Friday, April 20, 2012

How to Become the Local Pastor [when you're not]

1.  Root for the local teams.  Rooting for the Steelers is borderline immoral wherever you live, but especially if you have accepted a call to move from Pennsylvania to some other area of the country.  You have a new hometown now.  With Ruth, you must be willing to say "your people will be my people; your team, my team."  Interestingly here in my [new] home, professional sports are secondary to college and even high school.  Be sensitive to pick up on things like that and adapt.

2.  Get a local phone number.  Nothing reinforces the impression of your being an outsider like an out-of-state area code preceding every call you make in an attempt to overcome your outsider status and build local relationships.  Besides, it's an excuse to upgrade to a smarter phone [more on that in a future post] and switch networks if necessary to get optimal coverage in your new territory [I got no reception in several spots of our church property with my original carrier - BIG PROBLEM!].

3.  Never refer to your old location as home.  It is not.  You are home where you are now.  So stop calling the old place home - especially publicly and especially from the pulpit!  My former location was "my old house"; the "place where I used to live"; the "town where my parents live" or "raised me"; "where we came from"; anything but home.  When you return there for family visits and vacations, you are going on a trip to see family.  You are not going home.  You are home now.  Adjust your heart and adjust your vocabulary accordingly.

1 comment:

Tea Lady said...

Welcome home, Ben and Rebecca! Looks like you guys are where you belong! We've been praying that the Lord would send us a man who felt called to be here. From your message this morning, you sound like him!