“So what do you do?”

Last night our neighbors came over and introduced themselves. Inevitably the conversation came around to this question, “So what do you do?”

Seriously, I’ve struggled with how to answer this question. I’ve thought about lying and saying, “I’m a contractor.” Or hedging the truth and saying, “I’m a teacher.” On airplanes, in restaurants, etc. I don’t like to answer that question so much BECAUSE so much baggage comes with the word “pastor.”

Often, when people find out that I’m a pastor they:

  • try to tell me everything they know about theology
  • try to justify all their sins by saying, “… but I’m a good person”
  • begin pouring all of their problems on me when all I want to do is play with my kids in the backyard
  • write me off as a religious wacko who is bent on proselytizing them

So now that I’m on the ground I’m thinking, what do I tell people when they say, “So what do you do?”

At this point I’m saying, “We’re here to start a new church. A church that will change the way people think about church.” And if they begin to give me any of the responses listed above, I’m going to say, “I’m just kidding. I’m a construction worker.”

6 thoughts on ““So what do you do?”

  1. That’s funny and very true. Glad to know someone someone else feels my pain… Now, it’s gotten to the point that I just say… “We just started a new church in the area and whatever came to your mind when I said that – our church is nothing like that.”

  2. How about “I’m a pastor in a new church. Do you go to church? If you don’t you’re going to hell did you know that? Can I borrow your hedge clippers?”

    Oh that’s just awful. Just tell ’em when you meet and that a chili buffet is provided afterwards.

  3. Seriously Paul! What will your neighbors think when you tell them you are a construction worker and
    the building your constucting is called WALLS DOWN CHURCH. Funny dude, real funny!!

  4. Yup a construction worker – building God’s kingdom on soul at a time!
    Wishing you all the best – you are already missed.
    H.

  5. I like to blink a few times, then I ask them to think of the last thing in the world they could imagine me doing. After getting some pretty wild answers (a wwf wrestler!!?? ok, that would be the last thing I would do! ) they don’t seem as turned off when I finally tell them I’m a pastor.

    I also like to tell people that I fish for a living but not for
    what swims under the water. After a few puzzled seconds I tell them I am a fisher of people and how I go about doing that. That also is fun.

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