fiction fridays: rusty price, ministry agent 1

Russell Thomas Price strolled down his front walk early Monday morning. Bending over to retrieve his newspaper, he was still wearing his bathrobe and was holding a cup of warm coffee in his left hand. Rusty breathed in the cool morning air. Mondays were busy days, filled with calls from the non-denominational and Baptist folks who’d trotted out a daring sermon that had turned out to be a little too daring given current relations with the deacon board. Funny. Turned out there were unexpected rhythms to this job–weekly rhythms from Baptists and non-denominationals, annual rhythms from Methodists, quarterly rhythms from Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Presbyterians, and Catholics, well, Catholics just called whenever they damn well pleased. No rhythm at all.
 
Eight years in this business and he’d seen more than he had expected. And that was saying something. No one could have accused him of beginning with rose-colored glasses. He’d been on a church staff for a time himself, had worked with a non-profit. He’d seen the sausage get made and knew that as lovely as church folk could be, they were also just as ornery to deal with because they’d prayed about it the night before and were pretty convinced that God had joined up with them. The carpet. The pageant. The Holy Week services. Nothing like church folk in the world, Rusty thought. No one else equally capable of such utter pettiness and such remarkable kindness. Somehow, though he’d left ministry in a congregation and in a non-profit organization, he couldn’t stray far from the process. So he’d become a ministry agent. He was the only one he knew of, which made for pretty good business with those pastors and leaders who convinced themselves it wasn’t an awful sin to hire an agent. Rusty wasn’t yet sure whether it was an awful sin or not, actually. He did know it put bread on the table and it was something he could do.
 
So on Monday morning, he went out to get his newspaper and realized it was eight years to the day that he had first hung out his shingle.
 
Russell T. Price
Ministry Agent
Serving those who serve the Lord
In Congregations, Parachurch ministries, Non-Profits
 
He breathed in the cool air. What would the next eight years bring?
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