Greetings, and welcome back to Wyrd Words. Keeping the Thor in Thursdays, every other week here on Agora!
I’ve written a number of times about our communities struggles with stability and longevity. It’s a long standing issue that, due to its complexity, remains a relevant topic of discussion even after all these years. In my previous article I listed three major factors that often influence the lifespans of so many of our local community organizations. (Size, distribution, and interpersonal relationships.) Another factor has recently made itself incredibly apparent to me.
It’s a trait I’ve noticed throughout much of the general Pagan community, but particularly among my fellow Heathens. Everybody wants to be a chef. Everybody wants to be the priest, or the head of the Hearth, or the teacher. One of the biggest problems in our community is that nobody wants to be the person who pays the priest. With so many people wanting to run the kitchen, we end up with nobody left to manage the myriad of tasks required to make that kitchen function.
Being a spiritual leader is a FULL TIME JOB, and without the proper infrastructure it can be a nearly impossible task to take on while also keeping food on the table. Providing that kind of devoted service to the community requires a real support crew, just like any business. Any long standing religious facility will have an entire roster of people who fulfill the necessary functions to keep the place afloat while the ‘spiritual leaders’ focus on doing exactly what their title implies.
We have a glut of ‘priests’ and not enough accountants.
So many teachers, and so few administrators.
So many brilliant ideas, and almost no financiers.
We need people who are willing to work in the background. We don’t need more chefs, we need kitchen managers who can keep an eye on the business while the chef worries about the food. I’ve been asked a number of times if my goal is to someday run my own Hearth. The answer is no.
I’m no Gothi. Never have been. Never wanted to be.
My goal is to someday help my local community build up a lasting temple where people can come for celebrations and guidance from professionals who are trained to offer those services. If I do my job properly, the Gothi/Gythia will be able to do their job without worrying about the technical details that can bog down a religious ritual. If I do my job properly the lights will stay on, the fliers will go out on time, and not a soul will know my name.
I believe THAT is what our community needs.