Saturday, August 4, 2007

Blue-collar Ministry

I'm reading a book by tex sample "blue-collar Ministry: facing economic and social realities of working people". In the introduction, he talks about the pervasive religion of winning that infects every aspect of life in the United States. I was particularly struck by a couple of his comments, "People become lonely individuals by virtue of the fact that, at some level, everyone else is a rival."

The other comment was regarding women pastors. "Many are socialized to believe that they cannot win. And living in a culture in which dignity is earned by winning - or so it is believed - and feeling that one's role is nurturance mean that one is defined out of the real action and that one's identity is a second-class identity."

We seem to be in a system that is extremely competitive. We have to log our worship attendence numbers on the Conference system every Monday morning, along with our Professions of Faiths and our Mission numbers.

I wonder if much of the isolation we feel from each other, both men and women pastors, stems from this intense level of competition that we are operating at.

1 comment:

An Angry Celt said...

Perhaps a component of our "feelings of isolation" are, ideed, due to the competitive nature of our reporting - at least when the isolation is regarding that which exists among clergy.

Among "laity," our isolation, I think, is more due to our "clergy status." We are viewed as quite weird by the majority of our species - the majority may be correct in their assessment.

I agree with Sample's assessment that much that female clergy must overcome has been socialized into them. Moreover, many continue to engage in the practice of attempting to misinform females about being female. It is the way that society perpetrates oppression of females even when such oppression is now regarded as politically incorrect in the western world. Good news: eventually they'll all die off - there is hope for your female grandchildren - er, uh, unless they reside within an Islamic theocracy.