At the onset let me admit this post is a bit random. Generally speaking I prefer discussing something more substantial, but I will allow myself a brief sojourn into the territory of critiquing the seemingly benign.
Have you ever been in a larger church that has multiple pastors? I'm not talking the typical church with a 'senior' pastor and 'youth' pastor. I'm talking about churches that have 4-5 pastors or more on staff. I had the privilege of serving in a church with a pastoral staff of three. I enjoyed the ability to 'specialize'. The ability to concentrate on fewer domains of ministry, along with the wonderful opportunities of fellowship provided by multiple staff, makes this a very desired system.
Churches in these situations may have a Pastor of Counseling, Senior High Pastor, Seniors Pastor, Children's Pastor, Families Pastor, Visitation pastor, or a other number of positions. One particular position--the Pastor of Assimilation--greatly annoys me. Now, the actual duties of this position are wonderful, and I am in full agreement with the concept of it. I just hate the name. Every time I hear it I am reminded of the Borg from Star Trek. Come on....what on earth are these churches thinking. This position is designed for those who are NEW to the church. Those of us who grew up in church may well tolerate the name, but have these churches even considered what new believers or unbelievers would think when they heard this term?
It sounds like a cult, or some sort of meat-processing plant, or even a Nazi prison. In my mind, it conjures up images of a B-sci-fi movie where some steroid-using muscular actor playing a half-human/half-machine says in a monotone voice, "I must assimilate you".
So, unless these churches are planning on processing meat, or turning people into the Borg, I suggest we come up with another name.
What about these options:"Newcomers Pastor"; "Pastor of Early Discipleship"; "New Believers Pastor". OK, OK...so these are a bit awkward. But what about the good old traditional standby: "Associate Pastor". Its vague, but leaves opportunities for further clarification.
Ideas are welcome. Think of them quick before you are assimilated.