“You probably won’t like this, but I work at a liquor store.”

I had asked this gentleman what he does for a living after just telling him that I was recently hired as a pastor. My first experience being stereotyped as a pastor. I have to admit, I didn’t like it.

I recently read an article in Leadership Journal about making the best of stereotypes as a pastor. One of the stereotypes is that pastors are out of touch with, or sheltered from, “the real world.”

The author turns this stereotype around by pointing out that, “if the only things I pay attention to are what everyone else is paying attention to, I have nothing to say.” In other words, pastors need to be somewhat disengaged from “the real world” because the business of a pastor is to be immersed in the world of prayer, the Scriptures, and the wisdom of God. We are in the business of knowing God and knowing the human heart so that we can help to point the way to Christ.

It is a relief to me knowing that immersion in prayer and Scripture may at times cause me to be thought of as out of touch with some aspects of the world. So, the next time someone thinks they are making me feel uncomfortable by what they have said, I can be reminded that it is all part of the territory of being “professionally holy.” I can embrace it as a calling rather than a criticism.


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