Yesterday, I read two posts that came from opposite ends of the spectrum regarding this topic. The posts and comments reflect a wide variety of views regarding the professionalization of ministry.
First Scot McKnight had a post about the informality demonstrated on the pastor pages of some websites. He said:
What annoyed me about these sites was the utter absence of a sense of the sacred in pastoring, of the overwhelming sense of God’s call upon a life that reaches so deep that everything becomes holy, of the profound respect and privilege of the call to lead God’s people, and of the total lack of order. The sense we hear today of being real and authentic doesn’t mean we devalue the pastoral calling of its sanctity. I couldn’t and wouldn’t call any of these folks “Reverend.” If I were a visitor, I’d go somewhere else.
But a church site with pages for pastors ought to reflect the sacred wisdom of the ages and sacredness of the vocation. Some of these folks need to wear the collar for a year, daily.
Scott Williams, still one of my favourite bloggers, has lived on both sides of this role. Be sure to read his entire post.
there is a certain unspoken understanding that what we (pastors) do for a living is slightly, or greatly, more significant than what you do. after all, we are making a difference for eternity, you are only making a living.
i have learned…to appreciate the work a day struggle of the proletariat, the common folk who dedicate our lives to nothing more noble than caring for our families and helping our friends. it seems, at first glance, to not be as noble a calling, but perhaps a calling nonetheless.
from time to time i want to explain to people that i still do the “ministry” thing on a subversive level
Describing an upcoming wedding at his restaurant:
my restaurant, will be swarming with people who i used to pastor (some of whom think very little of me). i am certain that on that day i will feel a little awkward – i am after all still serving them; only this time as their waiter, their chef, even their bartender.
i guess that’s good enough for me.
So what do you think, a collar or an apron?