Unrealistic expectations of pastors

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by abcgrad94, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    I wonder how many people here will admit to having unrealistic expectations of pastors. On another thread, a comment was made by a poster who said he could not stand the sight of overweight pastors.

    So, exactly what is a pastor allowed to do or not do for you to respect him? Is a thinner, fit man who struggles with the unknown sin of p*rn a better pastor than a fat one who struggles with eating healthy? Is a pastor NEVER supposed to have ANY flaws, either spiritual or physical? Is it okay if he disobeys the speed limit as long as he doesn't yell at his wife? Is it okay if he is a messy slob as long as he doesn't eat fried chicken? What about the pastor who watches violence and cursing on TV in the privacy of his own home? Or mows the lawn without his shirt on? Or let his daughters wear shorts? Or lets his sons wear earrings? Are these truly credentials that should make or break our opinion of another Christian or of a pastor?

    Think before you answer. Too many expect pastors to be "super men" who never struggle with any outward sin.
     
  2. Salty

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    AB, can we add the pastors wife to the question as well. How often have you heard someone say "Did you see what the pastors wife did/say/go....."

    I like the SS school lesson where the teacher said, when you point your finger at someone, you are also pointing 3 fingers back at yourself....
     
  3. HAMel

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    The only thing I expect a pastor to be is sincere and down to earth.

    I knew of one pastor who refused to tell anyone where he and his wife were going on vacation. It seemed as though he would always get a call from someone wanting him to return home early as Sister Ida Mae was in the hospital suffering from a broken toe.
     
  4. Salty

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    Do you think a pastor should be unavailable during his vacation?
     
  5. HAMel

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    Do you think a pastor should be unavailable during his vacation?

    Yep.
     
  6. SBCPreacher

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    Because someone had a broken toe? Really?!?
     
  7. HAMel

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    Because someone had a broken toe? Really?!?

    Trolling here?

    I spent 45 years in the work place. When I went on vacation I walked away from the job until I returned.

    Any pastor should be permitted to go on vacation without being called to come home. Often, when a pastor goes on vacation he has another pastor fill the pulpit for him. If another is capable of stepping behind the pulpit then he should be quite capable of handling any other spiritual crisis that comes up.
     
  8. abcgrad94

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    Good example of another unrealistic expectation, HAMel. I agree that pastors should be able to enjoy a vacation like anyone else.:thumbsup:
     
  9. sag38

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    When I go on vacation I don't come back for deaths, etc.. It's asking too much of my family. Personally, I don't mind but it's a matter of my family. They have to come back with me. My twelve year old son shouldn't have his vacation ruined by a call in the middle of the night. Nor should my wife have to drop everything and come running back with me.
     
  10. BobinKy

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  11. righteousdude2

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    Is a Pastor Any Different than You or Me?

    As a pastor, I'd have to say that I've come across many who have been quite critical of me for a myriad of reasons. However, I would always explain to these folks that I am no different than them. When I got up in the morning I put on my pants, one leg at a time!

    My more critical party was an employee who I supervised for more than 10 years. We both worked for the State of California Department of Social Services, and there were times that some of my reactions to the anger from the public we served, brought out my ugly side.

    I was not the kind of person who stood around and allowed someone who was ranting and raving and cussing me up to one side and down the other to continue to use me as their punching bag.

    Becky (not her real name) would be horrified when I got back into the face of these folks, and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that I was not going to be treated as something less than human! She'd always lecture me, saying, "Paul, Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, and you certainly didn't present a solid testimony for God with that confrontation!"

    As a pastor I had to take the stuff shoveled my way, turning from cheek to cheek and back again. However, as a state employee, I didn't have to be a "pastor" and some ways. I enjoyed some of the freedom to let those kinds of people know that they were not getting away with kicking me, or my staff around.

    Granted, as a pastor we have to be more willing to take the cheek slaps and turn the other one toward them for another slap, but, there are times, a pastor will show their human side.

    When a pastor fails to live up to the expectations of the congregant it is an opportunity for both to see the Grace of God at work. That work is evident in the pastor asking for forgiveness, his ability to learn from the sin, and move on with forgiveness not only from the Father, but from the congregant. :thumbs:

    Becky could never grasp the fact that I possessed a human side, and it was a tremendous disappointment to her. For this, I was truly sorry, but I know God understood, and that was all that mattered to me in the end!

