what do you call your PH?

>> December 12, 2008

My PH (pastor-husband) and I were talking the other day about what people at church call the pastor. He's a pretty informal, down-to-earth guy, but he still prefers members to attach the "Pastor" handle to his name.

On the flip side, I correct people when they call me Sister M or Mrs. M... I feel like that's my mother-in-law, not me. I prefer that people call me by my first name.

Sometimes I've found it tricky when I am trying to get his attention or addressing him in a public setting. I don't really like calling out "Ben!" It feels funny. At the same time, I have to be intentional about calling him Pastor Ben. It doesn't come naturally.

I attended an informal pastor's wife/fiance/girlfriend class when he was in undergrad and the leader insisted that we should, without exception, address our PH as Pastor X (last name) in the presence of church members. I think that tradition, if it ever was one, is dead for the new breed (us) of PWs. What do you think? I don't think members should take their cues about what to call the pastor (or any other person) from their spouse. If I call him honey or baby or sweetheart in public, that doesn't give anyone else the right to call him that. So, why should calling him by his first name be any different?

More questions for ya:
What do members call your PH? What does your PH prefer to be called (by his members)? What do you call him at church or in social settings with members?

11 comments:

Lori Wilhite December 12, 2008 at 8:36 PM  

We're first names only ... all the time. He of course answers to other things but prefers just his first name.

Sandra December 12, 2008 at 9:30 PM  

When my husband and I met we were both teachers at a Christian school. I called him Coach Peoples and he called me Miss Wood. So we didn't even start out on a first-name basis. ;) Now at church I call him Lee. But I refer to him as Pastor Lee in front of kids.

Michelle Wegner December 13, 2008 at 8:35 PM  

Personally, it always creeps me out a bit when I am talking to someone and they refer to their husband as "Pastor so-and-so" I usually think they are talking about someone else because I would never call Rob "Pastor Wegner". It's all personal preference of course. I call him Rob...works for me!

Sarah,  December 14, 2008 at 12:29 AM  

For me, when pastors start right off with first names then there's no where else to go for the people that you get to be closer friends with. But that said, while my husband appreciates the accountability of being called "pastor" - there are plenty of people who do both. Some call him "Pastor", others just call him by his first name.

In front of members, I call him "baby", "sweetheart" or "love". If I have to call out to him, or refer to him by name - I just call him "Pastor". No last name, no first name. But especially in front of kids or youth...

Jesse December 16, 2008 at 6:39 AM  

i think out of respect we should call him pastor

Deidre C. December 20, 2008 at 12:12 AM  

Otis tries to keep it as informal as possible. He'll introduce himself by his first name but inevitability the members end up attaching Pastor to Otis. And it's way to hard to pronounce our last name.

Cindy Beall December 21, 2008 at 11:33 AM  

I call him honey or sweetie or baby or whatever I call him when we're home. We're who we are...all the time. I don't want to refer to him as something formal just to do it in front of people. Plus, I think our people like it when I call him my pet name for him because they see our relationship as healthy :)

Orenee,  December 22, 2008 at 11:31 AM  

At my wedding shower one of the senior shepherdess told me, "Do not call your husband Pastor, he is you Husband". That has stuck with me, and I find it so strange when I hear other PW's calling their husbands Pastor so and so. If I am in a setting with children and teenagers and I have to refer to him I will say Pastor or My Husband.

Steph December 22, 2008 at 7:48 PM  

I'm a newlywed AND we just started 3 weeks ago in our first church together, so I'm figuring it out. Nice to hear everyone's comments! I've been calling him "Honey", etc, but when I need to refer to him to someone else, I say "Pastor David". On a side note, our church members are trying to figure out how to refer to me. I tell the adults that first-name status is a-okay (the kids call me "Miss Stephanie") but culturally many of them have to be more formal than that. My new last name is "Livergood", and our first week here, I was referred to as "Sister Liverpool". Ah, I can tell this is going to be interesting!!! LOL

Rodlie Ortiz December 24, 2008 at 11:04 AM  

Can a pastor jump into the mix here and give his two cents? I thought long and hard about this as I was in the process of graduating from Seminary. How should I introduce myself? Pastor Rodlie, Pastor Ortiz? I finally settled on......Rodlie. Just that. My name is not Pastor Rodlie. My name is not Pastor Ortiz. It's Rodlie. I don't feel like this causes people to somehow magically loose any respect for me or think less of me. In fact, I feel it does just the opposite. If I'm calling someone that might not know me, I'll say, "This is Rodlie Ortiz, I'm the pastor of the so and so church.." Or If I'm introducing myself to a new person at church I'll say, "hi, my name is Rodlie...I'm the pastor here."

This current generation is not at all impressed by titles, but by authenticity. In our membership class I tell people that they can feel free to call me "Rodlie," but they can also call me Pastor Rodlie is they prefer. But I refuse to be called Pastor Ortiz. (Makes me feel too old)

A Doctor calls himself Dr. ____ in a hospital because it gives his words a sense of trust. In a church, people know you're the pastor, and people will build that sense of trust and respect based upon how you treat them and the kind of godly person that you are.

Ok...sermon's done. But to each his own. By the way, my wife calls me Rodlie in public as well.

These are just my thoughts on what makes me feel comfortable.

dpm December 24, 2008 at 12:52 PM  

Thanks, Rodlie, for your comments. It's nice to have a PH chime in once in a while...

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