#5: The Power of Suggestion.
Admittedly, being a pastor comes with very little cache, authority, status or privilege outside of church. Christendom is dead and Leave It to Beaver has been off the air for decades. I don’t know what town Seventh Heaven takes place in, but it’s not any community I’ve ever visited. The days of the pastor having social status and power are behind us- and, frankly, I think that’s a good thing.
Within the church, being a pastor still has some cred.
For example, there are certain people in churches who because they’re faithful and sincere Christians, who because they fear Yahweh and respect the office of minister they are simply INCAPABLE of saying no to me- especially if my suggestion is in the slightest bit ‘religious’ sounding.
I give you a ‘for instance.’ Advent, on a mountaintop in Guatemala, celebrating eucharist after a week of mission. Pastor says: ‘Mark, you and John should sing ‘Infant Holy, Infant Lowly’ opera style. I think it would be a powerful spiritual experience for the group.’
He couldn’t say no. It’s a hymn after all. It’s almost Christmas, and I’m a pastor.