This was the expression a young 24 year old girl recently gave a young man upon finding out he was a pastor. The girl and the pastor had memberships at the same local gym and had developed a casual friendship. When the girl asked the pastor what he did for a living she was completely surprised to hear his response.
The girl quickly apologized for her language at which the pastor simply smiled and laughed. He asked the girl why she was so surprised by his response and she then recounted her past history with the church and pastors and how they were nothing like him.
She was shocked that this pastor was in touch with the culture, that he knew where she was coming from, not because he read a pop culture magazine but because he was actually engaged in it. According to this girl, he didn’t look, talk or act like a pastor and he certainly hadn’t tried to “convert” her, which, she said that alone set him apart from other pastors she had known.
A story similar to this happened to me over the weekend but ironically, my example involved a Christian. This person knew I was planting a church and they even knew my philosophy on what it truly means to be a follower of Christ. Knowing all of this they were still shocked to find out I would be the lead pastor at centerpoint.
This person told me I was “to cool to be a pastor” and then said “I didn’t look anything like any pastor she had ever met” to which I responded “good, I’m glad you think so.” You see I think each of these stories paint a great picture of our culture and their view of the church. Many view pastors, as modern day Pharisees, religious leaders that are out of touch, legalistic, and have no real sense of authenticity.
When I look at the life of Jesus I see a man who would have received similar responses to the ones referenced above. While the Pharisees were “doing church” Jesus was living it out. He was creating community where people lived and worked, being real with them and simply building relationships and offering hope. It isn’t a hard concept but I’m afraid many religious leaders have forgotten what being pastor, or even a follower of Christ, is really all about.
Stop for a second and ask yourself what you want people to say about you. Do you want them to say, “there goes another Christian” or do you want them to say “no f****** way!” I would prefer the latter, and call it blasphemy, but I think Jesus would want the same.