Saturday, May 7, 2016

Looking Like the Preacher

I was somewhat insulted by the funeral director as I arrived to do a service a couple of weeks ago. As I walked down the hall to the chapel, he greeted me by saying, "You look like the preacher." Ugh. That is a designation I have avoided for all the years I have been in ministry now.
When I answered the call to ministry, the Lord and I had an understanding he was getting me pretty much "as is" and not some typical or stereotypical embodiment of a preacher. I am a preacher's kid, former train robber, movie fan, Parrothead, and an avid people watcher.
I have been reasonably successful in this effort as I strive to maintain a sense of humor and humility and let my personality shine through the lens of my vocation. I take my job and responsibilities seriously, but humor has always been my default defense mechanism against the absurdities of life. I continue to resist the perception of what most people think of as "Christian" in today's world (solemn, reactionary, self-righteous, judgmental, ignorant, etc.).
Well, before I entered the ministry, I enjoyed writing. So with the encouragement (read: practical insistence) of my amusing muse of a wife, I am going to enter the blogosphere with some of my ramblings.

No matter which or how many churches I am assigned to officially, I have also developed another congregation of sorts through the years. It is comprised of a variety of people I have encountered along the way. We do not meet regularly and do not have a building. In it are old friends who would not go to church otherwise, or regularly. Some members of this church are family, and some have been in churches I used to serve, but now they do not go anywhere. It is a diverse group made up of old hippies, train robbers, Parrotheads, potheads, LGBTQ folks, and even agnostics and atheists.
Some have never had church be a part of their life or they have gotten out of the habit or perhaps even been hurt or alienated by the church. Some just have issues with organized religion. Yet, I am their pastor. I am the one they call when there is that kind of need. It is one of my greatest honors because that is a relationship out of choice and not obligation. I have performed weddings and funerals, counseled and held hands in the hospital. I have decided to call them the Rocking Flock.
One of the elders in the Rocking Flock is my best friend and local radio personality Jay Adams. He was the best man in my wedding and I in turn performed his wedding ceremony. We have gotten into trouble and gone on mission trips together. He often refers to me on air as the Minister of Movies, the Sultan of Salsa, and The Right Reverend Doyal. Thus, the name for this blog comes from the fact that those who know me best also know I am not quite right.