pam follows a forum for the wives of pastors, which i think is funny because anyone who knows pam knows that she is not like the typical pastor’s wife – how many pastors’ wives do you know that are ph.d professors? ok, so now i have to right a brief sidebar right in the middle of this post (rather a fun statement to make).
as a minister for 20 years i have been around many pastors and their spouses (remember not all pastors are men – but for the rest of this post i am going to generalize to men pastors because that is primarily where this experience comes from). in my interactions with these ministers i have constantly heard them say “my wife is always told that she doesn’t look anything like a pastor’s wife.” i laugh most of the times i hear this because i believe that looks are pretty much meaningless. i’ve been around pastors and pastors’ wives who look cool and hip and yet act just like the general stereotype of pastors – that everyone should heed their words, that everyone should serve them, that they have unearned authority just because of the position that have been placed in by their congregation, that others should instantly take care of their kids for them, etc. it’s really just like all the references in the old testament concerning people putting on the outside looks of piety but never having the inward actions of piety. the only difference is here it’s about putting on the outside looks of not being a typical pastor’s wife (or pastor) and yet in your interactions with people actting out the very worst of the pastor/pastor’s wife stereotype. thus it’s always funny that some people think that not being like a pastoral or pastors’ wife-orial stereotype is just about how someone looks. i would rather be around a pastor or pastor’s wife that looks the stereo type but acts like a humble servant than around someone who looks like ryan seacrest or his female counterpart (who is seacrest’s female counterpart?).
okay – rant ended. oh and mom and dad, don’t worry this rant isn’t from anything that has happened recently. it’s just developed from being at enough ministers’ conferences. you see the best and sometimes the worst at those things.
ok, now back to the pastors’ wives’ forum that pam reads every now and then. pam told me yesterday about at message thread from the forum concerning CHRISTmas bonuses. the thread is discussing whether or not you get a CHRISTmas bonus from your church. that’s when pam looked at me and said “you know what your CHRISTmas bonus is this year?” being a male i could think of several great responses to this question but i held my tongue. so pam replied, “you’re leading a church that is getting it. they’re getting what church should be and they’re getting the whole advent conspiracy thing.”
pam’s right. in the past several weeks pam and i have seen the young adults and college students of tapestry act out CHRISTmas in real ways. gloves and coats were brought to the tapestry hot drink night so that we could turn our time together into a time of taking care of others. some young men of tapestry decorated a neighbor in need’s house because they new he wouldn’t have the chance to do it. we know of gifts that are all about relationship that have been made, produced, etc. money is being raised for a freshwater well for a community. on a personal note i have received several messages from people who already feel that tapestry is a gift from GOD and that they are being able to live out their faith in more meaningful ways because of what GOD is doing through the people of tapestry. that’s the kind of CHRISTmas bonus that i like.
if you are a minister somewhere and you get a CHRISTmas bonus gift this year that’s great. please don’t read this post as if i am trashing on churches giving gifts to their ministers because i am not. i am just saying that for me this year what is happening at tapestry is the best CHRISTmas bonus i’ve received in 20 years of ministry. anything else would probably distract for that great bonus and neither pam nor i want that.