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I had to make some decisions about my dating life and I had to do it quickly.
There were three things I immediately considered with respect to dating as a single pastor: RECOGNIZE MY POWER From prior experiences, I recalled how people gravitated to me because of assumed privileges and perks of being in relationship with a pastor.
But, it wasn’t until my second year of pastoring that I became aware of my loneliness. While sitting in the second chair shielded me from the full burden of the weight of ministry, I still shouldered a great share of the responsibility.
I functioned in strategic planning, curriculum and ministry development and filled-in as the youth pastor.
Even if a respected senior member lovingly introduced me to their educated, professional, sweet granddaughter, I’d make her acquaintance but move on.
Nevertheless, I quickly grew exhausted of enjoying these things alone.
I became so exhausted that when asked what line of work I was in, I’d refer to my prior professional work in architecture and urban planning.
These experiences helped me to see how vocational ministry still carries with it certain privileges, power and respect.
Seemingly every minute of each day is accounted for and we haven’t even sat down to prepare for Sunday’s sermon.
Unexpected phone calls in the middle of the night detailing emergencies and the overwhelming feeling that no matter how you lend yourself to your staff and congregation there will still be a disgruntled member is enough to make anyone want to escape God’s call altogether.
In my experience, when I’ve disclosed my line of work, the person I dated became uncomfortable with the idea of dyeing in relationship with a pastor or used me as a sounding board for theological query.