What do our titles say about us?
As we’ve welcomed new members of our parish staff and reviewed our job responsibilities, I’ve been thinking about titles lately. What does it mean to be called a youth minister or a pastoral minister or a ministry coordinator? What do others think I do based on my job title? How do we define ourselves, and how do others define us? Some of the titles we have aren’t chosen by us, but instead given to us.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, someone who has, it seems, a name for every reason. She is the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of Mercy, the Cause of Our Joy, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Star of the Sea, just to name a few. The many names of Mary come from her essential role, from the ways she continues to guide and support us, from the places she has chosen to appear. There is no one, single way to describe her that covers everything. Some days, that’s how my life/job feels. I’m the Keeper of the Keys, the Mover of Tables, the Proofreader, the Volunteer Wrangler, the Answerer of Calls, just to a name a few.
We play different roles for different people at different times in our lives, reflected by some of the titles we have earned or accepted in a professional sense. Scripture gives us some titles as well, and these are truly given, not a description of what we do, but of who we are: Child of God, a new creature in Christ, Chosen, Holy and Beloved. With so many choices, how do I decide what to call myself?
I guess I’ll go with what Hillsong sang on my way into work this morning: “I am who You say I am.”
Kwiatkowski is the coordinator of youth ministry at St. Rita Church in Webster.