Honestly, sometimes the weight of this thing feels like it's going to crush me.
"This thing" being pastoral ministry, "crush" meaning metaphorically weigh me down until I'm a quivering mass of existential angst, and "me" meaning... well, me.
Here's what's getting me down (or maybe "up" would be a more apt word to use here... "up" as in 2:30am) lately. One of the absolute hardest things to come to grips with in my role is the weight people put on my words.
Now, now... Careful there. Bob isn't thinking of Bob as more than Bob ought...
This has more to do with the fact that if someone in our community feels slighted by someone else in our community, they'll generally do one of two things: forgive them/work it out (good) or just give the other person a wide berth (not nearly as good, but still...). When someone in our community feels slighted by me? Well, the options often seem to narrow down to one: leave.
Someone in our community says something dumb about something important? Others generally: laugh, say "hey! That was dumb! Duh!" or just ignore it. When I say something dumb about something important? Two things generally happen: words like "concerns" and "issues" start getting dropped or... people just leave.
I say dumb things all the time. Just ask my wife. I'm so glad every time I do so it doesn't result in a flurry of emails, coffee meetings and someone choosing to leave our family, generally without telling anyone.
I just wish it worked differently on a church level, you know?