Baseball players wear a hat. Cowboys wear a hat. There are berets, fedoras, visors, top hats, bowlers and derbies. Hats help us quickly identify who people are, what they do, and something about them. We describe the multi-facets of our life by saying we “wear different hats.” You’re a soccer mom, piano teacher, and marathon runner. You’re a CEO, skateboarder, and theatre enthusiast. But how many times have you seen someone wear all their hats at the same time?
But that’s just what we expect of our pastors. They are expected to wear many hats, ALL the time and all AT the same time. Here’s part of a description of The Ideal Pastor:
“The ideal pastor is tall, short, lean, and husky, with brown hair and blond hair. He has a deep, resonant voice which, because it is quietly loud, pleases everyone and is audible to the hard of hearing. He can sing, lead music, and delegates authority to everyone. Besides this, he helps each layman and does all the things other people are too busy to do. In short, he keeps the entire church and each family running smoothly.”
(From Steve Merrill’s piece in The Evangelical Beacon, magazine of the Evangelical Free Church of America, copyright 1984)
This is obviously satirical, but far too close to reality than we would like to admit. May I suggest a different model?
No one is more known for his hat than Indiana Jones. With his fedora, he is the premiere explorer (Dora has nothing on him). We all know he is also a professor of archeology, and a bull-whip expert, and a real charmer. But ultimately, he is an explorer. It doesn’t make him less afraid of snakes, but he still wears just one hat: explorer.
So while we all have different responsibilities and different obligations we have to keep, wear one hat. Be a pastor. Be a worship leader. Be a children’s director. Be who God has created you to be, and wear that hat.
Written by: Dr. Dave Feltman
Dave is on staff at Froot Group as a Search Coach. Dave brings 20+ years of worship leading experience and 7+ years of executive pastoring experience to the staffing team.