Over the course of my 40+ years of life I have been called many names, some kind and some very unkind. I’m pretty sure I have been called every name in the book. But one of the most common questions I get either out in public when people find out I am a Pastor or even first time visitors not familiar with church is, “So, what do I call you?” I get that question so often that I felt I should write a quick blog about the subject.
Anyone who knows me will attest that I am not big on titles but I am big on honor. What do I mean by that? I believe many titles nowadays are typically given and assumed but rarely earned and deserved. I have a friend who once said, “Give me a servant towel over a title any day!” And I am a firm believer that while the office of a Pastor is worthy of honor because it’s a God-ordained role, it’s also a title that should be earned as well.
So when people ask me do I call you Father, Reverend, Pastor, or Mark? My answer is always the same. I explain that my calling as a Pastor is one of my life’s greatest honors. My name is Mark and I introduce myself as Mark when I first meet people. I encourage everyone to feel free to call me Mark until the moment if/and when I have earned the privilege of being your Pastor. Being called Pastor Mark by the people I lead is the greatest honor I could ever be blessed with. So, what do you call me? Mark is fine until you consider me your Pastor. When I am addressed as Mark I know where I stand in your life, and when you refer to me as Pastor Mark, the same is true and I have earned the title in your eyes and I will work diligently to not disappoint you and always direct you to Jesus. Hope this answers the question of what to call me?
Pastor Mark or Mark (You choose)