Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Job Descriptions

A friend of mine told me that he never thought "florist" would be part of his job description but in the church you end up doing crazy things you'd have never thought were part of a staff ministry position. Not that you're above these things per se but in reality it really never crossed your mind that you'd be doing them. Here are a few of mine.

1) Cow herder: The third week that I was on staff at Brooks UMC I was coming back from lunch with the Pastor and he got a call on his cell phone. Mrs. Mask's cows had "gotten out" and she needed some help. Now up until this point I'd never heard of anything getting out but the cat or the dog. And I wasn't sure how a cow actually "got out" either. They didn't seem to be real fast or high jumpers. But in any case Mrs. Jane was a widow and needed someone with an off road vehicle to find her cows. So Randy and I went off with Mrs. Jane to find the cattle that had wandered so far off from their pasture. I just know there's a good shepherd ministry metaphor there somewhere.

2) Doctor/nurse: Now I know that Jesus was all about healing, and I know that safety is important, but I was a bit overwhelmed on my first youth retreat with the amount of pills that parents gave me to administer to their children on a daily basis. Some of them were just a once a day thing but others had strict instructions about when and what to eat with it. As my attention on these trips is a bit focused elsewhere I quickly learned how to delegate a nurse on each trip. I also believe that to date I've taken 3 kids to the hospital and bandaged more cuts than I'd care to think about.

3) Exterminator: I don't know many girls that like bugs and I'm no exception, but there are two catagories of girls' reactions to bugs 1) stompers or 2) screamers. I don't necessarily volunteer to be the stomper but I'm definitely not a screamer. And at some of the youth cabins we've stayed at, I've had to be the designated stomper in order to stop the screaming. My husband has been an exterminator as well, pulling a dead possum out of the attic at Turin UMC.

4) Target: My friends in ministry are unfortunately acutely aware of this job. It is a sad position that is also the reason so many people call Christians hypocrites.

5) Janitor: At some point or another we've all had to do it. Unclog a toilet that wasn't ours, mop the floors after VBS, steam clean the carpets before VBS, be on garbage patrol after a youth party, find more toilet paper before a lock-in, and the list goes on and on and on...

There are many more but these stand out as the "dirty jobs" of a Pastor - or at least ones that you may not expect.

Until Everyone Hears,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post, Shannon, although I have my suspicions about why those cows were trying to escape...

I was emailing with my cousin who is an elementary school teacher one day, and we were struck by how similar our jobs were even though she spends the day trying to keep a group of under-10s in line and I was senior manager in a $20m organisation : )

Habitize: Doing what you are called to do repeatedly.

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