Thursday, March 05, 2009
On Collars and Titles
But the other piece of this is that I am constantly wrestling with my pastoral identity and the whole mix of pastor, mom, human being that I am everyday. When I put on my collar, the first thing that people see is my pastoral identity, but I am still all those other things, too, and those identities are just as important to me.
Today someone suggested to me that I shouldn't let people at church call me just "Rachel"; that I should have people call me Rev. Rachel at least, so that they show respect for the office and my role as pastor. I have never had a problem with people calling me by my first name--I want to be accessible and don't want titles to stand in the way of relationship. I have accepted the responsibility and privilege of being "set apart" for this work of God. And yet, I feel that I must earn people's respect--that it shouldn't just be given to me because I have a certain degree, title or shirt.
I hope that people will offer me respect just because I am a child of God and because all people deserve compassion, patience, love and mercy. And I also hope that whether or not I am wearing my collar, my words and deeds will show that I am someone who seeks to follow Jesus everyday.