Titles have always bugged me, not just in the church. They serve only one purpose: to make people think you are ‘all that and a bag of chips’ – to ‘blow wind up one’s own kilt’, if you will. Their purpose is to simply show credibility when credibility is needed, but when I shake your hand for the first time, I just want to meet you, not your list of titles.
I remember one high school teacher. I think his last name was “Landymore” or something like that. On the first day I addressed him as “Mr. Landymore” and he stopped me, and, with a somewhat stern voice and forced smile corrected me and said “It’s “Doctor” Landymore. I have a PHD.”
Sorry? What’s a PHD? I’m 17 years old, I don’t want to be in your class. I don’t want to be in school. I barely knew if I wanted to be alive and you would like me to be concerned with your title and inconvenience me by changing my already-polite title to ‘Doctor’?
Pride. That’s all it is.
Landymore thought he deserved more in this cruel world, poor guy.
I wonder if he stuck with that program?
Note: ‘Doctor’ kind of works for the guy who prescribes your patented (and likely harmful) pharmaceuticals, though. It actually helps communication “I went to the doctors today” or “I met with Doctor Turner today.”
In the church it’s even more messed up. Catholic leaders call themselves ‘Father’ completely contrary verbatim to the command of Jesus who said don’t call anyone ‘father’ (Matthew 23:8). ‘Reverend’? Seriously? You want to be revered? How about ‘no’ just for being so arrogant? ‘Bishop’? Isn’t that a piece on a chess game? Last time I checked it could move all the way across the board diagonally. Or… was it a medieval position of a guy who sits at a round table with the king? Doesn’t matter. It sounds lame and pretentious and you should at least get the title rebranded to ‘BB’ or ‘Bishter’ or something that at least sounds fun.
“Pastor” kind of works. If a title has to be used in a church, I’d say go for ‘pastor’. Cooper Abrams wrote this article on the topic and I think it hits home. A ‘pastor’ means ‘shepherd’ which is someone who has to deal with stinky, stubborn, and wayward sheep all day long and God knows that’s the Pastor’s role.
Have a nice day.
Flamboyant Rockstarry Penmastor Wayne….