Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pastors as PickUp Artists

My good friend, Jesse Gable, 'introduced' me to the sub-culture of "PickUp Artists."

[NOTE: Neither Jesse nor I are pick-up artists!]

So I read a bit on this approach to life. I found it dumb and base but powerful. This drew me to ponder my own use of power, posture, etc. in relationships and even my work. And now I have distilled a major insight.

When I first meet someone (or a group), I can work towards Respect or Trust.

PickUp Artists work for Respect. They work to create a (sub)version of reality that gives them incredible respect. They want the respect of their 'target' (girl). But ALSO self-respect as well as the respect of others (even other males). **

Ironically, the one book I read on/by PickUp Artist ended with the author's (fake)world being 'popped' by a real girl who didn't play the game. She had more power (respect) over him than he had over her. He left "the game" (as he called it) to be with the more powerful one. Irony to spare!

So what sets apart a PickUp Artist? Why are they so "successful"? Because they go after Respect-Only. The rest of us (intuitively) go after some amount of Trust.

I fear pastors have become PickUp Artists: When I ask pastors about their churches, I get Respect answers (number of _____, income, impact). Perhaps this is why pastor conferences feel like bars?

Trust seekers are "good friends", Respect seekers are "desired": I had a good friend in high school whom girls flocked to. I wanted girls, too! But I had friends. I had been trained/taught to generate trust, not respect. I envied my 'player' friend.

I can choose! I realized yesterday that this information allows me to deliberately choose one way or the other. I think we also have natural-bent. I am predicting (haven't thought this one out fully) that 'pastors' are Trust seekers and 'teachers' are Respect seekers (in their current, late-moderntiy, U.S.A. contexts!!).

Long-term Loss or Payoff: Perhaps there are times when I should(?) focus on Respect? If I am in a short-term (2 days or less) situation, might it be better for me to establish Respect (more than Trust) so as to achieve maximum impact?
- But what about those who discipled me that focued on Respect. Is that why I don't talk to them anymore? maybe even not-respect them anymore?
- Should a presidential candidate even TRY to gain my trust? Why not just go after my respect! But a Congressional candidate might work for trust due to the potential, long-term relationship with my state.

My Ego :: Trust has no shock or wow: But sheep follow a shepherd they trust. And since I am not the Chief Shepherd, where does that leave me?

Facing the real point of this post: am I okay getting my significance obeying the Chief Shepherd and not from the 'respect' of the sheep?




** It reminds me of Dungeons and Dragons in the 80's!! Create a fake world, work hard to get respect (power), and try to spend as much time as possible in the fake world. Eventually, one comes to believe that the virtual world is more real than the physical world.

2 comments:

Bethany said...

Hey, David, I read the Game for work last year (yeah, sales based jobs are weird) - I like your thoughts on it, very interesting. I will be thinking about trust vs. respect for a bit now I think...

David Malouf -- said...

Bethany,
That IS weird that you'd read that!! Quite pornographic for sales!

Having come across the Enneagram personality assessment, I'm wondering how much of what I wrote is based on the Fear aspect of the human psyche. In particular, does someone without fear (socially) not have to deal with the trust vs. respect issue? Or perhaps in what ways do trust and respect get diminished in such a person's life?