Pastors, like any person sin. While this may be surprising for some people as they put their pastors and their wife on a pedestal, it is true. Because of the nature of being a pastor and the life they live, their sins are often not obvious and ones that no one will ever know about. In fact, some of the most hurtful and dangerous sins are ones that a church and elders can unknowingly encourage. These sins are not in any particular order, just the order I wrote them in.
If you missed the first sin: your bible is more for than sermon prep, you can read that here.
The second sin that many pastors deal with is the sin of being untouchable. While every pastor would tell their church they should be in community, have an accountability partner, have people in their life that knows them, very few pastors actually experience this.
This can be hard for a pastor. Knowing who to trust, how much to trust them are difficult things to wrestle with. If you are curious how to find an accountability partner as a pastor, read this.
This isn’t the only reason pastors aren’t known and have an air of untouchability about them. Their churches often demand it and pastor’s fall right in line with it. Many churches want their pastor’s to be superman. They want their pastor to talk about struggles to the point that they seem relatable, but not too much. Churches often want to keep their pastor, his wife and his kids on a pedestal. Because of this, pastors work hard to keep that pedestal up and working.
This leads pastors into all kinds of dangerous places. If no one knows a pastor well enough, no one can call out his sin. No one can challenge him with working too much, not eating well (which is an enormous problem for many pastors as so many are overweight), not sleeping enough.
Pastors are also very good at wielding their influence. People will do what the pastor says. Even in our culture that hates authority or holds pastors no in high regard, people care what a pastor does, what he reads, what he likes and then they often emulate that. If a pastor is not careful, he can easily push to the outside someone who gets on his nerves or seems to be divisive. People pick up on this and do the same thing.
Pastor, can anyone call you on your sin? What happens if they do? I’m not talking about the person who will email you next week to complain about an illustration. I’m talking about an elder, another pastor who can look you in the eye and say, “What you said was inappropriate. How you treated your wife is not okay.” Do you have anyone like that? If not, you are bordering on being untouchable.
Yes, I know. As a pastor you are accountable to God. I get it, I preach it, I believe it. We are also brothers and sisters in Christ and are to be accountable to each other. That’s in the Bible too.
If you care about pastor, make sure he has someone in his life who knows his junk, who he can talk to and is being held accountable to.
Here are some questions I work through with my accountability partner:
- What is God teaching you right now?
- What in your life can we celebrate?
- How are you serving your family? (for our time, we have to bring the answer our wife gives to this question)
- How are you pursuing your wife? (for our time, we have to bring the answer our wife gives to this question)
- What can I be praying for you about?