Guest Blogger Jason Isaacs
1. He’s trying his best
You may not believe it. You may think he’s just throwing things together, but he isn’t. The results may not be what want, but I’ve never met a pastor yet who didn’t want to succeed. He’s preaching the best sermons he can come up with, empowering the best volunteers he can find, and doing whatever he can to try and get you excited about your church. Whatever is bothering you about your church, trust me, he’s more frustrated than you are.
2. He works harder than you think he does
You may work more hours than he does, but you’re not working harder. His mind never shuts off. He’s planning sermons, making phone calls, and doing visits. He’s always on call, he’s counseling, providing care, and being a husband and a dad. And every time he gets ready to finally take a break his phone rings with a call from somebody in the church. The emotional strain of pastoring wears him out.
3. He’s rarely 100% confident
He works really hard to come across as confident, but most of the time when he is pitching a new idea or casting vision, he’s only kind of sure. He hopes it works, he hopes it was God speaking and not his head, but he’s learned that waiting to be 100% confident will never come when you are working for God.
4. He has an ego
I’ve never met a great pastor yet, who doesn’t have a little bit of an ego. He has to. When he walks into a church that hasn’t grown under the last 5 pastors, there has to be a part of him that believes he can do something the others couldn’t. After enough people tell him “They aren’t getting fed anymore” he has to have something inside that believes he is a great speaker. Some pastors can be egotistical maniacs, but every great pastor has to have a little ego in them.
5. He’s worried you’re going to leave
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been at the church for 20 years, pastors feel like you are just one conflict away from trying another church. He probably shouldn’t be so defensive, but he has seen too many people walk out the door over small, silly things. The feeling of disappointment when someone leaves his church is impossible to explain to someone who has never experienced it, especially someone who is leaving.
6. He takes things personally
Even when you preface your statement with “Don’t take this personally, but…” I know in your mind it’s just a church, or it’s just a service, or it’s just a sermon, etc. But to him it’s his life, calling, and identity. When you say you don’t like the music, or that you’re leaving because no one has befriended you, he takes it personally because you’re talking about his family. It would be like if someone said to you, “I really love you and want to still hang out with you, but I don’t want to hang out at your house anymore because your kids are crazy. Don’t take that personally because it’s your kids not you, but we’ll have to hang out somewhere other than your house.” That’s what it feels like.
7. You get on his nerves sometimes
Don’t take this personally, but you can be annoying sometimes. You probably don’t realize how fickle, or temperamental you are, but when you want to meet to talk about something “really important” and you tell him that you’re frustrated because your daughter didn’t get a solo in the Christmas play, it’s annoying. Sometimes it can feel like the loudest people are the least involved, and that’s even worse. Which leads us to the next thing you need to know…
8. Your encouragement matters (especially Monday-Saturday)
You will never know how much your encouragement lifts his spirits, especially during the week. While your encouragement of his sermon on Sunday is nice, sometimes it can seem less genuine, but when he get’s encouragement during the week he feels like you really care, and during your busy day you were thinking good things about him.
9. He would take a bullet for you
He would take a bullet for you, even if you wouldn’t take one for him. He has a burden for you because God gave it to him. He prays for you, he cares about you, and he would do anything he could to make sure that you know God. There are times when you feel like maybe your pastor doesn’t care about you, but it’s not true; he does. He may not get to speak to you or he may miss a visit sometimes, but if he didn’t care about you he wouldn’t be your pastor.