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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Assistant or Associate

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I got my personalized business cards from The Church today. My title is listed as "Assistant Pastor."

Ummm, that's not right. My title is "Associate Pastor."

I don't mean to be picky about it, but there's a big difference. Consider (from Wiktionary):

associate (plural associates)

  1. A person united with another or others in an act, enterprise, or business; a partner or colleague.
  2. A companion; a comrade.
assistant (plural assistants)
  1. A person who assists or helps someone else.
The move from "associate" to "assistant" is a move away from partnership and companionship and a move towards paid help.

I felt bad and apologized when I showed the Office Manager the error. But not that bad, and not for very long.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 10:28 AM

4 Comments:

So, there's an "office manager?" Nice.
Too bad assistant pastors don't exist in the PCUSA any longer. I think a syllogism would dictate that you don't exist! Awesome. Welcome to the existential crisis of your new call...
commented by Anonymous matt, 11:51 AM  
Oh....that's a carry over from long time ago polity. The UPCUSA had that title back in the 70's. It had a whole different status and was removed from the BOO in the late 70's or early 80's. The distinct difference was that an Assistant pastor could be called by the Session where as an ASSOCIATE pastor was called by the congregation with concurrence of the Presbytery. There might be one or two Assistant pastor's hanging around in the denomination, but most of them have become Associates.

The change was implemented specifically for the reasons you mentioned.

Someone needs to give the business manager a polity lesson and I Hope they are planning on getting you some new cards pronto.

Congrats on the new call!

Carla Gentry
(still laboring in the Heartland and So. KC)
Uhh, thanks.

Did I just type that?
commented by Blogger Not Prince Hamlet, 1:53 PM  
You definitely owe no one an apology for asking for the correction....

And I just heard not long ago that the last assistant pastors have moved to other positions, so they no longer exist. The term has actually been deleted from the Book of Order now.

Of course, the term "Senior Pastor" doesn't exist in the Book of Order either, and that doesn't stop about half of our "Pastors" at multi-staff churches from using it. Wrongly.
commented by Anonymous Point of Order, 8:57 PM  

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