I'm starting to get better at saying, "I'm in seminary." I've struggled with it over the last few months when meeting strangers, because I know what bad stuff the church can represent for some people. I felt this need to compensate for every misguided Christian who judged and demeaned the person I'm talking to. I would say, "Yeah...I'm in seminary, but I'm here because the church needs to change." Or, "I'm in seminary, but I know that there are a lot of crazy people that say they're Christians out there, but..." I feel like I need to explain myself before the conversation even starts!
This weekend though, I met several new people and when asked what I do, I simply said, "I'm in seminary." Okay, well, I may have added an enthusiastic "Yeah...pastor school!" after that, but it's still progress. One woman even said, "Oh, that's so cool! Are you interested in any specific type of ministry? Like, global ministry?" She must be psychic.
I have friends at other seminaries or who are young pastors who like to come up with witty responses like, "I'm in life insurance." Or, "I do a mix of counseling and education." In the fall, I wanted to come up with some cutesy response. Coming to seminary, I told myself, "You're just going to grad school."
Nope. I'm not. I'm in seminary. I'm going to be a pastor. I'm going to be a pastor in the Christian Church, of the Lutheran flavor. I don't need to apologize for every other lunatic out there. I need to be a voice for God through Jesus Christ. That's my job.
And, I'm not going to lie, I'm getting a little excited for that job.
Picture from: https://www.murphyrobes.com/media/images/large/PastorCollarCase-PL.jpg