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The Performance Factor

Pastors must be pastors. But we must be people also.
—Ben Patterson

I felt a little ashamed of myself for doing it, but not enough to stop myself. It was my day off; my wife and I had taken our usual long walk, had breakfast together, and stopped in a clothing store to do a little shopping. When I saw two church members in the shop, I quickly ducked behind a mannequin, and when they weren't looking, I slipped out of the store. I was tired; it was my day off; I didn't feel like extending any greetings.

It wasn't pastoral of me, but it was honest. And it illustrates a struggle I face in the pastorate—trying to balance the tension between being the person I am and being that person called a "pastor."

Other professions live with the same tension, but they can handle it more efficiently. In The Christian Century magazine, columnist Martin Marty once wrote about the schizo-like attitude of flight attendants. On airplanes we find attendants gracious, sometimes to the point of gushiness. They look ...

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