Pastor ponders stereotypes about his job

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2008

Being a pastor is an interesting job. Among other things, pastors should be good at operating a plunger, painting, repairing holes in walls and cleaning coffee stains out of carpets.

Yes, it is amusing at moments.

Among other things, a pastor should be gracious. Some people like to clarify how pastors should think and how pastors should speak. I suppose this is only natural since, we are a breed that tends to have a lot to say.

Recently, I read several comments along the same theme. The old, "You know how those pastors are!" stereotype.

It goes like this, "Yeah all them preachers back stabbing each other, churches don't get along. What kind of Christians' are they?"

Like all prejudices, there may be an element of truth in some instances, but it really is a stereotype.

I recently shared a few of these observations at the monthly ministers meeting. It resulted in some friendly jesting and a few church jokes. Believe it or not, the majority of the pastors on the Kenai Peninsula get along, respect each other and like one another. After all, we work for the same Boss.

In the spirit of cooperation, there are three different monthly meetings for all local pastors. The local ministerial association works together to assist or lead numerous community events and organizations. Things like the upcoming Peninsula Ministry Conference, the God and Country Rally, partnering with Love Inc, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, social services, the Hospital Chaplaincy, Prison Ministries, joint services and conferences, etc.

As pastors and ministers, we share a common bond; the call to serve, to sacrifice and to impact the community for good.

Most ministers work for less compensation than they could earn in the secular market and sacrifice a lot of time to serve their congregations and community.

We may have local expressions, traditions, and distinctives. But, we share common goals and values.

Each church, in its own way is trying to pursue the same goals. For instance, our church mission statement is to "Worship God, build each other up and reach out to our world." I believe that the whole Christian community shares those same goals.

There will always be folks, who say they know God, but they are really just acquaintances with Him. There will always be folks who misrepresent the heart of their church.

When we as individuals hear information, some good questions to ask are, "Is it really true? What's the source? Is it in the context in which it was intended?"

Grandma used to say, "Believe half of what you read and none of what you hear 'til you get it from the horse's mouth." Today folks say; "I know it's true, I read it on the internet"

In closing this little commentary, let me say on behalf of a lot of the pastors in our community, "We are thankful for each other and are committed to the faith community and the community at large."

Robert Reasner is a pastor at Abundant Life Assembly of God at 32940, at Mile 81.5 of the Sterling Highway. For more information, call 262-7266.

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