Do I look like the bloke(s) from the 118-118 advert to you? No? That's a relief. Maybe you don't either, newbie pastor. But that won't save you from being used as the church Directory Enquiries Service. Do I hear you say that they didn't tell you that at Seminary? Well that's the problem with such institutions; it's all biblical exegesis, theology, church history, homiletics lessons and stuff, while little attention is given to the everyday practicalities of pastoral life. However, there's no need to fret, tyro preacher man, my 'Advice for rookie pastors' posts will tell you all need to know about the mundanities of of Ministry.
When it comes to Directory Enquiries you'll encounter a number of types of call:
1) Your own people who can't find their list of Church Members' phone no's and so ring you
Always best to handle this kind of call with patience and friendliness, even though it might have interrupted a crucial point in your sermon prep, lest you find yourself preaching on 'love one another' or the like the following Sunday.
2) Members of another church who for some reason ring you by mistake
It doesn't help if your name is similar to the pastor to whom they really want to speak. In Westbury there is a Dai Davies as well as yours truly. Confusing, eh? Best to disabuse the caller before they start telling you all their problems.
3) Members of the general public who ring you when they really wanted to speak to another Minister
'No, I'm not Dai Davies, he's the other one.'
4) Family historians
Be brisk and tell them to ring the Country Records Office before they start telling you the long and detailed story of how they are descended from one of Charles II's illegitimate sons and are therefore by rights next in line to the throne.
So, now you know. Watch this blog for more valuable advice on things they never told you at Seminary.