There are some things that I like to talk about and there are many things that I hate to talk about . One of my things that I hate talking about is church. Not that I am not proud or that I am a faithfully a part of our church …its just the other parts that I don’t like to talk about . See I was born into a home of Preachers. My father pastored a church before he married my mother and my mother was a traveling Evangelist before she married my father. They met in Bible College and a couple of years later they were married and both set out to Pastor a small church in Mississippi. I was born 5 years after they were married, so the only life I know is being a PK or a Pastor’s Kid . And no this is not a sad story about what we Pastor Kid’s have to endure its simply about all the other things that Pastors have to endure but they never talk about it . You see no one ever sheds light on what it really means to be a pastor. Its a serious profession and its a shame that individuals have taken such a serious role and diminished it to something a kin to a pimp. Its unfortunate that the church has become so commercial that no one trusts its role in the community . When I was growing up being a Pastor was a respected profession . Currently being a pastor is like reality shows. There are more than enough and they are all trying to do the same thing and unfortunately its not what it used to be. It has become a get rich quick scheme rather than teaching and serving. One of the first things I learned from my parents was how to serve and how to give. These days those lessons are few and far between.
Outside of serving in ministry there are other things that require time , energy and patience . These are things that no one ever talks about . You see I was in that car on the way home from church when my parents talked about the weight of Ministry. And like clockwork I watched them do it all over again once they got home. I never understood how anyone who was so upset , so disappointed but yet so vested in ministry that they never turned anyone away . They never let the phone just ring, the door was never unanswered , dinners were sometimes cold or lonely , considering my brother and I had to entertain ourselves while my parents were busy pastoring. And though we felt the weight and the heaviness of it all at home , everyone else may have seen another side of it.
Every pastor is different , my parents started and founded their own church when I was 10. Previously they had taken on a church from my father’s former Pastor. So they inherited his members and all the bi laws, and traditions that came with that church. The black church is all about tradition and formalities and once someone breaks away from what is the norm then you’re different . And if you ‘re different , no one wants to be around you . My second lesson I learned from my parents , dare to be different. And that was a big lesson. I would ask my father quite often what denomination I was because I wanted something to be connected to . Our previous church was Pentecostal/Holiness. If you know anything about those churches, they don’t believe in pants, make up, facial hair, short pants, swim wear, etc. There were a lot of restrictions in that church and my parents didn’t really think that there was anything wrong with those things . So they moved and changed . What a difference the change made. I can remember hearing what people thought of us. Some had questioned if we still believed in the bible and then all of a sudden people stopped visiting our church . It was tough on my parents because they wanted relationships. They wanted to make friends . They wanted fellowship. They still continued to share the love of Christ and they prevailed.
When I was about 20 my parents decided to build a new church . My parents often have a bigger visions than their bank accounts . In our house Monday’s are considered Family night. We incorporated this in our home around my freshman year of college. We needed a break from church and this was the only day my parents allowed our phones to just ring. But while preparing to build our new church we spent every Monday night getting church affairs in order. Filing papers, setting budgets etc. When a church goes to get things , whether its cash or financed every single penny the church has, has to be accounted for . And if you are off by .01 you had to find it and correct it . Which is why I cannot understand how people think the pastor takes money from the church but I guess thats another blog. We spent 6 months doing what I thought was the same thing for the church. Just so we could build a better facility and have room enough and that everyone is comfortable. I can remember when things didn’t quite add up and my parents giving their money to make up the difference. The church is not a salaried individuals , offerings differ , you may get $10000 in one offering and $7 in another one and someone has to find a way to make it make sense. Even if its at the expense of the Pastor’s salary.
And its not all about the money. Pastors deal with attitudes, deaths , sicknesses and more . And in all adversity its unrealistic to believe that he or his family doesn’t feel any pain. The worst part of being a pastor and is the reason I would never want to assume the role as a pastor is dealing with personalities. Again the black church is about 88% woman or more . You take a lot of opinionated women in one room and watch the explosion of colors. In good times they love you but in their bad times they hate you and your family is ugly. There were times when I was growing up I wondered , do my parents really love us ( my brothers and I ) there would be no way I would be able to love and listen to people who clearly hated my family and still be able to preach the word of God . ( I realized very early that the church members didn’t have to love us the family 🙂 . )But they continued on . My parents taught me tenacity. They had such a passion for their purpose that they determined to keep reaching , keep loving and keep proclaiming .
When the benediction is read and the last person leaves off the campus of the church , there is a pastor somewhere wondering how am I going to keep going. How can I juggle the weight of the church and my family ? Instead of questioning leadership, ostracizing them and criticizing them, think what if that was me . Would I be able to handle the weight of it all…Basically