Over the weekend, the #realclergybios hashtag spread like Gospel on Twitter, with countless pastors and seminarians shelling out hard truths about everything from doubting one’s vocation to fighting for the church’s solvency to—if you’re a woman or non-white pastor—dealing with daily microaggressions.
Scroll down for the 11 most insightful—or just plain cheeky—tweets.
What pushed you to start #RealClergyBios?
Clergy constantly seem to have these perfect bios on Twitter and elsewhere, but if we dig a little deeper into their lives, it’s not so shiny and happy. My friend, Elizabeth Grasham (@elizabethlgr), helped originate this hashtag with #realpreacherbios in a closed Facebook group for young clergywomen.
Did you expect it to take off like it did?
It’s amazing that it became such an expression of vulnerability and honesty. The more people tweeted their bios and experiences, the safer the space became for others to enter into it too. We’re so used to living up to the expectations that come from having a Master of Divinity degree. Sometimes people just forget the humanity of clergy.
What do you think is the most overlooked challenge of clergy life for women and person-of-color ministers?
I think people don’t realize that our identities are constantly being questioned—sometimes even our basic humanity. For women, the struggle is our appearance: We constantly get judged or critiqued. For POC, it can be a constant questioning—a surprise that we speak English so well or that we chose this vocation or that we are working in white/Anglo churches.
#realclergybios from most White accounts "I'm humbled people listen to me."
From POC accts "Christians are racist and I still need a job"
— baehab of jericho (@CandyCornball) January 31, 2016
Telling queer folk I'm a pastor requires convincing them I'm not scary. Telling church folk I'm queer requires the same. #realclergybios
— Layton Williams (@ReverendFem) January 30, 2016
— Nathan Russell (@nathanarussell) January 29, 2016
Been here 8 years, still told "I wanted to talk to the real pastor but I guess I can tell you since he's not there." #realclergybios
— Stacey Midge (@revstacey) January 29, 2016
— Mihee Kim-Kort (@miheekimkort) January 29, 2016
A millennial hoping that the local church isn't the next Blockbuster Video #realclergybios
— Nathan Irons Roberts (@Nathaniroberts) January 29, 2016
Always trying to work more on the stuff Jesus actually cares about. Only sometimes succeeding. #realclergybios
— Jordan Haynie Ware (@GodWelcomesAll) January 29, 2016
Driving for Uber at midnight on Sunday because student loans are immune to prayer. #realclergybios
— Topher Endress (@topherendress) February 1, 2016
Person next to me on plane: "What do you do?"
Me: "Consulting." *puts headphones back on#realclergybios
— Luke Edwards (@lukesedwards) January 31, 2016
Made sure the 3rd graders who received Bibles today know you say SECOND Corinthians. #realclergybios
— caseyfitzgerald (@caseyfitzgerald) January 31, 2016
Preaching a sermon re:race & white privilege to a white, middle class congregation. Wondering if you just lost your job. #realclergybios
— Jim Rowe (@revjimrowe) January 31, 2016