Saturday, January 28, 2012

Family Pastor

So as you enter into seminary and go through the rest of your life as pastor, it is true that you become the "family pastor." This means that at any family gathering, you will be asked to pray. Just accept this now. No one else will want to pray when you are around - both because they believe you can do it better and because they don't want to do it. I guess I cannot really liken this to asking a doctor for medical advice when he is out of the office... but it still feels that way sometimes.

And more recently, I have come across the role of "family pastor" at funerals and weddings. On the one side, I took part in my grandmother's funeral this last Monday. On the other, my big brother just got engaged. It certainly calls into question the role of the "family pastor." Does everyone assume I will do these things? Do they actually want me to or do they feel obligated? Do I, MYSELF, want to?

So far I've taken the course of saying I will do part of it, but not all. Because I knew I'd be weeping like a baby at my Grandma's funeral, I did a small part and left the rest to the local pastor. I sat with my family and held their hands and was also proud to take part in it at the same time. It's that whole "both/and" thing we like to do as Lutherans.

I assure you, this is not something I had thought about before seminary! Being a pastor is such a unique beast...

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