Sunday, October 21, 2012

Your pastor is not.....


Your pastor is a person who is trained to provide spiritual guidance over a congregation of people.  This person usually has skills in preaching, teaching, Bible interpretation and leadership.  They usually need interpersonal skills, counseling skills, musical talent, and media savvy and financial competence.  Occasionally they have skills in other areas as well.  Because they often try to be EVERYTHING to the people of their congregations, church members often get confused and think that their pastors hold other jobs for their congregations.  I just want to clear things up.  Your pastor is not your taxi driver, your personal ATM, your plumber or your mother.  I understand, there are some gray areas…so I’ve made a little list to help you decide whom to call in the following emergencies….

When you want to learn more about the Bible……………………… call/email YOUR PASTOR
When you want to make a donation to a good charity……………… call/email YOUR PASTOR
When you want premarital counseling………………………………call /email YOUR PASTOR
When you want to volunteer to start a new ministry…………………call/email YOUR PASTOR

When the music is too loud at church…………………………………call/email the music minister
When you haven’t received your end of the year giving statement…call/email the church treasurer
When you want to reserve the church fellowship hall……………… call/email the church secretary
When your child heard an inappropriate word in their Bible class….call/email the kids Bible teacher

When your child gets an F on her math test…………………………call/email their teacher
When your dishwasher breaks……………………………………………….call a plumber
When you are having chest pains…………………………………………………..call 911
When you need a ride to the airport……………………………call a friend or Super Shuttle

When you are planning your child’s 1st birthday party and need someone to dress up as ELMO…………           CALL YOUR BEST FRIEND!!!!!

I know at most contemporary (ie. Rocknroll) churches these days, the pastors seem pretty cool.  But you have to remember, that this is their job.  No matter how friendly or kind your pastor is, your pastor is not your best friend.  This may be a shock to some of you.  But it’s really hard for pastors to be good friends with their parishioners and still maintain the role as spiritual leader/mentor in their lives.

I don’t want to make it seem like pastors don’t ever want to hear from you.  By all means, ask them to pray for your MCAT exams, invite them to your children’s birthday parties, bug them about the music/heat/length of their sermons, but do it during church/business hours.  Problems with work/life balance are the biggest predictor of ministerial burnout.  If you really love your pastor in his/her role, love him/her as a person and a friend too… and respect those boundaries or be willing to take no for an answer. 




4 comments:

  1. Woooah!!! Lots of good stuff said here! Will give it a 2nd read....


    Chris Howell

    ReplyDelete
  2. i'm clearly under-utilizing my pastor lol

    ReplyDelete