Word of the Week

Just Being

I have had several conversations of late where people have asked me how I got to be pastor at such a young age.

It seems that when people speak to me on the phone or over email and then meet me for the first time in person, there is a gasp that comes over them (some hide better than others) about how young I look.  I think I deal with ageism more than I do sexism in my geographic context (which is progress I guess).

This question comes to be asked over and over: "How could you be the pastor already?"

It is hard to know really what to say. Sometimes these are the responses that come out of my mouth:

 a) I look younger that I am really am b) I have my master's degree and several years of experience with some difficult pastoral situations c) listen to me preach and then let me know if you think I'm too young.

Yet, somehow I don't think any of these answers are exactly what I mean to say.

I want to tell folks that I am a pastor because as I've learned about myself by just being- this vocation is the best way I know how to give back to the world in authentic ways. It is who I am.

I think I can be a better pastor because I've lived (and continue at times to live) through the struggle of people wishing I looked more conventional. I know what it is like to feel frustrated when people don't take your ideas for your life path serriously.

As a result, I find myself having conversations with church members often about their own sense of calling. I often want to learn what makes people excited about their lives, their communities and being in church. The goal with all of this is to aid individuals in just being a little bit more too.

I hope that as my journey to be my best self with God's help, I will (if I'm nothing else) continue to encourage others to do BE themselves. For this is exactly what the world needs more of!