I could go on and list more and more of the daft things that have been said to me as a minister; there have been many. They are dwarfed only by the daft things I have said to others. Once a minister, a friend of a friend, was asked about what he was looking forward to about leaving a particular church. He said something like ‘I will no longer have to walk down the High Street and bump into people that I have let down’.
I can think of innumerable things I have said, many from years back, that still make me cringe. The worse of those are not ordinary things we say where we think ‘I know I shouldn’t have said that’ , but where I have done what I have criticised others for in this series: had some kind of internal assumption that because I am ordained or experienced (over 13 years now doncha know) I have a special right to be directive and an expert. The type of speech that comes from someone who (coughs and assumes pastorally caring voice and patronising smile) feels that, if they are not yet an expert, has some kind of right to tell/preach to others about what they ‘should do’. I still think of specific instances where people came looking for a word of Grace, some stillness, some understanding or just that someone would hear their questions and I blew it big style and talked down to them.
I think I am learning not to do that, but I still lapse; mostly with my family and oh, I have a blog…..
Every Tuesday I am going to post somethings that people have said to me as a minister that are just plain daft. The only provisos:-
1: The person who said it should have known better- ie they are ordained or have been active in the church for ages.
2: Nothing that I will feature has been said by anyone where I currently live or serve.
3: I am reasonably tolerant (unless you misfile my cds) of most things, but these things once got under my skin.