Someone said just about the nicest thing they could say to me this week when I was out on a pastoral visit .
“I love having you over because we’re just talking, it’s not like you’re ‘company.’”
While I am quite comfortable with my calling as a pastor, I’ve never been comfortable with being The Pastor. When The Pastor comes over you have to be on your absolute best behavior, and clean up the house, and shift your language into overly spiritual christianese. I don’t know who The Pastor is, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to hang out with him.
I don’t want people to think I’m one some other spiritual plane because of my calling 1, someone they have to alter their behavior to consider themselves worthy of my visit 2. I just want to meet people, drink a cup of coffee, and chat about their stories. It’s amazing to see how God has been guiding and shaping people throughout their lives, and it’s a privilege to hear people’s celebrations, regrets, and everything in-between. And if a story isn’t made “pastor-friendly 3” that’s all right, because it’s them.
So when someone tells me having me over is “just talking,” I couldn’t be more pleased. It means they’re comfortable letting me in to their lives, and comfortable with me just being me.
And we never have to pretend I’m The Pastor. That guy seems awful.