Here is something I read on Facebook.
by Levi Smith
I’d like to talk to you as a former pastor’s kid who currently works full time on a pastoral staff. Put your helmet on.
My dad was my pastor for 18 years. Growing up with your father being your church’s pastor gave me a unique vantage point. It wasn’t a superior vantage point, but it definitely gave me a glimpse into ministry life that I now I am exceedingly grateful for.
Stress, anxiety and heightened emotions were often in our home. (Cast the first stone if you’ve never experienced the same at some point in your own home.) I wondered why things were tense. I wondered why we moved so much. I wondered why mom and dad didn’t like meetings and votes. I wondered why the countenance of my father was burdened.
I understand why now.
I’m going to be very, very frank with what I am about to say. Pastor’s are imperfect. I’ve watched my imperfect parents and pastors sin more times than I can count. (They are human, too.)
But there is a large amount of modern Christians who are insanely unfair to their pastors. Let me explain.
Pastors are constantly tasked with making impossible, yet perfect decisions. People make decisions based on what’s best for their individual family. The pastor has to make decisions based on what’s best for his family AND every other family.
People get to stand their ground, die on their hills and openly express their opinions with no fear of retribution. The pastor has to perfectly craft his responses, perfectly time is reactions and diplomatically express his position with constant threat of retribution.
People can stop or never start tithing anytime they want to, but they expect the pastor (who usually makes less than what his job is worth) to keep working hard and listen to their every demand when it comes to finances, protocol and decision.
People can drop out of church, constantly skip church or stop working in ministries because of their deeply held beliefs, but they expect the pastor to make sure the church has a ministry for everyone and everything. And the pastor better not take too much vacation. He was called to preach. He better be there.
People get to “live lives the way they want” (even though many will not and cannot defend their decisions with doctrine or Scripture), but the moment the pastor opens the Word of God and speaks against carnal beliefs and practices, he is a judgmental, prying legalist who is out of line.
People pray to God and demand the government opens up churches again. God leads the government to open up church, but it isn’t opened up in the manner or at the speed in which they desire (sounds like the Jews after being released from Egypt). Who is caught in this impossible conundrum?
“Levi. You are out of line.”
Friend, I have watched my dad get ran out of 3 different churches. I have watched deacons believe they hold all authority. I have watched trustees believe they hold the purse. I have watched men stand up in business meetings and literally say the phrase, “I hate you” to my father. I have watched men build unholy kingdoms under the nose of my pastor. I have watched unholy men and women gossip and stir up strife in back hallways. My family was homeless for a time because of evil, unfair men.
I am not out of line. I am directly in line speaking against an area of imbalance in the modern day church.
Do I share this out of anger, complaint or impulse? No. (Even though I’d like to throat punch the men who voted my dad out while he was teaching Sunday School and gave him no severance pay. Help me bear this burden, friend.)
Is every Christian and church like this? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Not even close. Especially Crossroads, where I currently attend. Thank God for Crossroads! Seriously. What a place. Do some pastors and churches hurt people and do wrong? Oh yes. And they should be called to task on it!
But I implore you, before you draw your line in the sand and critique your pastor, remember this: If God wanted us to pastor our church, He would have made us the pastor of our church. Your pastor does not barge into your home and workplace and fire away. Please return the respectful favor. (If he does, find another church, pronto lol).
This is an IMPOSSIBLE time for pastors. PLEASE, I beg of you, remember that. He is a man made of dust trying to please you AFTER he pleases God. Give more grace. Pray just a little more. Support the man who holds such a key position in your life.
He’s there for you. Be there for him.