There are lots of reasons to go into ministry: a feeling or experience of divine call, for instance. Or a deep desire to preach the gospel, equip the saints for the work of ministry, feed Jesus’ lambs and tend his sheep. An affinity for planning worship. A love of pastoral care.
But you know what? You’ve got our number. You figured us out. Here are the real reasons we became pastors, confessed by young clergy women, of many denominations and regions, speaking on condition of anonymity:
- I became a pastor to head off controversies about whether or not corn tortillas are appropriate for communion.
- I became a pastor so someone reliable could drive the church van.
- I became a pastor so I could have tea with old ladies who like to endlessly ask me about my reproductive plans.
- I became a pastor in order to run out and buy stamps and paper when we don’t have any in the office. I also became a pastor to fix toilets and shovel snow. And, I definitely became a pastor to recruit children (or if there aren’t any around, to create them out of nothingness) in order to fulfill 70-something-year-olds’ ideas of what Sunday School should be like.
- I became a pastor so I could help my parishioners return things to Walmart without their receipt.
- I became a pastor to ruin people’s church by singing “new” songs, including ones written in 1902.
- I became a pastor so I could proofread everyone else’s work because apparently no one else cares about details or grammar.
- I became a pastor so that I could coordinate vacatio- I mean, mission trips for the youth that absolutely MUST include a trip to an amusement park.
- I became a pastor to annoy and distract people with my voice, bangs, clothes, lipstick, and children.
- Three words: Boiler. Repair. Discussions.
- One word: Casseroles.
- I became a pastor so I could debate which one God loves more: beeswax or stearine candles. The debate is over which sort of solid candle to get: 51% stearine vs. 100% beeswax. Apparently God hates anything that isn’t pure beeswax. As the good book says, ”I hate, I despise your solemn assemblies when you burn stearine on the altar… let justice roll down like beeswax.”
- I became a pastor so people would tell me how nice my hair looks.
- I became a pastor because I needed the constant confusing affirmation that my bangs look much better THIS week.
- I became a pastor because I cannot be trusted to make decisions about my hair, makeup, clothing or family all by myself. I obviously need six hundred opinions on all these topics. All the time.
- I became a pastor so I could google things for people who “don’t do” the internet.
- I became a pastor so old clergymen could steal my good hangers from the vesting room every time there is an ecclesiastical event.
- I became a pastor so I could write a newsletter article every month that almost nobody will actually read, even though everyone reads the newsletter.
- Speaking of which, I became a pastor so I could spend lots of time preaching sermons to people who won’t apply what I’m trying to impart. Futility is my jam.
- I became a pastor because I secretly harbored a desire to do half of our office administrator’s job each week.
- I became a pastor because I wanted to always have the final say in heated arguments about Christmas wreaths and tablecloth colors. Also, so I could teach people deep spiritual truths every day. And by deep spiritual truths, I mean how to use the copier.
- I became a pastor so I could disappoint people by the fact that I am not Jesus.
- I became a pastor to try creative things in worship, inspire people to Christ, and to preach theologically-sound sermons that I’ve exegeted thoroughly. Just kidding! I became a pastor so someone would live in the manse next door and provide access to a plunger when the church needed one.
- I became a pastor to cancel events when nobody signs up.
- I became a pastor because I was worried I’d become too confident in my own competence.
- I became a pastor in order to micromanage the placement and removal of renters’ furniture.
- I became a pastor to make sure nobody uses our tables and chairs, coffee pots and roasters. Because what kind of Christians would we be if we shared or resources with our community?
Okay, let’s get real. Here’s the real reason I became a pastor: so I could have awkward conversations on airplanes for the rest of my life.