In truth, I was exhausted from expending so much energy but wanted to hear how the sermon resonated with others as it had with me.
As is my custom, I greeted each member with a handshake and a warm smile and actively listened as they shared their sentiments.
But, it wasn’t until my second year of pastoring that I became aware of my loneliness. While sitting in the second chair shielded me from the full burden of the weight of ministry, I still shouldered a great share of the responsibility.
I functioned in strategic planning, curriculum and ministry development and filled-in as the youth pastor.
Often times, parishioners feel they have a right to access you at any time.
Unlike typical eight hour jobs, our professional lives can span from administrative oversight during the day to leading bible study in the evening to weekend leadership retreats or church fairs.
Nevertheless, I quickly grew exhausted of enjoying these things alone.
In my experience, when I’ve disclosed my line of work, the person I dated became uncomfortable with the idea of dyeing in relationship with a pastor or used me as a sounding board for theological query.
Yes, I’m a pastor but my conversation extends far beyond faith, theology, and spiritual matters.
Congregational triangles like these are a detriment to non-biased decision-making and impact the work of ministry overall.
To avoid that, I chose to entertain dating relationships with people who were not within the worship community I served and had little ties to it.
I’m certain, like me, many have wondered how marriage fits into this already full and exhausting schedule.