Titles are usually earned, labels are not

Recently, I have been hearing lots of people use words to label someone. I am guilty of it myself. I consider myself a Conservative in the strictest sense- politically and religiously.

Through all of this, I recently read a young man’s opinion in one of our Baptist newspapers. He was more than a little critical of some other people within the convention who are called “younger leaders.” I don’t know any of these “younger leaders” personally nor do I know if they are seeking positions within the convention so I cannot speak to what he said.

What I found to be incredulous is the fact that this young man who is 29, was referred to on the tagline of the opinion article as “senior” pastor. I wondered if the newspaper did this, so I went to his church’s website, and there in a large font in bold was written, “Senior” pastor.

So, this got me to wondering about the overuse of titles. Here is a young man of 29 being referred to as “senior.” I am soon to be 44 (Wednesday, August 9) and I am not prepared to be called a “senior” anything!!! I realize in a few years that I will be eligible to join the senior ranks for discounts, etc, but I still don’t think I will be ready for that title!

Titles really don’t mean anything if you haven’t earned it. A friend in Kyiv mentioned to me that he felt that in many of our churches we use the title “leader” way too often and that it doesn’t mean anything.

I thought about it and I think he may be right. In the church I attend in Kyiv, when I was able to attend our “leader’s meetings”, there were 12-15 young people who attended. Many of them had leadership skills, but most of them were not ready to be leaders!

As a society, we have always been quick to “label” people, now it seems that we are just as quick to give people “titles” who haven’t really earned them. Just call me Joe…because that’s really who I am!