Friday, January 6, 2012

Why I'll never be a church leader

As I've pondered what to do with my life, I've occasionally wondered about being a vicar/pastor/minister or some kind.

In fact, a friend of the family who passed away several years ago (she was an octogenarian who attended the church across the road from my parent's house) always used to tell me every time we met that I should become a vicar.

I'm actually quite attracted to preaching. I see people giving their sermon on Sunday and think 'I could do that'. Whenever I do one of those 'ideal job' questionnaires, because of my temperament and skillset I always come out as a person best suited to teach (preaching with a different name). Unfortunately, I just don't feel up to the job. Now, I know most vicars/pastors/ministers probably feel like that a lot of the time but I really don't feel up to the job, mainly because preaching tends to involve more than just standing behind the pulpit – often you have to do a bit of pastoral care as well.

You have to, er, spend time with people.

If I was given a church to look after with a reasonably-sized congregation I'd probably drive them all away within three months, unless every member of the church was normal. And that's the problem. Most churches are made up of a bizarre mix of people, many of whom aren't normal (albeit perfectly harmless). I don't mean to disparage church in any way, but it is a natural place for loonies to gravitate towards because Christians are, on the whole, tolerant and loving people.

And the thing is, I just couldn't cope with these people on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I have a sociopathic side to me which means I have a low weirdo-tolerance-threshold. I like people, I really do – it's just that I don't like spending extended lengths of time with them (especially the loons). I like my space and need time to myself. Being in church leadership requires a lot of contact with, y'know, people. A lot of the time.

And that's not conducive to my sanity.

So, maybe my current vocation (being behind the camera or locked away in an edit suite) is most appropriate for me. I don't actually get to 'preach' as such but maybe one day down the line I will, using my filming skills and experience.

Then I will get to communicate God's Word – without the need for dreaded human interaction, of course.


  1. Normal people? I've concluded that I don't know *ANY* normal people and I probably wouldn't like them much if I met them.

    But for what it's worth, I reckon you'd do fine with pastoral care.

  2. They're out there, I tell you. Somewhere....