    Shalom,

    Pastor Paul :type:
     
  12. HAMel

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    All born-again believers are members of the Body. The head of the Body is Christ. The Body is made up of those with the gift of being apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, helps, governments and tongues. I Cor 12:28 All the while, members of the Body of Christ are members in Particular. I Cor 12:27. Meaning, none of us lose our individualities as members of the Body.

    At one time a Priest would intercede for the believers.

    Pastors are not Priests.

    When one part of your Body hurts chances are you hurt all over. Consequently, it is not the Job of the Pastor to be the exclusive individual permitted to minister to another in the Body that might be ailing. It is the responsibility of the Body to come together exercising their differing gifts in the absence of the pastor.

    Short of the church being swept away in a raging flood during a Wednesday night service with one third of congregation in attendance, the Pastor does not need to be called home from his vacation.

    ...IMHP. :thumbs:
     
  13. freeatlast

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    To be a pastor the person is to be above reproach. Many of the things you listed would disqualify him.
     
  14. BobinKy

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  15. Gershom

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    I think someone has hit a nerve with you in regards to fat pastors. I don't think it's an unrealistic expectation to hold a pastor accountable for maintaining a healthy lifestyle which would include discipline in his eating habits.
     
  16. abcgrad94

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    My nerves are not the subject of this discussion.:laugh: But since you brought it up, yes, I do find it very judgmental for someone to say they CANNOT STAND THE SIGHT of an overweight pastor, especially without knowing anything else about him besides his size. To me, that statement means one has no intention to listen, learn from, or even get to know that pastor as a person, simply because his "size" is revolting.

    Of course we should expect pastors to be disciplined in many areas of their lives. I'm not arguing that point. I'm using the "overweight pastor" as an illustration of unreasonable expectations people have of pastors in general. I've seen the attitude in many saved and unsaved, that if a pastor does this or that, they won't associate with him. If the pastor says/does/looks something they dislike, they'll leave the church over minor, petty issues. Some of those issues have been brought up on this thread.

    People need to think about their words when criticizing others. Pastors, especially, seem to be singled out as models of "perfection" and then people bash them when they cannot live up to the standard. Yes, pastors should be godly examples and we should not lightly excuse sin, but do we expect the same dedication from ourselves as we do the pastor?
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    When the pastor goes on vacation, he at least let someone know where he is and how to get in touch with him. The church secretary should know, his personal secretary should know, all of the associate pastors should know, and the chairman of the deacons should know.

    And when there are things going on in church life, he needs to know them. Illnesses, people in the hosptal, deaths in particular, he should know about. Then he can decide if he can return.

    Can anyone imagine a company CEO, or manager isolating himself while he's away, with nobody able to contact him? If the minister of music dies, don't you think the pastor would want to know about it? Sure, he would. Is any member not important enough to qualify for that consideration?

    Now, this point. Most pastors have ministry staff and deacons who can be his surrogate. Those with a Deacon Family Ministry already have contact with their assigned members, even with the pastor on the field. And "rank-and-file" members ought to step into the breach as well. Many already do.

    Let the pastor stay on vacation. But don't allow him to isolate himself. He can decide on a case-by-case basis if he needs to return.
     
  18. preachinjesus

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    Having served in multi-staff churches since seminary I can't imagine how pastors of single staff or two ministerial staff churches do it. Honestly I can't, they are amazing people to me.

    The kind of expectations where the pastor becomes the sole source of shepherding and care is very difficult. After having talked with a number of peers who are in these circumstances I can completely understand how burn-out happens so quickly.

    The difficulty with so many expectations is that they are both unreasonable and unbiblical. In the smaller staffed churches this gets amplified.

    Of course expectations aren't limited to one kind of church, they happen in all kinds. From appearance to conduct to programmatic offerings to children to spousal involvement anyone in ministry for a few years sees it all. Our staff works very hard to create appropriate margin for staff members and their families. It is hard work.

    One of the biggest tools we've developed is that a) no staff member has email go to their phones, b) no staff member works beyond 50 hours a week (this is a general rule with give and take), c) every staff member takes their vacation and doesn't answer email, make calls, or do work stuff on vacation. It's hard work but it needs to happen.

    Pastors carry a difficult role in the modern church environment. Their workload and the breadth of ministry involvement has expanded significantly in the past 50 years. Expectations are part of that expansion.
     
  19. mandym

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    You disciple others to carry the load and give ministry away but under your oversight.
     
  20. Tater77

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    I have very realistic expectations of a Pastor.

    1. Teach the Truth of the Gospel

    2. Practice what you preach. If you want Grace and forgiveness, then teach it. If your legalistic and constantly beat up your people, they will tear you apart for every little thing.
     

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