all the hospitals. The pastorate is full of perks, but there is one which tops all the rest. (See: Three Steps to Like Every Person You Meet)

The greatest perk of the pastorate are the natural relationships we have with a diverse group of people. What we easily have, few other people experience, and it is a tremendous blessing.

Life is better lived with a diversity of friends.

It gives us a more full picture of the world in which we live. It keeps us from focusing solely on our own perspective. It encourages and challenges us.

The pastorate naturally creates relationships with a community of diverse people. It’s not unusual for me to leave a meeting with someone who makes more money in a week than I make in a year in order to go to an appointment with someone who sees me as the wealthiest person they know. I’ll be texting teenagers while waiting to have lunch with someone in their 80s. I have meaningful relationships with people in every decade of life.

This is the best perk of the pastorate. I can’t imagine living this life without people who are older than me sharing their wisdom of experience, without peers walking alongside me, and without those younger than me challenging my passion and zeal for life.

We are meant to live in diverse communities. We were never designed to live isolated lives with people who look like us, think like us, talk like us, and are in the exact same station in life as us.

We were birthed into families. Those families are supposed to be multi-generational institutions in which we learn from people in different stages of life. (See: My Best Friend, Not My Only Friend)

We live in communities. Those communities are supposed to create natural relationships between people with differing experiences and backgrounds.

We are called into churches. Those churches are supposed to be the most radically diverse cross-section of humanity.

This is how life is supposed to operate—with multiple avenues through which we experience the diversity of life.

However, too often we do not experience the eclectic cross-section of interactions because we isolate ourselves from diversity.

Families are broken and many struggle to maintain strong bonds across the generations.

Communities are built with fences, gates, and in seclusion so interactions are diminished.

Churches segregate with their own kind, failing to worship as a complex corporate body.

Never has there been such an opportunity to have a diversity of relationships, yet never has their been a time in which so few people experience the value of knowing different people. (See: Drama Addicts–Why Your Best Friend Is Always Stressed)

Thankfully the pastorate makes this happen naturally.

What comes easily to my life because of my job should be intentionally created by most people no matter their setting.

We must build strong relationships with a diversity of people in order to live more well-rounded lives.

We should do this for our children. They need to know more adults than just us. They need to interact with a variety of people.

We should do this for our marriages. Few things will strengthen a marriage as much as interacting with strong marriages that are a step or two down the road from you.

We should this for ourselves. The encouragement, education, and vitality which comes from loving people of all ages cannot be downplayed.

Consider your closest relationships. Do they all look the same? Are they all of the same age? Do they all think alike? Are they all of the same socio-economic background? (See: Love Your Friends, Don’t Listen to Them)

If so, something needs to change.

  • Make a friend in each decade of life.
  • Develop meaningful relationships with people of a differing political viewpoint.
  • Learn the story of someone you would otherwise judge.

Life is better lived in a diversity of relationships. It’s the greatest perk of the pastorate that I naturally have those relationships. You will have to intentionally create that community on your own.

 

3 Responses to The Greatest Perk of the Pastorate
  1. Kerry Reply

    Love this, life would be so boring if we were all alike.

  2. Greer Vest Reply

    You also play a great amount of golf.

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