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.