Posted by: smstrouse | October 16, 2013

On Being a Pastoral Dinosaur

It didn’t help that I had a positively crappy two months:  from a tooth infection, leading to three root canals – to an accident on the Bay Bridge, totaling my car – to a nasty bout of hives, rendering me loopy from the antihistamines.  I’ve kinda been a wreck.

On top of that was the arrival of our seminary intern. Don’t get me wrong; that’s been wonderful. It’s just that – for someone who’s supposed to be modeling strong leadership – I feel like the model for Dufus Pastor of the Year. People keep reminding me that it takes time to recover emotionally from an accident, but it’s disconcerting when I forget or misplace something. Hard times for this recovering perfectionist.

The thing is – it makes me feel old! Not only have I been reminded of my physical and emotional vulnerability these past two months, I’ve also realized that I’m a dinosaur.

Our young intern brings new energy and creativity to the congregation. Our newly called Mission Developer is also young and eager to get out and do the work of ministering in new and innovative ways. Both are Millennials, the face of the church of the 21st century. And I am so excited to be part of mentoring them and helping them to launch into new ways of being church.

That said, though, I do feel some sadness. It’s strange to go from being an “up and coming new leader of the church” to being a “wise, old mentor.”  Once upon a time, we Baby Boomers were going to change the world. Now we have to get out of the way and let the young’uns do it. Who would’ve thought?!

But I know that I’m just cranky right now, still dealing with insurance claims, gasping at endodontist bills and figuring out how to connect my new phone in my new car (a Millennial would just know). Tomorrow I’ll be back at being a progressive pastor in the emerging,  curating, re-forming new/old paradigm of the 21st century church.

This dinosaur ain’t extinct just yet.



  1. If you have the kind of phone I have in my car — it’s a bluetooth that you “pair” with your cellphone — I’m thinking that maybe connect isn’t quite the word you want. (But what do I know? I’m only about five minutes younger than you are!)


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