Recently, I was guest preaching and I began by talking about how much I hate the question “what do you do?” I just don’t like telling people that I am a minister. The conversation always changes afterward and not in a good way! Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE being a minister. It’s just that I enjoy a good conversation and this is a conversation killer.
Once I tell them they either:
A) don’t want to talk to me
B) hate religion and want to tell me why
C) love religion and want to tell me why
Either way, whatever we were talking about is gone.
Fast-forward to this week. I am at the bank and a new teller was being trained. He was taking a long time to do anything and so the women supervising him was small talking me. Then the three of us got in a really good conversation about different aspects of living in LA (none of us were native) and then the question comes.
They asked me what I did for a living. I said that I was a minister. They were both taken back. (it must be my age or face because I was wearing a long sleeve jacket ). Then he says:
Really? You don’t seem judgmental.
I’m not kidding. It was one of the oddest responses I have heard. Turns out he is from the Bible-belt and both his parents are of different nationalities and religions. His brother has become a fundamentalist Christian and thinks both mom and dad are going to hell. The supervisor is a 1st generation American and of another religion. Her son has become a charismatic and thinks that she is going to hell.
I showed them my tattoos and said “they both probably think that tattoos are wrong” and they both gasped and said “Oh yeah … they would not like that.” From there the conversation took a wonderful turn.
It was the first time I have liked the reaction I got.