Maybe it’s just the way I view the world, but I see my vocation (the calling from God to train to be an ordained minister) as one that can’t be put down, then taken up when it suits me, if I wear a collar or not, I’m still me, the person God has called for some reason.
The calling isn’t a nine to five, Monday through to Friday repeat kind of Job, I’m called by this God to make a difference in the world, which I do without any payment what so ever, it’s a vocation to be, be me, be real …… I could go on!
I’m what’s called a non-stipendiary, I hate that terminology but that’s what the church calls us, I do however wonder, if the so-called stipendiary ministers (Ministers who get paid some money so they don’t have to work) had to have a full-time paid job as well as doing their ‘minister’ vocation, how many of them would still partake with God in ministry?
I wonder if the same number of meetings would still be scheduled?
The importance of daily office at an exact time would still be enforced?
I also notice that in a day I would encounter more non church people than a full-time member of clergy would, I’m in the community working, working alongside people who wouldn’t dream of talking to a member of clergy, but, despite knowing I’m ordained they feel able to question me about many things, surely this should be seen as apart of pastoral care, but the church only seems to see pastoral care as when I’m wearing a collar talking to those people in the church, whereas I’d argue that the more fulfilling, lifegiving, humbling experiences come when talking to those on the outside, the people on the margins, that’s where I get energy from.
Sadly, nothing more drains me, disturbs me than a conversation with a church going, who has everything sown up and sorted, she or he are going to heaven, the bible says x and y etc, they worry more whether the church linen has been ironed in the correct way!