Every so often, there are days that I just feel down on me.
This was one of those days.
When I was about eleven, I remember playing softball. I was up at bat and trying to hit the ball. Being that I was never good at sports, this was going to be bad. I struck out and in frustration, I slammed the aluminum bat on the ground. I was mad that I couldn't hit a damn ball.
That's sort of how I've been feeling lately in regards to the church and my calling as a pastor. I feel like I'm up at bat again and I keep swinging and missing.
Church life and being a pastor is an odd thing. You go to seminary and learn about the importance of mission and social justice, you get excited about doing ministry in a parish and then when you get out into the real world, you have to do deal with churches that aren't so gung-ho for mission, pastors who see their roles as leaders as just a job or worse yet, something to lord over others and lay people who bitch about how much church sucks and yet won't do anything about it.
But what is really frustrating is having this heart to do ministry and churches not knowing what to do with you. Actually, they don't do anything with you- they just seem to ignore you and hope you will go away.
I shared my concerns once with a friend and she thought this was about demanding a job after ordination. Please. Yes, I would love to be paid, but this is about giving someone with a calling something to do, instead of ignoring them.
Sometimes I would like to meet someone who passionate about mission and not just wanting to complain. I want to meet someone who has read the gospels and wants to be Christ in the world.
I wish people would stop thinking I'm just being crabby Dennis and be the goddamn church.