How’s your relationship with your Pastor?
Do you feel like you can go to him when there’s a problem?
Maybe you quake at the thought of meeting with him. (I’ve been there.)
I’m betting there’s room for improvement…
I hope today’s insights and truths will help you relate to and work better with your Pastor.
Please note: These words are straight from the Pastor’s pen, but I’ve added bold lettering for emphasis.
10 Things Your Pastor Wants You to Know
1. Your life is important to me and I really want to know what’s going on so I can pray for you, counsel with you, and encourage you. The best way to do that is to make an appointment and come see me in an unhurried environment. And you don’t have to take me to lunch. Just meet with me face to face. You can e-mail me if that’s the best you can do, but I’d prefer real time with you. Remember e-mail and texting have no personality and we may misunderstand each other that way. I also have a lot on my mind on Sundays and Wednesdays, so talking with me in the hallway or in the worship center before church is not the best way for me to fully take in what’s going on in your life. If it’s important let’s get together.
2. I think social media, like Facebook and Twitter, are quick sources of information and can be doors to the Gospel. But they are not reliable sources of fact and are not necessarily viewed daily. With that in mind, do not attempt to contact me or make requests through that media. A phone call to my office, an e-mail, or even a text requesting to meet, etc. is the appropriate and timely way to reach me.
3. Speaking of social media, just because some piece of information is widely known because “everyone” saw it on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t mean your pastor(s) is/are aware. Do not assume I am aware of anything. I would much rather be informed multiple times about the same situation than not at all. More communication is always better than less.
4. While this will sound very “unspiritual”, keep in mind that the church is where I work. And just as you probably do not wish to spend time at your place of employment on your off days or evenings, I too do not wish to be at the church any more than I am already. Don’t misunderstand me. Serving the Lord is the greatest privilege I can imagine and I absolutely love my job. But while pastoral ministry is a calling, it is also a job. And just as I enjoy coming to work each day, I very much enjoy leaving it.
5. Like most of you who work outside the home, I too have two days off. I can’t tell you how many times I get a call on my cell phone and someone says, “I’m sorry to bother you on your day off, but…” Please know I am glad to be of help, even on my day off, but it really needs to be an emergency that absolutely cannot wait. I find that about 1 in 10 of these types of calls falls into that category. On the flip side, if it really is an emergency and you need me, I want you to call me no matter what time it is. That is one of the reasons I am here.
6. Sunday morning worship service is possibly the most important event for the church each week. The pastoral staff works very hard behind the scenes to plan and prepare for it. Please do not request to speak or for us to make an announcement (on Sunday morning) that should have been presented to us early in the week. If it’s important, its worth planning along with the rest of the service. This will provide time for creative ways to communicate the information as well.
7. More specific to Women’s Ministry, please keep in mind that I am not a woman. And since God made us different I am very likely to not be as enthusiastic about your event as either a church-wide event or a men’s event. That doesn’t mean I view your event or ministry as less, I simply will not resonate with it and display the same passion. I will more than likely view your event from a, “just the facts, ma’am,” perspective. I really do desire your ministry to succeed; I just may not be nearly as excited about it as you.
8. A common issue I find with Women’s Ministry is failure to adhere to the budget when planning and spending. Often there seems to be an attitude that says, “If we exceed the budget the church will find the money somewhere else.” And we have had to do that. But that is not good stewardship and results in a loss of trust by the pastoral staff toward the Women’s Ministry leaders. This is true of other ministries as well. I would never counsel a couple or individual to handle their finances that way, and the same (or higher) standard should be held for the church.
9. Women’s Ministry events can be very involved, requiring a great deal of the church’s resources. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that. However, the other ministries and daily operations of the church that also require resources will continue to run on the day(s) of the event. Therefore please strive to do as many things as can be done prior to the event, rather than the day of the event. And please realize that the custodial staff of the church still has their daily duties that must be handled and may not be able to simply stop or delay what they are doing in order to assist you with your event. Many requests for changes in set up or decorating could be presented days earlier and be worked into the normal schedule. Often I find myself having to protect the custodial staff from the unreasonable and very late requests of the members of the congregation. I may have to lovingly tell you that you have planned poorly and your request must be denied. For some reason there is a perception that the church must always say “yes” to every request. Not true. This applies to very late requests for publication in newsletters and worship guides. Both have posted deadlines for a reason.
10. Finally, neither I nor my family will attend or participate in every church event. Like your family, we too are busy and struggle to balance our time. I am grateful for the many ministry opportunities made possible by the many members of the church, but my job is to equip you for the work of the ministry and set you free to do it. I want to encourage you in your area of ministry. My absence in no way means your ministry is not vital and valuable. It is both! Let me encourage you to do a few things and do them with excellence. That is what I am striving to do.
Thank you for taking the time to read my top 10. I hope it gives you a glimpse inside my head and perhaps view some things from a different perspective.
Remember we are a team with same ultimate goals – to glorify the Lord and advance His Kingdom together! God bless you!
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