I’m a newer minister. Sure, I’ve long been called to this work but as far as practicing the craft, I’m fresh off the assembly line. I’m in my first settlement, first year, and there are first firsts all over the place. On top of it all, there has been and will continue to be this shared hope amongst newer ministers that what we need to learn and do will be more accessible: Searching for a congregation will be streamlined, settling into a community will be smooth, our credentialing process will be straightforward, compensation for ministers will make sense, and seminaries will teach all of the ins and outs. No surprises will be left. It’s a tall order. It’s an impossible hope.
And all throughout this hope, no matter where I turn, I feel that my colleagues and I are often repeating ourselves with, “Well, this should be here for us…and that, too.” Some may call it entitlement and certainly part of it is. However, entitlement or not, we’re feeling our way through a calling rooted in humanity with human systems and human flaws with human needs. It’s an incomplete system. It may never be as fleshed out as our hopes demand. Read the rest of this entry »