Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Pastor's Hat

One of the struggles for me in ministry is remembering that much like The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, the pastor hat is not one that comes off. A couple of Sundays ago I reprimanded a child out on the playground. That family is now leaving the church.

As one person explained it to me, although I was right, it is not a good feeling to have your child yelled at by anyone and add to that my pastor hat and it is mortifying.

sigh...

19 comments:

Kathryn said...

Ouch...my tummy has just got knotted up in sympathy with you. How horrid. Mind you, if their allegiance to the church is so minimal that they are prepared to walk after one incident, they may not be hugely committed to life in the Body of Christ.
Hugs anyway xx

Songbird said...

:-(

Crimson Rambler said...

*[ -- What kathryn said. But it stings, I know.

Gord said...

Did you yell or gently reprimand/correct behavour? Different animals those two, but people seem to have trouble differentiating.

AT tiems I long for the community where we can safely gently reprimand each other's children. I know it has risks but balance would be nice...

Jane Ellen+ said...

*sigh* I've been there too. In my case, a child was kneeling and rocking on a folding chair, and I asked him to sit instead. That family left my church, too-- because I "valued rules over relationship." Never mind safety issues...

But being right is small consolation. I'm sorry, sis. No fun at all. *[

cheesehead said...

Oh,man, I hate it when people are like that.

But you know its probably not really about the playground, right?

Right?

Could be that the Spirit is calling them somewhere else.

((((ws))))

sherry said...

A view from the pews:

I for one don't mind when the Priest (or Pastor) is one of the myriad of adults who have reprimanded my children over the years. Raising kids is hard ass work and it truly takes a village.

Do you get to take credit for the parents that stay in the church because you praised something their child did? (just pointing out the obvious that is really not your fault)

LutherLiz said...

I have been there as well. Heaven forbid a Children's Ministry person care about a child's safety! It isn't easy to see someone walk away, even when you suspect the reason they give maybe be only part of the truth. Even though the hat doesn't come of, grace still is needed for pastors too! I'm sorry!

ymp said...

So this leaves me with two points
1) I'm perfectly willing to assume that your action was appropriate to the child's behavior SO
2) Does the family have authority and/or parenting isssues that got stepped on?
And I guess as a third point, don't they appreciate that other adults are concerned about their children's welfare and behavoir?
That's what I would want for my (theoretical) children.

Listing Straight said...

I hate it when my humanity comes back and bites me in the ass...

God_Guurrlll said...

Oh WS, I sympathise with you on that one. I bite my tongue til it is bloody sometimes when the children run around the church like barbarians because I'm afraid of offending their parents. I wish I had your courage.

Chilly Fingers said...

I hate it when things like that happen - ditto to what everyone has had.

The Vicar of Hogsmeade said...

I guess you should have stoned 'em instead

DogBlogger said...

Yes, to what everybody else has already said. Situations like this are so, so frustrating.

(((ws)))

Mark Smith said...

I was on an all-church retreat last year. I saw a few kids from the same family doing something wrong, and I called them on it.

Later I made sure that Mom was OK with me talking to her kids. She said something like "Oh, please. Do you want to take them for the weekend?"

The others are right - this wasn't about the kids. Stick to your guns.

Identity Mixed said...

Ok. Seriously. The Family With Issues (hereby referred to as FWI) should realize that you are also a parent! A Mom has every right to correct another child. The FWI needs to drop it.

But as the pastor of my church would say, "If they were that easy to offend and leave, then we don't need them now."

Purechristianithink said...

Reminds me of a time I hollered, "Okay kids, time to come inside for snack!" when I was parent helper at my kids' preschool a few years back. The other helper Mom pulled me aside and said, "I'm just not okay with your yelling. It's cohersive and not in keeping with the gentle atmosphere I think we're trying to nurture here."

Yeah. Bite me.

Auntie Knickers said...

Everyone else said it really well -- keep working on Bad Habit #2 from the meme and keep your perspective.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

I would be quite mad if someone watched my kid get hurt when they could have told 'em to knock it off.