I began the visit with “Hello, I’m the new pastor at the Presbyterian church.” An innocent enough introduction, I thought.
“Wow. But you’re so young!” came the reply.
“Well, I just started. And sure, I’m on the young side,” I said, hoping to move on quickly.
“No, I mean, you’re really young!”
At this point it was difficult to know what to say. To be honest, I was frustrated. I thought of pastors in other denominations who are ordained with only a bachelor’s degree, or those who are pastoring without having ever attended college. I didn’t go to college for four years plus three years of seminary plus an extra year of internship to have my lack of wrinkles and my intact hairline greeted with absolute shock. But I bit my tongue and took a deep breath.
Adam J. Copeland teaches faith and leadership at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He has served as pastor of a Presbyterian church and as mission developer of a Lutheran ministry. He blogs at A Wee Blether, part of the CCblogs network.