There have been many funny stories I’ve gotten to tell about telling people I’m a Pastor. They made for good laughs but now I second guess that. There’s the one story where I meet a lady in an airport and we’re talking, waiting on our flight. She is cussing up a storm and I politely nod my head and genuinely smile as I listen to her story. There’s no judgement or condemnation on my part. Eventually we get around to asking what we do for a living and I share that I’m a Pastor. The lady turns white and begins apologizing all over herself. I told her I was fine and that I had heard all those words before and even used a few of them before (in my old days of course) but the discussion was different after that. It wasn’t as authentic.
The fine lady was not as relaxed and fluid as before. She became guarded and even ashamed. I am a sinner, and I am no one to be ashamed in front of. I’m flawed. We ought to feel guilty for our sins to God not to man. This made me wonder whether the effect of telling people I’m a pastor is a detriment or a help. I that’s the reaction I get from telling people I’m a Pastor I don’t think I want to do that anymore. For them to act any other way, other than themselves, is hypocritical and I don’t want people to live like that. I don’t think Jesus wants them to live like that either.
There was another time where I met a guy and we had similar interests. We really seem to hit it off. Then I told him I was a Pastor and the rest of the time we talked it felt like I had made a joke about his dead mother, “Too soon?” .
Jesus was forthcoming about himself. He told the woman a the well that he was the Messiah. I am not ashamed of Jesus or ashamed to admit that I am a Pastor I am only concerned that I may actually be ministering to less people because of it.
Next time someone asks me what I do maybe I’ll just utter the cheesy line, “My boss is a Jewish Carpenter” and move along.
Do you find yourself struggling to connect once you’ve outted yourself as clergy?
When is the “right time” to reveal that your a Pastor? Up front? At the end of a conversation?
Do you have an #awkwardpastormoment? I wish you’d share it in the comments. It would at least make me feel better. Thanks