Recently, I have been appalled at the behavior of some church members/leaders towards their pastors. Before I go any further, let me just say that I genuinely believe the attitude of church leaders towards their pastors reflects their attitudes towards God. If you desire to honor God, if you fear God, you will in turn seek to honor those whom God has appointed as under-shepherds of His church. That being said, I want to speak up for all the pastors and their families who don’t have an advocate.
- It’s not okay to treat your pastor like a hired employee of the church. He is God’s man, and he should be honored and respected for the office he holds.
- It’s not okay to place unreasonable expectations on God’s man. No person on the planet can be available to you seven days a week and twenty-four hours a day.
- It’s not okay to treat your pastor and his family as if they don’t have needs for kindness, inclusion, thoughtfulness, caring, sympathy, and support.
- It’s not okay to expect your pastor to cater to your every preference in worship style, leadership style, preaching style, or living style.
- It’s not okay to make rude jokes about how the pastor only works one day a week.
- It’s not okay to expect the pastor’s wife to be an unpaid staff member simply because she is the pastor’s wife. The same goes for the pastor’s children.
- It’s not okay to place unrealistic expectations on the behavior of pastor’s kids. They are kids with normal growing pains.
- It’s not okay to ask your pastor’s wife to know everything that the pastor is thinking and planning. And it’s not okay to pass on your messages to the pastor through his wife or children.
- It’s not okay to overlook the pastor, his wife, or his children, on their birthdays, anniversaries, or any other life events.
- It’s not okay to talk about your pastor or his family behind his back.
- It’s not okay to undervalue or underpay the pastor.
- It’s not okay to bully the pastor or his family.
- It’s not okay to have secret meetings discussing the pastor, his family, or his future.
- It’s not okay to befriend the pastor and his family and then simply walk away without any explanation.
- It’s not okay to withhold your tithes because you don’t like the sermon or the worship music or the way the pastor’s wife dresses. Or any number of other reasons.
This list could go on and on. Let me say that it is okay to treat your pastor and his family as people deserving of honor, respect, kindness, love, and care, just like any other human being.
Pastors, you are not alone. Care for Pastors exists to help you navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of pastoral ministry. We know and understand that pastoral ministry is a unique calling unlike any other. Reach out to us at careforpastors.org.