I love being a minister in a small town church. I am able to interact with our church family on a deeper level than I could in a large church. Our services are informal and more personal. We don’t have a huge hierarchy which means very little in the way of politics and problems. I have the best of the best here in small-town Wyoming.
Well, we all know that nothing is perfect so what is the trade-off? As the sole staff member (other than a once weekly janitor), I do everything that needs doing, in terms of daily operations. Most days that means writing sermons, visiting folks at home and in the hospital, and counseling appointments. I also do all the administrative tasks, such as ordering paper and creating the weekly order of worship. I landscaped around the parsonage which means that I also I elected myself the Chief of Landscape Maintenance. Since I live next door to the church it also means I interact with vagabonds looking for money, after hours food bank clients, solicitors, and friendly folks just stopping by to say howdy.
Now, I am not complaining; I wouldn’t trade this job for a large multi-staff church, no-way no-how. I would much rather be taking care of the yard than dickering over church business. And I don’t have any need for the status that comes with pastoring a large church in a large city.
However, there are a few times when I wish there was another person around. Last week we had a dead bird in the yard. That of makes me queasy, but I cleaned it up. Sometimes a bird gets into our church basement and I have to duck and dash to get windows open and swoosh the bird away. This morning, our Food Bank volunteer knocked on my door and informed me that we have a dead baby bat on the floor, next to the canned goods shelf. Eeeeeeeewwwwww. But, I cleaned that up and deposited the little critter in the dumpster. I hope I get extra credit from the big guy upstairs cause cleaning up a bat on my day off –before breakfast—was not on my job description!
Last year pigeons and doves invaded our bell tower, through a tear in the screen. We finally got someone to climb up, clean it out, and repair the screens. However the displaced birds were very upset and tried to bash through the new screening. The only thing that would keep them away was the sound of the bell ringing. Since we have an old fashioned bell rope that you pull, several times a day I had ring the bell, long and loud, until the birds found another home.
- Threatened birds find sanctuary at Westminster Presbyterian Church (journalstar.com)