Can we stop caring yet?

I chatted with a friend about inspiring women in the religious realm, and since he doesn’t have any experience with the world I work in, I showed him some pictures. 

He lives in Manhattan, keeps up with the fashion industry, and can spot a celebrity a mile away. He looked at the authors and pastors smiling from their airbrushed bio pics and said, “Wow. It must be nice to work in an environment where you don’t have to worry about your looks.” 

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Controlling our inner control freak

Judy preached a sermon in which she told a story about herself, a lovely narrative that helped us connect with her on a personal level and supported the scripture lesson well. Judy was known for her preaching, and the church had grown steadily since the day she stepped in the pulpit.

In the handshake line, I overheard a parishioner telling her, “I’m getting awfully tired of hearing your stories. Next time, could you just stick with the text? Our last pastor just talked about the Bible and I learned so much from him.”

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I’m not sure why the pastorate produces so much anxiety. I suppose you have the performative aspects of it. After so many years, I still toss and turn until my sheets twist into a jumbled mess the night before a sermon or lecture. My mind preaches all night, figuring out how to say it better. I never seem to get to that point of deep sleep.  

Then there are the 40-year declining stats that people expect the pastor to turn around immediately, even though he or she has only been serving the church for two years.

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