Ten Things Your Pastor (Probably) Won’t Tell You

We love list. Bullet points. Outline of book. Precise, to the point, no fluff, lay it out in easy to bite nuggets. Oh, there are some who love to go word for word through the great tomes or an author’s magnus opus. But me, I learned about Cliff Notes in middle school and my attention goes to subheadings and blurbs. So, this week I am sharing some of the lists that I think are intriguing.

Today’s is adapted from an article put out by Vanderbloemen, an elite pastor and ministerial search consultant company. (Full article can be read here) it shares some of the collected wisdom of what pastors wish their congregation would realize, but rarely share it themselves. So here we go …

1. Sunday is not the only day that I work. (Just ask my wife on this one)

2. I’m on call 24/7 … even more so with cell phones.

3. Marrying and burying people takes an emotional toll on me.

4. Being a pastor can be a lonely position. Sure, plenty of people are around, but few can be the confidant, the accountability partner, and understand the pressures of a pastor’s role.

5. I am often judged or criticized. This is from sermons, to direction, to clothes, to haircut, office being too open, office being too private, age of car, image, etc. The high expectations from all often surfaces every day of the week.

6. It’s hard to hear constant criticism and varying opinion. This probably played heavier on my wife, feeling for me. It can be disheartening and very vexing.

7. I struggle with being a workaholic. I was always trying to give family their time, but the 24/7 nature of the work often pulled me away from them. Sundays were rarely a sabbat/rest. And vacations were few and far between. Yes, this was my own doing – mostly – but not all.

8. Sometimes I want to talk about something besides church. Let’s make fun of the Cowboys together. Let’s converse of what ever has been bingeworthy on Netflix or even the latest Star Trek news (is Captain Kirk really a hold out in the next movie?). Or let’s talk back packing. I’m ready.

9. It is challenging for me to keep my identity solely rooted in God and not in the success. Of the church. The pastorate should take back seat to the personal walk with Jesus. But people often just see the role of leader and not of brother in Christ.

10. I don’t have all the answers. Hard to believe, I know. And as good as I am on searching Google, they don’t either. I am always learning and will make mistakes (rarely but at least once a day before noon).

I know there are more, but these are a great starting place.

Where have you misunderstood the pastor’s life and role as leader? Where have you added to the pressure where you could’ve actually helped? Now that you’ve seen this list, what will you do to help your pastor? Don’t wait, do it this week. If nothing else, just ask who I think could replace Chris Pine as Kirk, or what I think of the new spin off on the life of Jean luc Picard.

Till then, let’s keep a list on the lists we’ve shared. I love lists.

Todd

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