Sometimes we have to have frank talks about church pastors. The following is not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. It is for the purpose of helping Christians understand the role of pastors.
AND… it’s to help pastors understand that – too many times – they can’t see themselves as they really are.
Recently, a pastor I know posted an article on Facebook that was filled with self-pity. This man had basically been run off by his congregation for being oppressive in his pastoring of that church. The brutal truth is that the brethren just didn’t want him anymore.
Apparently, he feels that church people expect too much from pastors. He claimed the following:
—Congregations feel the pastor must be perfect and can never make a mistake.
—Congregations expect a pastor to be available 24/7.
—Congregations expect a pastor to never get angry.
—Congregations expect the pastor to do all the work.
—Congregations expect the pastor to never miss church.
—Congregations expect the pastor to never take a vacation.
—Congregations expect the pastor to never get sick.
—Congregations expect the pastor to not drive a car that’s too nice.
He then quotes from I Thessalonians 5:12-13 which says:
"Beloved Brothers, honor your leaders in the work of the Lord. They work hard among you and give them spiritual guidance. Have a lot of respect and of all heart show them love for the work they perform. And live in peace with each other."
In his post, he puts much emphasis on the pastor being THE LEADER.
And therein lies the problem. In his post, he never uses the word “servant”! He doesn’t understand that a pastor’s primary role is to be a SERVANT.
Oh, I’m sure he THINKS he is a servant. He thinks that his service is to be the boss – el jefe – the one who tells everyone how the church is to be run.
That is NOT the job of the pastor!
We must face the fact that the body of Christ is NOT divided into two classes: ministers and laypersons. That’s an outdated Catholic concept. Christians living in the year 2020 know better. Or at least, they should know better.
When this man laments that church members don’t give pastors the proper respect as LEADERS, he forgets what Jesus told His disciples in Luke 22:25-26: Jesus said, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.”
Granted, there are congregations that do not sufficiently appreciate their pastors. But there are also pastors who look down on their congregations as people who are inferior – children who need to be disciplined.
Like it or not, we must admit that we have many men serving as pastors who are NOT qualified to be ministers!!
I hope that the abusive pastors who are out there can come to grips with the concept that: “Yes, you are a leader in the church. But you are not THE leader. AND… your first job is to be a servant. Leadership is secondary (and even tertiary) in your ministry.”
Thank you for sharing.