porcupine pastors

porcupine pastors cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

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13 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    My experience has been that many pastors feel a tremendous need to present a sort of super spiritual persona to the congregation. Anything less and they believe they will not be (blindly?) followed. For these pastors, a safe distance is imperative if they are to maintain the illusion that they are on some higher spiritual plain.

  2. nakedpastor says:

    Yes Gary. As well, I was instructed in seminary that this was the only way to maintain objectivity when providing counsel and instruction. Getting “emotionally involved” was a no-no.

  3. Dennis says:

    Pastors are just a prickly bunch of bastards anyway. They keep their distance from everyone. You want to watch something pathetic? Follow a bunch of pastors around a conference. Listen to all the name dropping and nostalgia… Pastors tend to think people care about the people who write the books and speak at the conferences they go to. They always make it sound like they hang with the “major-leaguers”

    Pastors also have to be right about everything. That’s enough to keep most people away!

  4. cass says:

    ah geez, so true, at bible school we were so brainwashed to believe they were on another plain that you soon felt like there was a gap between your connection to reality and the delusion of superspirituality

  5. Erin Thomsic says:

    My dad is a United Methodist minister. In the UM world, they have what’s called “moving day”. It is a regular practice to move pastors around from church to church within the conference/region every few years. I have no idea what the rationale is behind this, but it certainly accomplishes the task of not getting attached to your parishioners and vice versa. I have never understood it. This seems counter-productive to ministry. It is also not uncommon in some of the small-town/rural areas for the pastor to have 2 or 3 churches under his charge. Also not very conducive to building a bond. His attention is divided among each group. That’s inevitable. What a system!

  6. Maggie says:

    I find myself most prickly w other pastors but love to be close to the people God has brought to our community. I hear people say, “You are not like other pastors. They are always busy. You listen to us.”

  7. Richard says:

    Get close. Be objective.

  8. I get the point David!!!!!!

  9. Ciera says:

    We were taught that familiarity bred contempt and that was why leadership had to maintain a distance.

  10. Carol says:

    Being disinterested, in the sense of not measuring one’s own success by the spiritual success of those we are discipling is a good thing; but disinterested is not the same as dispassionate. I really don’t see how there can be a transformative relationship without caring.

    Of course caring also makes us vulnerable, so perhaps that is why pastors are cautioned to avoid emotions that lead to closeness with the laity. Then, too, many people confuse vulnerability with weakness. Actually, it takes a very strong person to chose vulnerabilty for the sake of others. Jesus wept over Jerusalem; but Jesus was definitely not weak in spite of all the bad Sunday School material that attempts to present him as “gentle Jesus, meek and mild.” I doubt that is how the money-changers in the temple experienced him.

  11. know-nun says:

    When I saw the cartoon I didn’t understand it. After reading the comments I realize I had a different experience. I would see that my “teachers” would pay a lot of attention to certain students. That would make me jelous and angry. It seemed like the students who donnated a lot of money were always very buddy buddy with the teacher. And the woman students seemed to get a lot of attention too.

  12. Barry House says:

    I agree Gary. In today’s world when transparency (a scriptural and revelational encouragement)is the pervasive trend pastors on occasion seem to feel the need to put-on unnecessarily. Even the enlightened are human and should feel free to operate as a human with good days and bad. Be real.

    Shocking that pastors would be thought to keep their distance. When God places his robe of righteousness on us upon accepting and acknowledging Him it’s done so as a loving gentleman with a cuddling and comforting embrace I believe that never lets go. My former pastor in GP did a wonderful illustration of this yesterday. It was beautiful. So effective and accurate.

  13. maina says:

    I believe you’ve got to be close to people to be able to love and serve them. show them you are just like them, let them see you are as much a receiver of grace as they are.