I wrote recently about another fallen pastor. I shared how devastated I was at the news.
I’ve been amazed at some of the rude comments I’ve received. And, I love that this is my blog and I can delete them if I want to. It’s like they never read my post about Christians being less mean online.
Seriously, though, some people seem to think pastors are supposed to be super humans. Sure, pastors are held more responsible in the eyes of God for how we lead in the church, but we aren’t any better –or more equipped — at living a victorious Christian life than any other Christian. It’s all grace. It’s all a work of His Spirit. Apart from Him I can do nothing. And, whenever I stop submitting my will to His will — I fail. Every time. (One guy commented that since I said something like that in my previous post that I must be hiding an affair also. What? I deleted that comment.)
I think the undue pressure on pastors is one of the leading causes of pastor burnout. And, ultimately complete failure. And, granted, much of this is self-induced pressure. I admit that. And, no that is not an excuse. Sin is sin. Sin is a horrible offense to a Holy God. All sin. And all have sinned. And fall short of His glory. (That was my last sermon series by the way.)
I received lots of positive feedback also, but, like us pastors often do, I couldn’t get past the few negatives to celebrate all the positives. (I wrote a blog post about this problem some pastors — and others — seem to have.)
So, it led to this post. Just some random thoughts about pastors. Especially those who disappoint you. And me. Because I’ve been disappointed by pastors too. Shoot, I’ve been disappointed in myself.
Let me share a few things you may not know about pastors. Seven things to be exact.
Because I like the number seven.
And, let me be clear. I’m not taking this lightly. Sometimes I write more light-hearted to balance the extremes of those who seem to have forgotten how to even smile. And, yes, I think we are to rejoice — find joy — even in the midst of suffering. Because I read that somewhere.
To the contrary. Times like this, when another pastor falls, always reminds me of the horribleness of sin. It always causes me to look inward again at my own life. (And, that’s never a bad thing to do — “Search me God” — as David prayed.)
But, there are some things you need to know about pastors.
7 truths about pastors who disappoint you
One person, working on behalf of self, can’t destroy the work of the Holy Spirit, working on behalf of God. Your pastor may disappoint you, but that ultimately can’t destroy the work God began in you — even through the pastor’s teaching. You may be stunned for now, but you’ll grow back stronger if you continue to surrender to His will.
Pastors — and even a local body — come and go. But the church — Christ’s body — is here to stay. God WILL protect His church.
People will deceive you — even some pastors. But God’s Word will never fail you. Ask yourself — who are you extending ultimate trust to anyway?
Pastors lead. I write about it consistently on this blog. I believe God uses people to lead his church. But ultimately they aren’t in control. God is. He WILL have the final word.
Just because we preach truth, doesn’t meant we’ve always mastered it. We are still being sanctified too. Isn’t that why we need a Savior? And, why the pastor isn’t your Savior?
Pastors are often skilled at acting like everything is okay — even when it isn’t. You’ve fooled others before — right? So has your pastor. Some pastors have this false idea that we are supposed to keep you from seeing that we are human. Almost like it was seminary trained into us. (BTW, if I was supposed to get that in seminary — I didn’t.)
A pastor is less likely to be transparent with unpredictable outcomes. If they doubt the grace you’ll extend, they’ll be less likely to share their deepest struggles. We’ve almost created a system that makes it difficult for the pastor to have failings. And, yes, again, much of this is self-induced pressure.
We need help. All pastors do. All people do. We need people who truly care. Who can accept us flaws and all. Who will love us on days we are doing everything right and days we seem to do everything wrong. People who will call a sin a sin before it reaches the magnitude that destroys other people’s lives, damages our greater witness, and hurts the Kingdom work we felt called to do. And, isn’t that a primary purpose of the church — making disciples? We need the church too.
That’s my seven. Okay eight. But, sometimes we miscount too. Even on Sundays We aren’t perfect. And, there. Told you. Random. But, you need to know.
So I’ll stop there for now.
How’s that for honesty?
Now, again, none of this is aimed as an excuse. It’s just for transparency.
What are other random facts about pastors others may not know?