There is no need for us to wait, as the one hundred and twenty had to wait (Acts 1) for the Spirit to come. For the Holy Spirit did come on the day of Pentecost, and has never left His church. Our responsibility is to humble ourselves before His sovereign authority, to determine not to quench Him, but to allow Him his freedom. For then our churches will again manifest those marks of the Spirit’s presence which many young people are especially looking for, namely biblical teaching, loving fellowship, living worship, and an ongoing, outgoing evangelism.
–John R. W. Stott
I’ve been a senior pastor for almost 25 years. One thing I have realized is that people often have difficulty seeing past the office/position to the person. I share this on my blog because it is good… really good. All of these things do not fit me but enough do that I thought I would share it, hoping that it will help you get to know me better.
Here are a few highlights from the list:
“People tell the senior pastor all kinds of things about what is happening in their life or in the lives of others…many we would rather not know sometimes…and sometimes the weight of others’ problems we carry is enormous.” I do not think pastors mind being counsellors and confidantes. Just know that when we walk with you through your crisis — and yours is resolved — we then will walk with someone else through their crisis. There is rarely a reprieve from this cycle.
“We seldom know who we can trust, which is why we become guarded and appear hard to get to know. Most senior pastors have been burned by someone they once trusted.” I shared this list with my staff here at HBC, and one of them asked me why pastors have more trust issues than other professions. I do not know that we do. Nor do I believe that senior pastors have it harder than anyone else. But I do wonder if pastors are more inclined to think the best of people. We do not always pick up on warning signals. Perhaps we have occupational naiveté… which only years of experience can cure. Unfortunately, I am cured.
“Our spouse is sometimes the loneliest person in the church.” Most people are shocked by this. She knows everyone. She is outgoing. She seems to have lots of friends. So, why does she so often sit by herself while her husband is preaching? I’ve always wished for, but do not know how to ask for, some ladies to make it their “mission” on Sunday morning not to let my wife sit alone.
I love being a pastor. I am blessed to serve a great church, a healthy church, with the greatest people. These things do not reflect on a church…they are just occupational hazards.
So, submitted for your consideration. Shared for the sake of… vulnerability. Thanks, Ron, for a great article.