Today’s guest post is from Darrell Vesterfelt whose blog is called This is Me Thinking. Darrell blogs about blogging, the creative process, and its relationship to the church. He also happens to be a pastor. I am also guest posting over at his blog about the “affair” I once had. Check it out.
Growing up a lot of little boys have heroes they look up to. Whether it is a famous athlete or their favorite musician, most young boys idolize someone, wanting to be like them when they grow up. For me, it was neither an athlete nor musician; it was my pastor.
I started volunteering at my church (willingly) in my teenage years. It was during that time that I decided that I wanted to be a pastor. Deciding on post-high school education, I applied for schools where I could study formal church ministry. I was accepted into a school in Minnesota where I studied Church Ministries for four years. While in Minnesota, pursuing that degree I accepted several staff leadership positions at churches in the area. Two months ago, I accepted my first official job as a pastor at a church plant in Palm Beach Gardens, FL called Shoreline Church.
In all these years of experience with the church, I have learned an awful lot about being a pastor. First of all there is a lot more responsibility, then I initially realized. I also realized that even though pastors generally have a lot to say, and aren’t afraid to spend a lot of time talking about the things they believe in, there are a lot of things that a pastor wants to say but cannot without the scrutiny from their members.
Here are nine things that your pastor wants to say, but might not ever tell you (and maybe should):
1. It’s not my job to share the gospel with your friends: Contrary to popular belief, it is actually your job to do that. I am here to help equip you to share the gospel. Stop taking the easy way out and just bringing your friends to church, and expecting me to do all the work.
2. I have a life when I’m not at church: And it’s actually pretty important to me. Just like you have family, friends, and hobbies I do as well. Even though the church is really important to me, my life does not just revolve around the events there. If I don’t respond to every phone call or text message right away, I will as soon as I am free.
3. It might be nice, if I knew you cared about me once in a while: Beneath this strong exterior of leadership, I have a heart that cares deeply for the people I pastor. I would love to know that they care for me too.
4. Why is it okay for you to have nice things, but not me: I like nice things too, just sayin.
5. If you wouldn’t cry so much, I would cancel our Christmas pageant: And give the money to families who can’t afford to buy their kids gifts. I think its what Jesus would do. Maybe it is time to think about the real values of our church and walk in them.
6. I can’t fix your problems: Even though you might think I can, I really can’t. I might even have a lot of good advice, but it is impossible for me to be your rescue. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear what you are going through, because I really care, but all I really can do is listen and let you know God is with you, because…
7. I actually struggle with sin too: I know, I know.. I’m the pastor, but lets get real here: Pastors are people too.
8. I don’t want to run this church alone: I would rather partner with you. Church is a community, where we all work together to bring the hope of the gospel to the world. Your involvement is key to the success of the church and it’s ministries.
9. The gospel is about Jesus’ unending love for humanity, not your comfort on Sunday morning: The mission of the church is a little bit more serious then your music preference during our worship services. That doesn’t mean your opinions are not valid, but let get things in perspective here.
Chances are that your pastor has actually said some of these things to you before, but the reality is that a lot of pastors are not able to openly say hard things. I am lucky to be apart of a church that values honesty. My heart goes out to those ministers who are not able to speak truth. I long to see a Christian culture that is values truth over harmony.
Okay, now it is your turn. How would you respond to your pastor, if he told you some these things? On the flip side, what would YOU like to say to your pastor, but haven’t?