Monday, July 19, 2010

Pastor and emerging church terminology

When I led a church in the UK I remember a couple of the elderly ladies who wanted to call me Pastor! One of them said to me they felt "Pastor Brian" suited me. Obviously I fought against being tagged with such a label, for me the word pastor had so many connotations and also quite a few misinterpretations. Pastor as a one off gift I get, but as the all singing all dancing church leader role I don't think it really covers it. A lot of bigger churches have pastoral teams who are a lot better at covering the pastoring than the "pastor" I always preferred the term "team leader".

The team led the church and the team leader led the team.

Anyway we now have our little sunday evening service which last week had 30 people show up and this week 22, 7 of the congregation are west african prostitutes. and they like to call me "pastor!!!!!!".

Here's the funny thing; I don't care, if that helps them put a frame work around my role then I am happy. In fact the more people who aren't christians that attend our meetings the less I care about emerging church terminology.

I have said it before and I will say it again there are certain groupings within the church more hung up on what to call things and how to define things than people outside of the church. In fact this is a debate I have been part of for a few years and I think I have been wrong.

Have we really spent that long in our middle class, beer drinking, cigar smoking, reflective styled, ambient music, candle lit cohorts that we have forgot about the people we are meant to reach. Have been more hung up on labels and terminology than the lost.

Do the books we read have more to say about emerging theology than the drifting lost?

Call me pastor, come to church, lets have fellowship call it whatever you want to call it as long as it is the Bride of Christ the Church living actively and breathing being involved in reaching and loving the lost.

1 comment:

Steve said...

It's like I said to you about 'The Chapel'. We have spent too much time trying to remove 'religious' language to be 'relevent'. In fact what we have done is create a new set of religious language that only people in the church understand. It's far more helpful for people unfamiliar with the in lingo of emerging church to just stick to the hundreds of years old language that people actually relate to.

We love you pastor Brian.