My wife and I are taking advantage of the lessened responsibilities of 4th year seminary field work to visit many LCMS congregations in the St. Louis area. It has been a very eye-opening experience for us both.
One thing that I am learning is NOT to tell people if I possibly can that I am a seminary student. It is amazing how attitudes change in this "mission-driven-seeker-obsessed" church culture we live in. When people, both laity and clergy, think I am just some "seeker" trying on their church for size they roll out the red carpet. As soon as it is discovered that I am an itinerant seminary student it's like "Ah, who cares, he doesn't need to be treated with any friendliness."
Now, granted, this is not across the board. Some churches are nice and welcoming regardless of the possible pay-back they could get from me. However, it has been awkward and at times downright disheartening to be treated like a second-class citizen because I am already a LCMS Christian.
Any thoughts? Or am I just being too sensitive?