‘Are you allowed to marry?’
‘Did you go to school for that?’
‘Do they pay you for that?’
And then there’s always the record screech, dead silence, and awkward looks as people hide their drinks when the pastor shows up at a party.
And don’t get me started about wedding receptions and how the pastor ALWAYS gets stuck at the grandma table.
But of all those comments and quirks, the one thing that annoys me most is when people- and its a lot of them- say in jest but in hidden seriousness:
‘You’re a preacher. You only work one day a week, right?’
Normally I dissemble with humor: ‘You kidding? I don’t even TRY on Sundays. Just phone it in.’
Sometimes I’ll reply: ‘No, I work other days too but I know your pastor- he does just work on Sunday.’
If I’m around people with whom I don’t have to censor my language I’ll often say: ‘You kidding? I just pull it out my &^% on Sundays.’
I’m reading Andy Stanley’s new church leadership book, Deep and Wide. In it I came across an even better response to the pastors only work one day a week:
“Think for a minute about the most stressful part of your job, the part that is the most make-or-break for you financially. Imagine having to do that every week on a stage in front of your family, friends, strangers, and people who don’t even like you. Imagine not having the option to call in sick or reschedule because you weren’t quite ready for the presentation.’
I’m going to try that one next time. Chances are, it won’t be long.