Saturday, January 09, 2010

"and some He gave to be party planners, some teachers, some evangelists.."

(nametag picture credit)

I am a party planner by trade..
on my mother's side.

Let me back up.

For years, especially since my encounter in the thrift store,
I have called myself "Dave" in churches I have pastored.

One kid defiantly argued, "But your name is PASTOR Dave!"

I teased: "Do you think my birth certificate says, "Pastor Dave"?

"Of course it does!," he shot if my ordination certificate should be burned.

(If only he knew what said certificate really said...see the photo)..

I prefer being just that is my name.
Whatever "pastor" is, it is not a name or a title.
Even the guy we call Apostle Paul, self-identified as "Paul, an apostle.."

To put the title of Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Bishop, etc. in front of our name is ludicrous and silly. Jesus never did. The apostles all called themselves apostles and bondslaves, signifying that both were equal terms that defined their role and job description. As such, if they were meant to be used as titles, they would rightly cancel each other out. Paul referred to apostles as the scum of the earth (see 1 Cor 4:9-13). He referred to apostles as men condemned to death; a spectacle; an exhibit no one wants to see; fools; weak; without honour; destitute; reviled; persecuted; scum; and the dregs of all things. Which of these is a title? They all belong to his apostleship and bond slavery...There is an example in leadership that is grounded in servanthood, stewardship, and slavery - not in titles, status or position. There is no status in the Body of Christ. We are building church with Kingdom values, not with those of a hierarchical world system. Leaders are to be the best examples of servanthood and slavery in the church. It was the model set by Jesus and maintained by the apostles and leaders of the early church.”
-Graham Cooke, A Divine Confrontation, pg. 49-51, free read here
"Scum of the earth Dave."" Yeah, nice ring. And too bad that as a church name is already taken.

Of course, being just "Dave" doesn't save me from arrogance and entitlement:

"Their Bibles are more underlined than other people's. They showboat their way up to the stage where the pulpit used to be....And they like being called doctor...they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'

But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone
on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Matt 23:7-12

In the old days, this had to be accomplished by means of respectful titles like "Rev." But nowadays, in these egalitarian times, the attitude of spiritual conceit has had to be a a little more creative,a nd a pastor shows his prowess in humility by asking people to call him "Joe". Behind the scenes, he is a fierce, hard-driving CEO,and reads those CEO magazines, and acts like a CEO on airplanes, right down to ogling the flight attendant in first class. But out in front of the congregation, sitting on that stool, fitted out in a Mr. Rogers cardigan, he is open, transparent,and shares the
s truggles of his heart--the struggles of a simple guy...named Joe. He is about as deep as a wet spot on the pavement.

-Douglas Wilson,
A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking...p. 36..FREE READ here

And it can even lead me to be proud of my humility.

I get a kick out of "Just Dave" becoming a title..."just" as in "righteous." Argghh.

Watch 5:14-5:30 below:

But I also do enjoy..alternative terms for "pastor." I sometimes put them on my business card (after my name)for fun : chief dreamer, goatherder.. These are all alt takes on the ROLE of the pastor (a topic you can see by my tags is the 2nd most posted topic on this blog..check at right to see what's first, SP will be thrilled!) not suggested titles or honorifics..

This can all become too much. Check out Mark Driscoll's funny post, where he offers a "mix and match" chart where we can come up with the "latest" subsitute phrases for pastor. As often, he ceases to be funny when you realize he has certain people in mind he is jabbing a bit much.

But reading Dwight Friesen's "Thy Kingdom Kingdom Connected: What the Church Can Learn from Facebook, the Internet, and Other Networks, " I caught a new one:

"network ecologist"


Yeah, that'll go on the business card (jk).
"But your birth certificate says NEWTORK ECOLOGIST DAVE!!"

But as usual, Friesen is onto something:

"The network ecologist's primary concern is tending, cultivating and caring for an environment so that accessible and sustainable Kingdom linking thrives...[They are] mindful..of the potentiallytoxic energies that inevitably arise when lives bump into each other...They curate conncctive space."
-Friesen, p.112

But my favorite alternative name for "pastor" comes further down that page. And this one I just may use big time:

Pastors are like the party planning committee preparing the gym for the dance. Pastors don't make transformation happen; neither can they control who connects or how they connect. Pastors humbly steward connective space so that people in our communities see themselves as participants with God..
-Friesen, p. 112

Party Planner Dave!

Uh, excuse me...Dave, a party planner.

Just Dave, Party Planner, MDiv.

Man, I might even have to dig out my neighbor's clown suit.

I am good with this party planning gig, as long as we can still sing this song:

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