Pastoral relationship

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SaggyWoman, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    How important is it really to have an "intimate" relationship with the pastor?

    Why is it that big of a deal to have a one-on-one relationship with the pastor?

    In all honesty, does everyone expect that they will have a very intimate with their pastor?

    Should not having this relationship keep you from serving in a church? Is it required that you have this relationship prior to service?
     
  2. TomVols

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    Saggy, can you clarify what you're asking?
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    Someone (stubbornkelly) said in another thread that she didn't want to attend a church where she couldn't have a personal relationship with a pastor, where she couldn't know the pastor.

    This is my take.
     
  4. Karen

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    I have been a member of the same church for almost 20 years.
    I don't expect in a church of more than a few people that the pastor is "intimate" with everyone. And I can't say that we have ever been so.
    But it is nice to feel that you are in a group
    where people in general know something about you. Rather than just a large group where the pastor acts as a CEO and is unapproachable behind several secretaries.
    I can see times when we would need support that a pastor would theoretically be better equipped to give than others.

    Some pastors seem to encourage the attitude you describe. Some of it is the desire to control everything in the congregation.

    Karen
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    God didn't call me to be an intimate friend with everyone in my church. I have seen pastors who became "bosom buddies" with a couple of families. It worked for them.

    In other cases, their openness and vulnerability came back to bite them on the backside. Not my style of ministry. I want to be friendly and caring, but want to remain a little aloof at the same time.

    BTW, when I've shown some openness and vulnerability here on the BB, I've had it come back on me. :eek:
     
  6. Istherenotacause

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    When the man is the pastor of a relatively small congregation, if there is not a "closeness" to each of the families, schizms tend to develope. This usually is because of the playing of "favorites". Of course when the pastor becomes "close" simply for the purpose of attaining your "expertise" in a given trade for monetary gain, we all know what that is, it's called "using you".

    I want to be a help to my pastor in the work of God, but I don't appreciate him getting "close" just to win my confidence to "give" the man of God something, and then when he gets what he wants from me, he then sortof gets real distant.

    I'd have to say that pastor deserves the "mark" given to those who cause divisions contrary to the doctrine of brotherly love; something a lot of churches boast, but it's really not found to be a reality.

    Business is business, and personal is personal. We can be friends, but not at the expense of my business to establish that friendship, of course if the other returns in a barter things are different. Now I'm willing to give way above measure and have released the "burden" of return many times, that helps me to maintain friendship w/o feeling like they owe me anything.

    When I "open" to some one and they turn and rend me with something out of my personal life, they've exposed themselves as swine. I wouldn't have a pastor that is considered swine. IOW, you should be able to tell the pastor anything and he not use it in a message aimed directly at you to "straighten you out", that is something he could do in private, especially something that was revealed to him in private. I'm looking for help, and to help. I'm not looking for arrows to shoot or supplying arrows to be shot at.

    In His Holy Service,

    Brother Ricky

    I wouldn't be a member of a large congregation due to the lack of closeness.
     
  7. go2church

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    When I was in youth ministry I wanted to be as close as possible to the young people. But now that I am a pastor I am I can see the value of being keeping a bit more distant, but not too distant but some distance.

    Did I use the word distance enough!
     
  8. Gina B

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    How important is it really to have an "intimate" relationship with the pastor?
    I'd like to know my pastor and his wife fairly well, and vice versa. If I'm going to be learning from and taking spiritual advice from him, I feel it's important that we be acquainted with each other on a fairly intimate level. In a way, I'm entrusting him with the spiritual life of my family and he's entrusting us with his physical life. ROFL Not that we'd kill him or anything, but ya know, money and insurance and church upkeep and all that.

    Why is it that big of a deal to have a one-on-one relationship with the pastor?
    I think I just explained it fairly well in the above question.

    In all honesty, does everyone expect that they will have a very intimate with their pastor?
    No. Some people just don't care that much or are not in need of it. At the moment I do not have nor am I seeking more than a howdy how are you today type of friendship. I'm still kinda the newbie, and am not ready for it and am scared to take the next step of getting into more personal friendships with the members and/or the pastors family. Been there, done that, got burned.

    Should not having this relationship keep you from serving in a church? Is it required that you have this relationship prior to service?
    No and no, although I'd seriously question the wisdom of being the person responsibility will fall back on for who's placed in charge of things like children in the nursery or the teaching of teens and such, without really knowing the person they're approving for these things on a pretty intimate level.

    Gina
     
  9. PJ

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    I agree. Furthermore, I see pastors who can't handle counsel or discipline measures with these folk because of being bosom buddies. The word "clique" enters the picture by observers. Perhaps a little distance is a good thing.


    PJ
     
  10. Jamal5000

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    Dr. Griffin, I agree with most of what you say, but the "aloofness" part puzzles me.

    As a congregation member, I may face many serious and personal sins that I cannot find an answer for in the Bible. As a remedy, I may go to my pastor for help. If he acts aloof, why would I want to talk to such a man? Aloofness indicates an idea that he thinks of himself as better than me or that I'm not worthy of his time.

