Pastors Gone Wild
I’m betting the title alone got your attention. If not, it should. After all, a pastor going wild is outright insanity. It’s unheard of! It’s uncalled for! It’s…absolutely necessary. I said it. Your pastor, of all the people in your life, needs to go wild every now and then. In fact, you should encourage it.
You see, your pastor is tired. She is worn out from endless meetings that seem to fill up every single night of her week. He is sleep deprived from the phone calls that come in the middle of the night. She is tired of reading (or at least things considered “work related”). He is burnt out on pot-luck lunches and ice cream socials. She is weary of well-meaning critiques and parking lot negotiations. He is reluctant to pull in the parking lot at church. She considers hiding under desk.
Your pastor needs to go wild.
Now maybe we are in need of some clarification. After all, a certain shall we say “documentary” series brings to mind a particular interpretation of the phrase “going wild”. For most of you the thought of your pastor letting lose like a party-crazed spring breaker is less than amusing- much less acceptable. Allow me to provide another interpretation.
Your pastor needs a break. They need the opportunity to step away from their 24 hour a day minister identity. They need to patron a trendy restaurant, throw a frisbee on the beach, meditate on a mountain, or maybe finally take that leap out of a plane (they have secretly always wanted to do that). They need a vacation. In truth, the length of time doesn’t matter- though a week would do them so much good. They need time to blend in with the rest of humanity, to not be noticed by the clergy collar around their neck (real or invisible). They need time with their families. They want to be “mommy” or “daddy” to those often neglected children. They want to play a game of catch or enjoy a tea party. They need to go wild.
You see, for your pastor, this interpretation is indeed very wild. These are things that don’t often creep into their daily routines. These are activities and adventures that are deemed unnecessary or expendable in light of their “higher calling”.
You would do well to force this wildness upon your pastor. Yes, you will have to force her. Even when presented with the possibility of stepping away from his pastoral role, there will be hesitation. The soul may be crying out for freedom, and certainly the loved ones that surround them, but your pastor is reluctant to accept the gift of going wild. Give it to them anyways.
This is the gift that will keep on giving. Your pastor will return refreshed, and certainly less tired. She will enter meetings with confidence and a desire to collaborate. He will answer your calls with an ear ready to listen and a spirit ready to care. She will tackle the toughest theological readings, just to ensure a sound Sunday sermon. He will try every one of your favorite dishes at the pot luck lunch and maybe even contribute a churn of ice cream to the next social. She will accept your critiques with dignity and invite you to engage her at lunch as you pull away from the parking lot. He will wave at you as he parks his car and smile to himself as he steps through the front door. She will keep her office door open and a chair empty and waiting for you.
Your “gone wild” pastor is a pastor worth having…and keeping.