Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Some Things I Believe....

I believe these things to be true:

a) When a new pastor comes to a church where the former pastor has been gone for a good while will find that she/he will handle a high number of funerals in the beginning months. It seems that people save their deaths until the pastor arrives. This is similar to how people wait until after a major holiday (Christmas, Easter) to die. Many a pastor gets to know her/his congregation through leading funerals. In churches with younger congregants, the pastor seems to be through with her/his "honeymoon" and accepted as the pastor when the first normal (not an accident) death happens.

Not to put pressure on you but the congregation is watching to see if you can be trusted with their deaths.

b) What people want from a religious leader is authenticity. Be you.

c)The practice of ministry is an art. Keep this in mind as you do church administration.

I'm proud of you all. I thank God that you heard God's call and responded.

St. Casserole


Songbird said...

Thank you for your good words this morning. My load of funerals came later, as if they were holding their breath, collectively, even the 90+ year olds (many of whom are still living), to see if I would really stay.
And thank you for a lesson in being oneself. :-)

revabi said...

I so concur with you. But I have only one death here so far, and it has done just what you said it would do. Also, have a lot in nursing homes, and been making the rounds, that's another place they see you too.

will smama said...

I agree. Especially in small town ministry - funerals are key. I remember at one young pastor gathering one woman was bragging that she hadn't had any funerals in the year she had been there. I blurted out, "That's not good."

A well-run funeral earns those first little tidbits of trust and respect (and gives them hope that the new kid in town won't embarrass the family when the neighbors come over).

Sally said...

You hit it on the head there St Casserole- funerals are key, and to be trusted with personal information at such a difficult time is a real test... we aer watched....
help I have my first funeral on Monday!!!!