I know there is a job description out there some place for me, but I haven’t seen the "real one" for Salem Lutheran Church…
…sure…my letter of call to Salem has a list of expectations but there are many more unmentioned expectations that are just assumed I already know. It’s the proverbial "small print" that some talk about. As a pastor the obvious expectations are: preaching, worship, pastoral care, teaching, youth ministry (depending on your particular setting), maybe some administration, meetings, etc. Nobody would be surprised by any of those expectations.
But there are other expectations (the small print ones) that are also expected: "Official" prayer leader at any function you are happen to be at (whether at the church or not), dish washer, custodian, jungle gym for preschoolers, computer tech, ecumenical minister at the coffee shop (one of my favorites in this category), and…of course…anything else deemed necessary. That "deemed necessary" phrase is a dangerous one but…for some strange reason…I don’t seem to mind.
As Lutheran we talk a lot about vocation (no…not just what you do for a living). Vocation is the place in life where you serve: father, mother, brother, sister, friend, husband, wife, pastor, teacher, banker, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, etc, etc… We serve in any number of the previously mentioned and many more; one might say "the small print". And…there are other vocations that we sometimes we forget about.
Why am I mentioning this? Today I was asked/volunteered to deliver a box of baby jars to Bible camp for craft projects. I am going there in a couple weeks so that was not a problem. In an email (where I was told that I was volunteered), the program director jokingly referred to me as a "mail carrier". I guess that is another vocation to add to my list….but I don’t mind.
You see…serving God and proclaiming the Gospel is not limited to particular people, particular jobs or particular vocations. No matter how you slice it…we serve God (and our neighbor) no matter the vocations we reside in; whether we are a teacher, garbage collector, coffee server, "mail carrier", etc.
Anything "deemed necessary"? That seems very appropriate. But don’t get me wrong…I am not going to turn into a pastor that does everything for everyone around here, but I will continue to recognize (and help others recognize as well) that our "job descriptions" are not set in stone. As Christians, we need to do anything that is "deemed necessary" for the Kingdom of God so people many come to know (or be reminded of) the awesome love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.