It’s incredibly easy as a pastor to get a bit disconnected from real life. Conferences, ministers fraternals, even the office itself aren’t normal life. I’m going to be honest, I meet quite a few pastors who are just a bit weird. That’s to be expected in part because amongst any portion of the population there will be some people who are less socially aware and engaged than others, maybe it’s just representative of that. But I do wonder if the potentially cloistered nature of the pastorate feeds that and even attracts those who are socially a bit awkward.
I think a simple way to solve that is to get out of the office and spend some time doing the stuff normal people do. I’m loving being at the office we now have and having the opportunity to chat to staff at the school, to ask how they are, to stop and have a coffee and chat about everyday life. I spent a fascinating half an hour last week having coffee with a guy who was sharing his experience as a miner in Doncaster, the strikes, and life afterwards. I have chance to see the pressures single mums and others face at toddlers, and chat to others of all ages, from teens who pop in for a coffee after school, to the elderly who come for company, during coffee time.
Getting out of the office is proving invaluable. It is a life line, an insight into normal life. I also love playing football with a bunch of guys, almost all of whom have no church background, and chatting with them about life and pressures.
I’m hoping it makes me a bit less weird, a bit more relatable. And my prayer each week is God give me one conversation today where I can speak of you, where I can share Jesus,. I’m also finding this involvement in real life for normal people is giving a different perspective on sermon preparation. We just need too spend time with people.