9 Things Your Pastor Won’t Tell You

Your pastor will likely tell you many things. From personal counseling in his office to the weekend sermon, he’ll freely share many things–and he probably won’t need to be asked twice to do so. That said, there are several things he probably won’t tell you. Here are 9 of them:

1. The work of a pastor is never done.

As often as people like to joke that a pastor “only works on weekends,” the reality is–he never actually takes a day off. Emergencies in the congregation, responsibilities for each service, or events in the community mean the pastor always has something (and generally many things) to do every day of the week.

2. The role of a pastor can be a very lonely.

On one hand, everybody knows the pastor, but on the other hand, not many people know the pastor. Due to the nature of his work, a pastor can’t share some of his heaviest burdens, nor is it common for people to treat a pastor like a “regular guy.” Many pastors say that ministry life can be a lonely road with few friends.

3. The feedback for a pastor is often negative.

In other words, pastors hear a lot of criticism. Whether a decision is made by the pastor or not, people in the congregation often feel like their criticism should be taken to the pastor. So the pastor is often the recipient of complaints about everything from doctrinal disagreements to paint colors to music choices (and beyond). When these complaints are voiced right before a service begins, they can have a powerfully discouraging impact.

4. The identity of the pastor can get lost.

The pastor cares about other things in addition to church life. Most likely, he has hobbies and interests like everyone else, and he’d probably like to discuss them once in a while. The person who treats the pastor like a normal human being is a great gift to a man in ministry.

5. The knowledge of the pastor is limited.

Even a pastor who is wholeheartedly committed to the Bible and to preaching the whole counsel of God doesn’t have all the answers on everything all the time. He must study, too, and continue to grow in sanctification and understanding. And there is nothing wrong with that. Generally speaking, a pastor who claims to have all the answers is a greater threat to a church than a pastor who humbly admits his limits.

6. The time of the pastor is divided.

At a typical church service, the pastor must divide his time amongst many people in the church family. Whether visitors are present in the service, or whether a long line of people wish to discuss the sermon or matters of church business, the pastor typically must speak to many people in a single setting. Sometimes people become offended that the pastor didn’t seek them out to say, “Hi!” but it’s probably not because the pastor doesn’t care. It could very well be that the pastor simply had a lot of people to see in a short amount of time. And as the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

7. The criticisms of a pastor get back to him.

It is rare for someone to criticize the pastor and for that feedback not to travel back to the pastor. In a typical church, at least one person (sometimes many) believe it is their job to take any criticisms of the pastor to him. Very little is said that doesn’t find its way back to the pastor.

8. The confidence of a pastor is typically shaky.

The pastor may seem confident in the pulpit week after week, but if he is like the average pastor, his opinions of his own sermons are most often not that positive. He knows his shortcomings and battles temptations unique to those whom the Enemy would like to see fail.

9. The love of a pastor toward his congregation is sincere.

Very few pastors enter the church ministry without deeply caring about their calling and their congregation. If they didn’t, there would be 100 easier jobs to do on any given day. Chances are, the love that a pastor expresses from the pulpit is sincere … and even greater than he ever communicates.

One thing is certain: The man who stays in ministry–who commits long-term to the task of loving and serving others well–may be tired, but he’s worth keeping around.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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