Updated: Mar 23, 2022
These days I can feel myself getting a little defensive when people start pointing fingers at pastors, asking, “Why aren’t they teaching THIS?” or declaring “They should be preaching THAT.”
Don’t get me wrong—thoughts like that have definitely crossed my own mind over the years!
But now it’s different. I’ve realized the tug of war that people engage in—trying to pull a pastor this way or that.
So what’s changed?
Well, I’m not a pastor, but I had the privilege of serving on the leadership team at Christian Life Fellowship here in central Wisconsin for many years. There I witnessed first-hand the myriad of expectations placed on pastors.
And now, two of our kids and their spouses pastor churches - one here and one in California. Trust me, that brings a whole new perspective!
I’ve realized that pastors aren’t called to preach-teach-do what I think they should, or what I wish they would! A pastor’s responsibility is actually no different than my own—to walk closely with God, and to be led by HIM.
We all have different roles within the Body of Christ, and we all have circles of influence. Each of us is responsible for what we do in that circle. If there is a particular subject that is burning in my heart and I think,”My pastor should say this or do that,” it could very likely be that God is actually calling ME to do it!
So . . . .
When I feel my pastor is not doing something I wish he would, here are some things I’m determined to do:
First I will pray for my pastor and for his/her family, asking God to protect them. I will pray for wisdom to discern what He wants him to focus on, and favor with people to hear and embrace the message. I will ask for God to surround him with a strong team and people who encourage and support.
Keep it Between Me & God
If there seems to be something important he/she is missing, I will be careful not to talk to others about it. Instead, I will continue to pray for him, but I will also ask God to do a work in me—that my attitude is one of humility and wanting the best for my pastor.
Have a Conversation
If I still feel something is “off,” I will go directly to my pastor - and only my pastor, and ask if we might have a conversation. I will pray for wisdom that my words would be received in the attitude intended, and that they would breathe life. And I will listen well as he responds.
Take a Step
If there is something on my heart that I feel should be done, instead of assuming someone else should do it, I will ask God if there is a step of faith He wants me to take. And if He shows me something, I will be quick to act.
- When I find myself feeling offended or defensive on behalf of someone else, that can be a warning sign. Often it is the enemy planting a thought that is designed to divide. So I will take time to think about what I'm thinking about and guard my heart so I do not hang on to another's offense as my own!
- God showed me that often“Coulda, Shoulda" statements can come from the enemy through a Spirit of Accusation.
Now that’s something to think about!