By Mike Peercy

Mike Peercy has spent 24 years in full-time vocational pastoral ministry. He and his wife Tori have recently established a new ministry to serve the relational needs surrounding the foster care community. Find more of Mike’s work at and

    Why Do I Want What I Don’t Want?

    Wednesday, February 21, 2024

    I’m Mike and I’m a recovering pastor.

    The weirdness of being a guest in church has spurred some reflection of late. I suppose that’s obvious in this series of posts. But there is something I notice in myself when I walk into a church, another nagging question…

    Why do I want what I don’t want?

    That may not make sense but let me try to explain.

    I want to be important. I want to need a microphone. I want to be more important than simply one sitting in a pew. I want to be heard and not simply to hear. I want my voice to be sought or invited or at least recognized. I want to be a church VIP.

    But I don’t want that. Really.

    I don’t want the weight of it. I don’t want the responsibility of it. I don’t want the critical eyes that come with it. I don’t want the unspoken expectations that are inherent in that kind of role. I don’t want the glass house life that it brings. I don’t want the pressure to live a stainless lifestyle.

    So… why do I want what I don’t want?

    I have long believed that there is at least a small element of arrogance in the heart of a person to even stand up as if to say, “Thus says the Lord.” I have probably even been guilty of using that observation as a demonstration of my own humility by owning my arrogance (if that makes any sense).

    But when you have spent most of your adult life being the speaker for the service it feels a little insignificant to be just another guy. And yes, that sentence feels gross and arrogant to type. But I think that gets to the real issue—that I have longed to be just another guy with all of the same privileges and responsibilities as everyone else even while I want the privilege of being the guy on the stage.

    And how did we get to this place where our worship spaces are almost always built around a stage anyway? I suppose that’s a discussion for another day.

    I have spent almost half of my life as the leader of a church. Now I am, at best, the new guy and, at worst, just another face in the crowd. I need to be with the people of God. I need to be a part of corporate worship to God. I need to be open to hear from God and unconcerned about whom He might choose to use to speak to me.

    But the experience nags at me with this haunting question…

    Why do I still want what I don’t want? Why do I feel this need to be important, esteemed, or significant?

    I’m Mike and I’m a recovering pastor. This is my confession.

    This blog is part of a series of blogs titled, “Honest Confessions of a Recovering Pastor”. Click here to read: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

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