Monday, July 2, 2012

Pastor in public

It happens every time I go somewhere in Bloomington/Normal - someone recognizes me as the pastor at Eastview. This is revealed in several ways, "Hi pastor" is a dead give-a-way. Sometimes, someone will say, "Hi Mike" and still other times someone will simply nod,smile and say "hi" like they are familiar. Last week I spoke to people that go to Eastview at Starbucks, Wal-mart, and Subway. A young guy named Ross that I met at Subway made me think (I had made eye contact with him on my way to the bathroom to wash my hands and he said 'hi mike" and I said "hi bro" - so eloquent - then as I left, he said, "I go to your church" and then introduced himself by name and told me how he and his sister have been coming to church for two years), I wonder if people really know what to say to the pastor when they see him outside of his natural habit (church), below some tips for dealing with pastor in public: 1. Please say "hi"...I'm honored to be your pastor and am never disturbed or put out. Even if I'm eating at a restaurant, you are more than welcome to come and talk (just don't sit down and talk for 20 minutes and this is not a time for a complaint or theological question :-) 2. Please introduce yourself...I'm at a distinct disadvantage on several levels. First, I'm not great with names (I recognize faces, but names are tough for me). Second, if you sit in the balcony and never come down to say hi after church, I don't know your face! Third, if you introduced yourself to me six months ago, and we haven't spoken since, and you've changed your clothes or your hair since then, please reintroduce yourself. 3. Don't be shocked that I'm smaller in real life. My silly mug is projected on a 20X20 foot screen each week...this is not my actual size...I'm 5'10" and 195 lbs. 4. Don't just nod and me and hope that I guess you go to my church. Say, "hey pastor" or "are you the pastor at Eastview" or something that gives it away. 5. Feel free to give me a hug...I am a hugging guy so this is our chance to share the love of Jesus. 6. Tell me a little of your story...your family, where you work, how you got to Eastview. 7. Come see me at the cross after service. I really want to get to know you and hear what God is doing in your life...really it's not that scary and I've not bitten any one in years. 8. Don't be shocked that I'm dressed like a bum on my day off or am sweaty from running or something. I'm normal...kinda. Well, those are just a few things you can do when you see me in and around B/N. Again, I'm so blessed when we meet and hope to see you soon picking up my chinese order, or at the restaurant, or at the coffee shop, or pumping gas, or at the doctors, or at...

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