The Left Reverend “Little Momma” Pastor

March 10th, 2010 by Rainey

I have a lot of names at my church.  Pastor, Kristin, the “Left Reverend” (an attempt to make fun of the ‘right reverend’ title that is surprisingly apt when applied to me), “Little Momma” (I don’t know what that means except that I have a toddler?), Reverend Whitesides, and, my personal favorite, “Rev”–this one from a lot of the older men.  I LOVE THAT!

So I have a lot of names.  And I wear a lot of hats.  I am the associate pastor.  Which means I do a little of everything.  I am THE pastor if our senior pastor is away, which he will be for three months next year while on sabbatical, and I preach, teach, lead, organize, visit, counsel, etc. on a regular basis when he isn’t gone.  I am also the Youth Pastor.  Which means I organize our youth ministry leaders and volunteers, our teachers, and our youth council.  I teach on Wednesday nights for youth group.  I write curriculum.  I handle all the planning, calendaring, and communication for the youth ministry.  I have coffee and lunch and conversations on facebook and through textmessaging with teenagers almost daily.  And I basically go on every event/trip that the youth take, including week long trips in the summer.

The beauty of my job is that there is a lot of room for creativity.  Four years ago I created the first ever intergenerational mission trip our church had taken.  I researched, planned, recruited, scouted the site, led the training sessions, and led the trip.  From that first year our relationship with that town has blossomed.  We take regular trips there every summer and we are doing a reverse mission trip this year as well for the teenagers in that community.  Now I am hard at work thinking about and talking about young adult ministries that our church can work on.  So that is exciting and new.  I can also create curriculum and lead the youth ministry in the ways I feel led.  For instance, in the past few weeks we have gone to the Holocaust Museum and talked about the Christians’ appropriate stance and response to hatred and violence.

I love my job.

I am also a wife and mom.  Kristin, Sweetie, Mommy, Mama.
At five everyday I pick my child up from daycare and go home to make dinner.  On Wednesday nights we go to church and he eats what I packed him in the high chair at the “youth table” before terrorizing the senior adults with the plastic animals that lie in a  bin in the corner of the fellowship hall.  For the first couple years of his life, my son accompanied me on youth trips and mission trips.  He came to a girl’s spa night and tried to swim in one of the foot spas. He is a church baby through and through.  Thoroughly spoiled and thoroughly loved.

My husband takes care of our son on weekends when I have funerals.  He gets him ready on Sunday mornings to head out the door.  He picks him up from Wednesday nights at church so that he can be in bed before I get home from the deacon’s meeting.  We make it work.

I think a lot about balance.  What it means for me-for my family-to do all of these things.  Sometimes I feel like I do none of them very well.  But when I think about giving up any one of my “names” or my “hats” I feel sick.  All of these puzzle pieces, as often as I struggle to fit them together, are part of who I am.

The word vocation, as many people know, comes from the Latin word vocare which means “to call.”  In my life I truly believe that I have been called to do all of this.  Whatever “this” may be on any given day.

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