What do I mean by that?
Many, many years ago I lead a worship team and we played at other churches, camps and retreats. Looking back, it was fun. Anyways, one night we were playing at a church that we had never been to before. As we unloaded, the Pastor of the church came in and I said hi to Larry.
He then proceeded to introduce himself as Pastor Larry.
Now, I had met him before and I was also a youth pastor at the time, so, I thought it was odd that he introduced himself as ‘Pastor Larry’. Well, he went around the circle of our band and when he got to our drummer he said, ‘hi, I’m Pastor Larry’.
Without skipping a beat, our drummer said…’hi, I’m drummer Jared’. Honestly, he wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, he just didn’t understand.
Needless to say, Pastor Larry was shocked.
We all chucked and then when Pastor Larry left, we laughed like crazy. I later apologized and he said it was fine!
Remember the Target
Now, I don’t find anything wrong with the fact that introduced himself as Pastor Larry. I thought it was weird that he did with me, but over the years, I’ve met many Pastors, who introduce themselves as ‘Pastor so and so’ to other Pastors. I just don’t understand that.
And, I’ve just never liked being called Pastor Jason.
The first church I worked at was pretty traditional. Ok, that may be an understatement. It was actually the most conservative and traditional church I’ve ever been a part of in my life. At that church, they called my Pastor Jason.
When I started at my next church as the youth pastor, I put an end to it right away and just had everybody call me Jason. Only a few times in the last 20 years have people called me Pastor Jason. Typically at Weddings and Funerals.
I’m now the Pastor of Thrive
I understand that for some people, calling their pastor, ‘pastor’ is a term of respect. But, in our culture at Thrive, we want to make sure we’re always thinking through our verbiage and I think for people who are new to church or have never experienced church, I just want to be Jason. I know for some people the word ‘pastor’ sends up flags right away. A few years my wife and I lead a small group and a couple almost didn’t attend because they didn’t want to attend with a pastor.
Just Call Me Jason
I won’t ever introduce myself as Pastor Jason or have any one else introduce me that way. I just want to be Jason and yes, I lead Thrive Church and I’m the pastor, I’m just not interested in titles. I think people who are new to church relate best to this. And so does…Andy Stanely and Bill Hybels.
Someone introduced me to their co-worker the other day as their pastor and I loved it. I was honored.
I pinch myseld daily that God has given me this tremendous privilege and honor to be the pastor of Thrive Church.