"Yes. Yes, as a matter of fact I do," my brain said to the cashier at the christian bookstore, who has trying to figure out if I was worthy of a clergy discount. But instead of sounding so eager and excited, because I am finally doing full time ministry, I simply said "yes, I do.".
"Well, what is your title?"
"Program Director of Religious Life."
"Oh." (Frowns at the computer screen) "I guess I can't give you the discount, because you're not a full-time minister."
I tried not to hop up and down and scream at the top of my lungs that I am indeed a full-time minister, just not an ordained one. It's not that I minded not getting the discount, but this is not the first time I've had a conversation like this one. Apparently the fact that I spend 40+ hours a week being a minister to children doesn't actually make me a minister. Granted, that 40 hours/week doesn't make me a "Reverend", but in my thinking, it surely does make me a minister. Guess I was wrong...
But on the upside, the job is the job of my dreams--in many ways. SOme part of me still misses being a "traditional" kind of minister, with the hospital visitations and not having to fight with my congregation when I preach. But then, just when I think I can sit in no more meetings, opportunities to do those sorts of traditional things pop up. Just today, I started a weekly devotional for the staff and visited with a woman having surgery (yes, at 615 am...). And, I'm getting to preach in my home church (and bonus: getting to wear my black robe and fun liturgical stoles!) twice this month.
I probably don't look like a "traditional" minister and I probably don't act like one-- but "traditional" or not, I sure feel like a minister--though perhaps one who is still in the honeymoon period! :-P