    I agree that a pastor must treat his congregational relationships with professional tact, but--simultaneously--if the pastor acts too emotionally (and physically) distant, then I would feel hesitant to go to him for any advice because his behave shows me apathy on his part for my problems.

    Interesting perspective that you put forth, sir.

    [​IMG] Ice in Christ
    Jamal5000
     
  11. stubbornkelly

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    Why it's important depends on what you think the pastor's job is.

    [​IMG] I don't have to have an intimate relationship with a pastor, and I can certainly see some of the problems that may arise from having one (the "conflict of interest" idea mentioned). My take stems from my understanding of pastoring, different from preaching. Maybe it's my own misunderstanding, but I see trust as being a big part of the relationship. If a pastor's job is to equip the saints as per Ephesians 4:11-13, it would seem that a working relationship between the shepherd and flock is important. How can you have such a thing if you don't even know your pastor and he doesn't know you, at least a little?

    And maybe it's my own weakness, but I don't envision myself being able to go to someone for spiritual help or counsel if I don't know them. Even with the secular therapists I've been to, I've needed a few sessions to get to know them, feel them out, see if they might be someone who could help me, or from whom I'd want help.

    Gina summed up a lot of my thoughts in her first paragraph:
    Again, I'm differentiating between a preacher and a pastor. Many pastors preach, but certainly not all preachers pastor.

    I don't have to be (or even want to be) bosom buddies, as it were, with my pastor, but I'd like to have developed some kind of relationship. I'm not going to put my spiritual care in the hands of just anyone (nor, do I think, should we). Authority does not come with the job title.

    I don't expect a pastor of a large-ish congregation to always be able to recall my name, and certainly not everything about me and my life. But it'd be nice to have developed at least a cursory level of trust and knowledge of each other.

    As for having that before you attend a service, I think we all know that's pretty impossible. But, it's why people visit, and why many churches (at least those I've gone to) have a brief "meet the pastor" time after the morning service for visitors. And why larger congregations may have an associate pastor or five. ;)

    I've had three pastors for a decent length of time. One I knew and trust pretty well, as he and my parents were friends; another I knew sorta well - he knew my name and we spoke often enough, even if it were just in passing, that I was comfortable going to him with some things; another would most often look at me as though he'd never seen me before - after being our pastor for some 5 years. The first I was really too young to have much of a relationship with, and was more likely to take problems (if I had even any of a spiritual nature at that age) to my parents or the youth minister. The second, well, we had a nice balance. I trusted him, liked him, I wouldn't have called us friends in any sense of the word, but we had a good working relationship. The last, well, I didn't know him. I wouldn't have gone to him for anything.

    Whew. My apologies for the lengthy post.

    My point is just that a bosom buddy relationship isn't - in my view - desireable or necessary, but like Gina, I can't envision taking spiritual advice from someone I don't know, at least a little.
     
  12. j_barner2000

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    In my experience.... I have seen pastors who can name everyone in their congregations (one has over 500) and some who can only name a hand full. I have found that a relationship of trust must be developped. You have to see genuine caring and love in their lives.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    "Aloof" might have been a poor choice of words on my part if it implied that I don't care. Just that some "distance" allows perspective on problems and also gives an "aura" to the pastor as a "man of God, sharing the oracle of God".

    Well, I've HEARD that, anyway. Nobdoy listens to me, anyway! :rolleyes:
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    I have had a lot of pastors. My relationships?
    I HAVE HAD 17 PASTORS SINCE BECOMING A cHRISTIAN. How many would I term closer relationships with? 6. The rest? Freaks. :D
     
  15. Speedpass

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    Were any of these "freaks" Pastors of churches where you served on staff?!?
     
  16. SaggyWoman

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    No, I know pretty good the pastors I have worked with in a staff relationship. (Two Churches.)
     
  17. Elnora

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    You know you are too close to your pastor when he has to part your moustache to give you the milk. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I couldn't help my self...

    Seriously though, a pastor does feed the sheep but I see too many people run to the pastor for every trial they encounter. Can you imagine what it would be like for a pastor and their family to have to contend with that. No wonder so many never grow beyond a certain point in their walk.

    Yes I want to know that they are upright but I don't need to become "close friends" to see their fruit.
     
  18. Hardsheller

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    Vance Havner once said, "You can't be a prophet and a pal to the same people."

    Or something like that..... :D
     
  19. j_barner2000

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    This is a great thread. I am learning. keep it coming.
     
  20. TomVols

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    I have found that having a good relationship with folks allows me to be a bit more prophetic if you will, so long as I do it right.

    But it's cost me some friends and churchmembers. A year ago, I confronted a church member about child abuse allegations in our nursery and her vocal opposition to Scripture. That person, who was once close to me, is now engaging in a loud smear campaign against me in the city where I live. It hurts worse because this was a friend.

    So vulnerability comes with a price. Some aren't willing to pay it.
     

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