Sunday, July 06, 2008

Just Because I'm Seminary Educated...

...doesn't mean I am "in charge" of the church.

...doesn't mean I have the market cornered on truth.

...doesn't mean I am beyond sin.

...doesn't mean I have all things figured out.

...doesn't mean I am due any special privileges.

...doesn't mean I am above rebuke.

...doesn't mean I am led any differently than any other Spirit-filled believer.

...doesn't mean my opinion should be elevated above that of another believer.

...doesn't mean my opinion should be elevated above what the Bible actually says.

...doesn't mean I understand the Bible better.

...doesn't mean I deserve a title.

...doesn't mean my prayers are heard differently by God.

...doesn't mean I don't struggle.

...doesn't mean I cannot or will not stumble or fall.

...doesn't mean I shouldn't ask questions and work out my own salvation.

...doesn't mean my interpretations of the Bible are infallible.

...doesn't mean I should have a reserved parking space or be first in line.

...doesn't mean my wife should hold every capacity in the church that isn't filled.

...doesn't mean my children should be held to a higher standard than any other believing family's children.

...doesn't mean God favors me over anyone else.

37 comments:

selahV said...

I remember thinking similar things once. I think mine would have been entitled, Just Because I'm a Minister's Wife, Doesn't Mean:....."
Praying all is well. selahV

Karma Shuford said...

Praying all is well

Agreed. You sound a bit frustrated in this post. Undoubtedly, I agree wholeheartedly with some of the ones you posted (especially about the wife and kids -- they really get the short end of the stick sometimes).

Many of the things you mentioned are done for one of two reasons.

One, the congregation is pressuring the pastor to be something he is not, and cannot be, in an effort to manipulate or control him.

Two, the congregation is doing some of it because they genuinely care and want you to feel special and respected, and *wanted.*

I know I've done some of the things on the list to/for Daryl, but only because I care about him and his family, and I know that life comes at preachers HARD, and it is my way of trying to keep him encouraged.

You guys have a TOUGH job. You are on call 24/7, even on vacations (yea, right), and ARE under extreme scrutiny, unfairly much of the time. (I don't say all the time, because if you showed up in the pulpit wearing nothing but your shorts, we would have problems, and you would deserved the scrutiny.)

That said, you guys are also very special. You have been called and appointed/annointed by God on high to do something very difficult, but also something very, very meaningful and life-changing.

So, yea, you are just a normal guy (relatively speaking -- hahah), but a special normal guy. :)

And hey, don't knock the parking place. You have to drive a long way to get to your church. Heaven forbid you should have to *walk* very far. <----- Sarcasm intended.

:)

(All of this is easy to write to *you* simply because I still have to remind myself that you ARE a preacher. To me, you are just Tony, a regular guy.)

selahV said...

Karma...I agree about the parking place. after all he does have 5 children he needs to keep in tow to get them through the doors. selahV

Tony said...

Mrs. V,

I used to remember reading a blog called "Confessions of a Pastor's Wife"...

Karma,

Nahhh...not frustrated, not really. Just some thoughts bumping around in this old noggin of mine. I guess I am looking at the pastor being treated more as a fellow believer rather than with some kind of spiritual superiority.

When I first met the secretary at GBC she referred to me as Rev. Sisk. I about choked on my tongue. I responded, "No, its just Tony. Just Tony."

I really do just want to be the normal guy.

And the parking space comment was just to communicate that I don't want any special privileges; no clerical discounts needed here.

And ya know, I have never had that dream every other preacher has had, or at least says he has, ya know the one where he is preaching up a storm and then realizes he is in his underwear? Nope. Never had that one. As a matter of fact, I have never dreamed about preaching. Not once.

Karma Shuford said...

Karma...I agree about the parking place. after all he does have 5 children he needs to keep in tow to get them through the doors.

He only lives a few yards from the front door of the church. hahaha That said, it might not be a bad idea to drive them across the road. . .;P

And Tony, tonight you know what is going to happen. . .:)

I really do just want to be the normal guy.
I am not even going to touch this one. . . .

Tony said...

Fine. See if I bear my heart to you anymore. Pfffft.

Bernard Shuford said...

I understand that the special parking place they gave you upon arrival is no longer LARGE enough.

Steve Sensenig said...

...doesn't mean you can play golf any better than me, either ;)

(we need to do that again soon, bro)

Bernard Shuford said...

He does, however, know where to borrow a King Cobra titanium driver that just might allow him to pin his opponents' ears back.

Karma Shuford said...

Fine. See if I bear my heart to you anymore. Pfffft.

Pffft back at ya.

Tony said...

You guys are reeeeeeel funeeeee...

Golf sounds good. I thought about a Saturday so Barnyard can join us. If he hits as good as his jokes are we'll be in good shape. And Karma can keep the kids.

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Steve Sensenig said...

