10 Ways to Remain “Favorite” Pastor


I’ve read that leadership expert Peter Drucker once said the hardest jobs in America (not necessarily in order) are President of the United States, university presidents, hospital administrators and pastors. I talk to struggling pastors weekly. Having been in the business and political worlds, and now as a pastor, I definitely know the hardest job I’ve ever done is being a pastor.

Yet every pastor I know wants to do a good job. They want to be successful in their Kingdom building efforts. At the same time, they also want to be liked. No one likes to be unpopular.

I was talking recently with another pastor how hard it is to pastor effectively and make everyone happy. (Actually, he admitted he was a people pleaser and I was telling him how impossible that will be long term.) To illustrate the point in a humorous way, we began to cite examples of ways to keep people happy that triggered this post.

So let me say this is written sarcastically. On purpose. Sometimes it’s easier to say the hard stuff if I say it in a humorous way. (Or at least what I think is funny) And there are some serious issues addressed here that many pastors face. But, after all, I want to be the favorite pastor too, so I’m keeping it lighthearted in my approach.

Here are 10 ways to remain favorite pastor:

Never turn down a social invitation – Sacrifice your family time. It’ll ruin your family dynamic but keep the church happy.

Don’t talk about money – Jesus never did, right? Don’t be meddling.

Never mention sex – Good Christians don’t. They just don’t. They don’t even think about it.

Stick to the sins everyone else is doing – Don’t mention things like gossip or gluttony. Those are too personal.

No challenges please – We don’t want our toes stepped on and definitely don’t want to leave with homework. Or at least give us some homework passes. Please.

Preach “feel good” messages – That hard stuff to hear…who needs it?

Wear the right clothes – Like Jesus did, right?

Don’t buck tradition – Especially the ones that were started by pastor so and so. You know the ones.

Play everyone’s favorite music – Every Sunday. (You miracle worker.)

Don’t lead…just preach – Give us your “best” message every Sunday, but don’t take us anywhere new.

Pastoring is a tough job, but remember, our calling is not to be popular. It’s to be obedient. And, not to a crowd, but to a King.

Ever tried to be a favorite pastor? Do you have any you’d add?

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9 thoughts on “10 Ways to Remain “Favorite” Pastor

  1. Jesus did wear the 'right' clothes…He was a Rabbi and wore the garments Rabbi's wear.

    Lead the right Scriptural songs. Just because a song is Spiritual does not make it Scriptural.

    Stick to sins that everyone needs to care about Adultery in the church, porn and the modesty is another one.

    Take us somewhere new when we have learned the basics which seem to elude us most of the time.

  2. Saw your interview with Carey Nieuwhof so checked out your blog. As usual, I scanned the article first. I thought, "where is this guy coming from?" Then I caught the sarcasm. Great post and so true. Pastoring is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done and not for the feint of heart. Thanks too Ron for seeing the trend toward less Jesus. Great wakeup call. Keep up the good work.

  3. I think it was written perfectly well Pastor Ron. Thanks for sharing this especially for young leaders like us. God bless you always! Stay awesome for the Lord!

  4. This is a sarcastic post?

    Pastoring for 10 years and then planting churches for the past 10, it took me awhile to figure out when I tried to be "favorite" pastor, I also became the pastor from hell to someone else 🙂 As the old rock song goes, "You can't please anyone, so you got to please yourself."