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Monday, January 31st, 2005

Time Event
11:10a
Monday, Monday . . .
Movin' pretty slow this morning. As I stumbled out into the kitchen, my eyes barely opened, I started to pour a cup of coffee. I only stopped myself just in time from pouring it onto the bottom of the upside-down cup. Oy.

Not that I'm much of an early riser at any time. A friend says, "that's because you work 'second shift.'" And that's true. When you work with volunteers, you have to be available to do things when they're NOT working. So, lots of evening meetings, weekend programs, and so on. And, of course, Sundays are grueling. It's up earlier than usual, get organized, teach Sunday School, lead worship, then several afternoon programs.

So Monday is the traditional "preachers' sabbath." There are often many things to do on it, anyway, but I try to give myself the leisure of an extra slow start.

Ah, the coffee is starting to kick in. The monitor is coming into clear focus. Time to read the rest of the e-mail and my regular routine.
2:31p
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be preachers, Part I
I'd like to share some thoughts on the clergy, from an insider's perspective. I was ordained Deacon in the UMC in 1977, Elder in 1979. I've seen my fellow clergy come and go. We share a professional world little understood by the laity of our churches. Some of what I have shared with my colleagues, particularly the beginners, is as follows.

Some people are just not cut out for the pastorate. There are some things that would just drive people nuts who are not prepared to deal with them, especially the three conditions of Incompletion, Ambiguity, and Lack of Closure.

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If you can't deal with these conditions, I recommend you not try the pastorate.
2:57p
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be preachers, Part II
Just as some people are not cut out for the conditions of the pastorate, some are unable to deal with the emotional demands.

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The ordained ministry will sift you like wheat. You've got to know who you are, and how to find the resources you need to stay emotionally viable, or you won't last; indeed, you may find yourself embittered or worse.
3:14p
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be preachers, Part III
Okay, so if the parish is so tough, why do I stay in. Well, lemme give you the good part of being a pastor.

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