Actually, I would love to have "Barnyard" join us. Although if you borrow his driver, how's he going to pin my ears back, too? ;)

Is there a good course near y'all? We can make a trip down there on a Saturday and Christy and "the little one that can't be named publicly yet" (aka Hope Giver) can hang out with the wives and kids there and my son Dylan can complete our foursome (now there's a boy that pins my ears back in golf -- well, not really, but he is about 10-12 strokes better than I am).

Let's find a date that works!!

Karma Shuford said...

Bernard, take 'em to Irontree.

I was going to mention taking Travis, but it is always so embarrassing when grown men get beat by a 6 year old.

heheheheheh

Bernard Shuford said...

If I go, Trav HAS to go, because he would never forgive me if I went without him...

Irontree would make Tiger Woods hate golf. It's actually an easy course if you're a REALLY good golfer. Which I am NOT.

Thus, my jokes must not be very funny...

Irontree is cheap, but I would be very hesitant to call it "good". It's where we usually play because it doesn't get much pressure, just a few slow eightsomes every now and then...

Now here Tony has lost a perfectly good theological post to the right wing slice madness of golf. Hmmmm.

Tony said...

I say the more the merrier.

Tony has lost a perfectly good theological post to the right wing slice madness of golf. Yeah. I do kinda feel that way.

Steve Sensenig said...

Well, FYI, August 9 - Sept 13 are out for me because of prior obligations. Anything prior to that work for you guys?

Oh, and are we supposed to comment on the actual post here?

Good post, Tony. I agree completely. (Note to self: find out what the post was about soon...) hehe

JoeG said...

Geez, I disappear for a week and all you can talk about is golf?? You'd think you were a doctor or something! :)

Tony said...

Steve,

Will look at the schedule and coordinate with you.

Joe,

Seriously glad you're back, my friend.

And P.S., Trav IS coming! I need some lessons. :)

JoeG said...

Glad to be back, but not sure for how long. Jury duty calls tomorrow. Hoping for a nice week-long case. It's better than being here at work right now! :)

Karma Shuford said...

you only get to stay on jury duty when you don't want to. or so it seems. . . .

JoeG said...

Tell me about it. I called the jury phone line last night just to find out I was dismissed already. :( I was really looking forward to a few extra days away from work!!

M. Steve Heartsill said...

My next to last church always called their pastor, "Reverend." I hated when they started calling me that as well. I told them that I only used the Rev. title when I was really ticked off and was trying to impress the person on the other end of the phone. They seriously wanted to reconsider who their pastor was at the time, I think.

They asked me, "What should we call you?" I said, "Well, my mother calls me Steve. That'll work for you too." Took years before it caught on with some of them!

Then, I went and got a doctor's degree...but that's another story for another time!

Tony said...

Steve,

Welcome to my blog! Thanks for dropping in. What brought you here?

I have never cared for the reverend title; an Old English word that means "the revered one." Yeah. Right.

Don't call me reverend!

:-)

Thanks for stopping in, Steve.

Blessings,
Tony

M. Steve Heartsill said...

Tony...I found your blog on another blog I visit regularly...so, I thought, "If it's good enough for them, it's probably going to be good enough for me!"

And, I must say, I like what I see...I really like the painted van that Karma created for you! I'd be hurt if you didn't go with her artwork! It is priceless!

Steve Sensenig said...

How many Steves can read one blog?? ;)

Tony said...

If it makes you feel any better, you were the FIRST Steve to read my blog.

;)

Steve Sensenig said...

Shoot...I was probably one of the first PEOPLE to read your blog!! hehe

Karma Shuford said...

.I really like the painted van that Karma created for you! I'd be hurt if you didn't go with her artwork! It is priceless!

Finally, SOMEONE with a real sense of taste and class.

:)

Steve H, I see you are from AL. We were in Huntsville a week or so ago. That is the hottest place on Earth.

Tony said...

Steve Sensenig,

And I still appreciate that you condescend to read my blog. :)

Karma,

Go ahead and butter Steve H. up cuz it won't work for me.

Steve H,

Please be forewarned; there is a fair amount of snark that bumps around in here. All in good fun, though! (I hope...)

Karma Shuford said...

No matter what Tony says, I am NOT snarky. ever. much.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

Trust me guys, I can handle snarky. I was a pastor for way too long to take much of anything too seriously...

So, I'm not the first Steve to read the blog...darn...But, I bet I am either the smartest, best looking, most determined...oh, nevermind...no one will believe that, I don't even believe it as I am typing it!

JoeG said...

Three Steves and only one Joe?? What is this world coming to?? :)

Karma Shuford said...

Hey, only one Karma, as well.

BUT, I'm used to it. :)

Karma Shuford said...

Back to the OP -- so what does "seminary educated" mean?

;)

Tony said...

It will probably take us thirty more comments to get to the original point...which was...

>scratching head, staring at navel<

Karma Shuford said...

It will probably take us thirty more comments to get to the original point...which was...

>scratching head, staring at navel<


I'm getting a visual on that.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

I'm changing the channel...I can't bear to think of this visual!

Get us back on track...or write another post so we can comment and put this one long behind us!