GUEST POST: This post was written by a very good friend of mine, Pastor Alan Stoddard. Alan is pastor of First Baptist Church of Ruidoso, New Mexico. He presents a very important concept in this article. I hope it benefits the reader as it has benefited me and my family.
I have wondered if a pastor could write a post like this one. A post that conveys the inside walls of the average pastor’s heart. Well, here is goes. Here are 7 things your pastor won’t tell you but wishes you knew. He would never want to be rude or callous in the matter. Yet know these things can help you partner with your pastor and spiritual leaders in accomplishing much for your church.
1. He cannot keep up with everyone in the church.
If your pastor serves a church of 100 or more, he cannot keep up with everyone in the best of circumstances. If you help him by making your needs exactly known, that will help. If you need your pastor, you should call and make an appointment so he knows exactly how to meet your need.
Pastors are like everyone else.
They are busy in personal and professional life.
The difference is your pastor is probably responsible for many more people than the average person. Don’t hold him to an unrealistic standard. He is not trying to avoid you. Try not to make him have to run you down. He probably has many of those kinds of situations. Make it easy on him and form him to meet your needs.
He will do it. Free him up to meet your needs while also allowing him time to interact with unbelievers. Get in a small group of your church. Let your needs to met there also.
2. He knows he is not perfect.
Your pastor knows he is not perfect.
At times that can be lost in the interactions within leadership. Some pastors are arrogant and have poor personal relationship skills. That is sad but true. Most pastors I know understand they are not perfect. And yes, at times pastors act like bulldogs and do not take their teeth out of issues when they should.
Yet most pastors are leaders, loving, and desire to feed and shepherd God’s sheep.
Yet your pastor probably gets nit-picked to death for things that are not that important. If you need to get something legit off your chest, take your pastor for coffee.
Let him know you are on his side. Don’t send him cheap emails. You make him have to decide to answer you in writing. Telling your pastor he is not meeting your standard for something is best done in person, not email or text.
The reason why people email or text or gossip the issue is because it is easier for them to perform “drive by” pot shots that way. In volunteer organizations, your pastor knows he has to be godly leveraging authority. He does not want to go to war with you. He wants to fight Satan. He knows he is not perfect. Be careful how you tell him that.
3. He works 7 days a week.
Yes, it it true.
Your pastor works 7 days a week. He does not mean to do it, but he does.
He always has someone reaching out to him in need (see #1). He gets a call at night. His wife counsels someone while on an off day. Someone is sick. Another dies. He prepares sermons because he had to adjust his weekly schedule because of other things that came up in the week.
Your pastor likes his work because he is called to it. He is not going to complain about it. He does want you to know that he works 7 days a week, but he is not going to tell you.
4. He wants you to help him grow your church.
Your pastor cannot do it without you.
He needs your help. He needs you to not only have ideas, but to implement good ideas. If you do not support the ministry of your church, your church will be limited. Your spiritual leaders need your support not gripes.
Your pastor would love for you to responsibly take charge of your own spiritual life. He wants you to take ownership in your church. He needs your help to grow your church.
5. There are always a few he cannot please.
Right now, there are a few people who love to nit-pick, harass, and stress out your pastor.
In every church there are a few people who not only have complaints about some part of the ministry, but they communicate those complaints in ways that are not godly or professional. They have no respect for your pastor. He does not mention these people.
If those few people were on a job, they would be counseled or fired. In a church, they can take potshots without consequence. Know your pastor cannot manage or lead some people. They will not let him. He needs your help in protecting him from negative people.
They are only a few, but they can be loud. Help your pastor manage them. Don’t be one of the few. Most of the time, the issue is they want the pastor to do what they want while they are unwilling to follow that same leadership themselves.
6. He knows he is accountable.
Your pastor may come across as not accountable to anyone. Yet he is accountable to God.
He is accountable to the spiritual leadership.
He is accountable to the church.
If your pastor lives with integrity, is not stealing money, is not sleeping with another woman, is not lazy, visits people, cares, etc., then give him a break. Encourage him. Don’t assume he is not accountable just because it is not the accountability you think he needs.
7. He is thankful for what you do.
Pastors in general are thankful for all you do.
He is appreciative for your generosity.
He loves you.
He sees your extra time you put in for God’s causes. He sees what you do for him and his family. He is thankful for his salary, time off, benefits, etc. He is thankful. Pastors need to actually express that fairly often somehow. Yet know that your pastor, even when he does not say it or express it often enough, he is thankful.
Question: What would you add to this list?
If you found this article interesting and beneficial, you may also enjoy another article of his that runs in this same vein beneficial as well. It is called, 7 things people wish their pastor knew, but won’t tell him.
You can follow Alan Stoddard on his site AlanStoddard.com.