When I became a Pastor, I was still not sure what that meant. It seemed, all of a sudden, that I had great authority, great responsibility, and absolutely no way to know how to use it. It seemed that when I became a pastor, I was seen as another person, but felt the same inside. It was kinda like the transition during a birthday. You don’t feel any different, but people regard you differently.
One of the good things about becoming a pastor in a place where I didn’t know anyone before, is that people only see me in the box of Pastor. Though there are memories of me as a cute little gangly two year old, it was long enough ago that it is more the memory of my father’s love for me than my own terrible twos that they remember.
About this box. [Pastor] what do people expect? How will they compare you to previous pastors, or pastors in the surrounding area? What will they notice first? What will they judge first? What will be my first, second, seventeenth, mistake? How should I dress, on Sunday morning and during the week? (This seems much more important as a woman pastor.) How do I learn to preach each week, worship each week, sing each week, Sabbath each week, exercise each week, eat well each week, eat at potlucks each week, and still keep my original identity.
My entire identity seems to be in an upheaval. From Student to Pastor. From Randall to Bryant. From Single to Married. From Loans to Salary. From GA to NC. From Old to Young. From Apartment to House. From City to Town. From Girlfriend to Wife.
All of that happened this summer, in the span of about a month.
Don’t get me wrong. I am loving nearly all of it.
As a Pastor, I am scared each week about the authority that I am taking. It doesn’t seem that I have earned it yet. I am getting much more than it seems I could have banked in this short amount of time. And what worries me more than anything, is that my churches will see that they have granted me authority that I don’t deserve. They are wonderful people, and so I do not want to let them down.
But I am human. I am fallen. I will make mistakes (have already, actually).
And what I need to keep reminding myself is that as I take on the mantle of Pastor in this place, I am granted the mantle also of my Master, which covers me and will protect me. God cares too much about the Body of Christ to let a girl like me get in the way of God’s Purposes. And so I hope to join in with them, and not get in the way, and possibly even help make the way more straight.
That is what happened when I became a Pastor, I became one who points more to God. And I think I can handle that.