An aspiring Christian lawyer asked me about how other pastors react to us, and whether they looked down on us. Here are my thoughts:
And about your question regarding how other pastors have reacted to us – we didn’t do ministry until after we’d been practicing for 4 years. And our circle, if you will, wasn’t so much ministry people as it was lawyers. Most of them thought it was “cool,” but we definitely felt like a lot of them looked down on us. We were surprised, for example, that of our 100 or so friends and contacts in the DC area, only about 5 of them came to our church (even once). Especially after Niki left the practice of law, we didn’t feel like we really “belonged” in our lawyers’ circle anymore.
I think now that we’re in ministry, we’ve experienced mostly admiration and favor from pastors and people in ministry. Mostly… there have been times when I have encountered passive responses that feel something like “you’re not really pastors…you didn’t go to Bible college or get a higher degree in theology/seminary.”
All that to say – I don’t worry much at all about how others respond. It’s taken me a long time to work this out within me, mostly because I’m an atypical female (bold, powerful upfront, highly educated, assertive, etc.) who also is in ministry leadership (even more atypical). I’ve come to realize and accept that God didn’t make a mistake when He made me. I can adjust, mature, grow, and become more like Him, but if I morph too much to fit the expectations/discomfort of others, I start to look less like Him and more like the outcome of a Gallup poll.
It sounds like God has given you a passion for the law and for Him. That’s not a mistake, and He has a plan for you in that. It might not look like anything you (or those around you) have seen before, but it’s not a problem/wrong/ineffective/detrimental to your ministry. It’s Him in you. I believe He has a unique way for you to live out this calling, and He’ll lead you as you pioneer this trail. When you look back behind you, you’ll see His hand in it all, and God willing, you’ll see other people walking confidently down the path you blazed.