by Stan Bennett

by Stan Bennett

Monday, April 14, 2014

Loss of Privilege

We ministers enjoy a high status with many privileges.  

I often talk about the crap I take as a minister but there's another side to it and to tell you the truth, it's troubling to me.  People grant me a great deal of respect simply because I have the title, "Pastor." I get nice gifts, preferential treatment, and a superstitious regard as if I'm mysteriously linked to a higher cosmos.  Some people resent me for that, but as I said, I've spoken of that before.  

Just being with me grants a person status. If I eat lunch with someone, that person will proudly let it slip that "the other day while I was having lunch with the pastor...." If I drink morning coffee with the men in the local cafe, they'll talk later about how I came in and acted "just like anybody else...." 

Over the weekend, a woman came over and mowed our yard because our whole household had been sick in bed for a week.  It was embarrassing but the truth was I really wasn't strong enough to deal with an overgrown yard and I couldn't turn her down. I told my wife, "You realize if I quit the ministry, this kind of thing won't happen?" She nodded.  

If and when I leave the ministry, I'm not only going to have to learn how to do something different for an income, I'll have to do it without the privileges I've always had.  I'll walk through a crowd and not be noticed. No more special Christmas gifts from an "adoring" public. No one trying to curb their language out of consideration for me. People will be rude to me simply because they can get away with it.  

I quit being a minister a couple of brief times in the past, and I experienced that loss of privilege during the interim.  To tell you the truth it was a bit of a shock.  

I'm older now and won't be surprised, but it may still be an adjustment, and perhaps it's a good thing. No one should become accustomed to that kind of privilege. 


  1. Doctors have this privilege as well...

  2. I'm sure that's right. Sorry to be slow in posting this. Didn't know anyone was reading. :)