What's wrong with how we view pastors?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Mexdeaf, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Thom Ranier has an excellent blog which I read daily. He often addresses issues that are akin to what we discuss here on the BB.

    One recurring issue is the differences between the way church members view the job of a pastor and the way pastors view the job of a pastor.

    A few weeks ago he posted this very thought provoking blog on how much time a pastor should spend on his job and how long his workweek should be-

    http://thomrainer.com/2013/08/09/the-pastors-work-week-rainer-on-leadership-017/

    I think many church members do not understand the demands of the pastorate. It is as physically, spiritually and mentally demanding a job as any I have ever had, and I have managed one business and had my own for a while.

    It's not whining or complaining- it's just a fact that even the Apostle Paul acknowledged- the ministry is different from any other job out there.
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    I would add that the pastor has a call no one else has(Acts 20:28), the pastor has a responsibility no one else has (Hebrews 13:17...or they are keeping watch over your souls,...), and pastors have to give an account in a way that no one else has (Hebrews 13:17...as those who will have to give an account.).
     
  3. Don

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    Consider the military commander: the good ones visit their troops who are hospitalized; they ensure the ones who are having problems making ends meet are at least offered methods of assistance; they ensure the spouses and families of deployed members are being looked after; they respond to the 3:00am call that one of their unit members has been arrested or been involved in a medical incident...and they have the responsibility of ordering their subordinates into the valley of the shadow of death, and writing to the spouses and families when they don't return.

    It's a 24/7 job; of all the jobs I know, this is the only one I can think of that comes close to "pastor"...but the military commander isn't responsible for souls.
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    I think it is a devil's snare to believe you, as a pastor, are somehow special, with a more spiritual nature and poo that has no smell.

    As a group, they tend to be arrogant control freaks.

    They really need our prayers to avoid becoming full of themselves.
     
  5. Don

    Don
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    If I may add - - pastors are merely human, and prone to the snares of pride. Wasn't there something in the book of Kings about an old pastor being the cause of a young pastor's demise?
     
  6. Van

    Van
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  7. Revmitchell

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  8. Mexdeaf

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    I know very few pastors who are "full of themselves". Yes, they are out there. But they are in the slim minority.

    Pastors/elders are special people- the Scriptures themselves say so. It is a calling with a great deal of responsibility.

    As one evangelist used to say, "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."

    Now back to the OP... how should we expect pastors to strike a balance between being Superman (meeting all of the expectations of the congregation) versus being Dagwood Bumstead (the cold hard reality of what we are)?
     
  9. Mexdeaf

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    They were prophets, not pastors. There are no prophets in pulpits today.

    And I do not think that pastors are any more prone to the snares of pride than anyone else. I've met some proud deacons, SS teachers, and music leaders in my time.
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    Those are some good articles.

    As to what people expect and what we are, there are differences. We are all gifted differently. All have different strengths and weaknesses. But we must be honest about those weaknesses and enlist and/or develop help to do what we can't do.

    I am not a great administrator. But we have people here who love the nuts and bolts of detail work. I have to free them up to work their magic.

    I am a good emergency room guy for personal problems. I can walk into a family that is exploding and diffuse the situation and restore some order. But I suck big time at long term counseling. I have to be honest at that and let others be the "family physician".

    It has to start with our own honest assessment of God's giftings and our abilities, first to ourselves and then to the congregation.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    Here is the problem. Churches bring pastors in from somewhere else and immediately are afraid he will come in and take over so they use the Deacons like Union representatives to protect the church from the pastor. So for no good cause there is a mistrust and fear of the new guy right off the bat. Pastors see this and do not feel safe to be genuine and always work to keep a certain distance from the church. In fact doing that very thing is taught in colleges and Seminaries.

    So what happens is the pastor has to be there for a number of years before he gains any trust or influence or even fails safe enough to be genuine. The trouble is there are Deacons (not all of them) who feel like they run the church and as soon as the pastor begins to have influence decides it is time for the preacher to move on. So they work to run him off.

    So what we are tends to be our own secret. Not healthy at all.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    Not my experience in the small church of which I am a member. Between our pastor search committee and the meetings we have with a prospective pastor it should be very obvious to any candidate that we are a very lay led church. In a given worship service everything, except the sermon, is usually done by a layman/woman/child.

    The same is true in all aspects of the church. We have a Worship Ministry Group that meets with the pastor and help plan the worship services.

    We also meet one Saturday morning a week for intensive Bible study of the scriptures to be used the next four weeks. This helps the pastor know where the members of the church are in their understanding.

    Any candidate who is a control freak or believes they are the one to dictate to the church probably would not accept a call ... and it is extremely doubtful that a call would be given to such a person.

    When the church was setting up administratively someone ask, "Has anyone ever been in a church where the deacons actually were a help and not a problem. No one present said, "Yes I have been in such a church." So, we do not have deacons. We have ministry groups and everyone who is a member or attends the church regularly is expected to be part of and participate in a ministry group.

    I have never feared a new pastor and do not expect to ever do so. If I have to fear them I would never vote for them to be our pastor.

    Good reason not to have deacons.
     
  13. Mexdeaf

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    Yes, this is generally how it works. Unfortunately. Instead of pastor and people working together in love and unity, there is suspicion and enmity.

    As a pastor, I have always tried to be transparent about my weaknesses and failures. For example - I'm a great administrator, but I am poor at mercy. I can't sing worth a lick, even in Sign Language. I can remember phone numbers and addresses from 20 years ago, but I have a terrible memory for names, and I could go on...

    That's why I am thankful for our small team of people that works together, each one doing what they are good at, for the glory of God.
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    I like transparency as well. We will never get over the divide if we are not. I figure being transparent will gain the trust and influence needed to overcome the other garbage. Sometimes it doesn't but I figure that is God's business. I will leave it in His hands.
     
  15. annsni

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    I think sometimes the "god complex" is driven by the congregation and not at all from the pastor.

    We have a couple that we have been counseling who are very needy. They expect an emergency counseling session at 10 pm Saturday night - and their counseling sessions are no less than 2-3 hours. But interestingly enough, the first time they had an emergency, I was away and hubby went to their house. They talked about that as if it were an amazing thing "Pastor was in our house!!" Hubby is certainly not the kind of guy who acts above anyone else and he is clear to talk about his faults and how great God is - but still, this couple who grew up in a Pentecostal church has a view that a pastor is above them.

    So sometimes it comes from past backgrounds and is not the fault of the pastor.

    Trust me, my husband's BMs stink - as does his breath in the morning. And he's TERRIBLE at putting things away. But he's a wonderful man who has a heart for God. I think I'll keep him faults and all!
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Ann...that was a little too much information :laugh:
     
  17. annsni

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    I'm just going by this post! LOL

    Trust me, I keep him humble. ROTFL!!!!
     
  18. Van

    Van
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    Ann, helping your husband to consider others more important than himself is a job, not only for his loved ones, but also for all with the courage to speak truth to power. OTOH, if we forget to treasure those who have committed their lives to Christ, we miss the mark ourselves.

    Christianity is a team sport, with every member of the body having an important and valuable role in the ministry of Christ.
     

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