Saturday, March 03, 2007

"Oh, you're a seminary student..."

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?


Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

I don't think you're taking this too rough. I've also seen situations where it seems the already-Lutheran is taken for granted. I received a pamphlet in the mail about a Lutheran mission in the area, and they specifically say they seek the unchurched, and don't come if you're an unhappy Lutheran. To put the best construction on it, WTF?

Jim Roemke said...

This is what I like to call the cell-phone phenomenon. You know, cell-phone companies only have the really good deals for new customers. Once they get you to sign up then who gives a darn.