Top Posts of August

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In case you missed them, here are the top posts of August 2013:

  1. Finding an Accountability Partner as a Pastor
  2. Q: Why Doesn’t Revolution Have a Women’s Ministry
  3. Meeting our Son who we Didn’t Know Much About…
  4. My Arms are Too Short
  5. 21 Skills of Great Preachers
  6. Marital Bliss
  7. The “Other” Celebrity Pastor
  8. The Sins of a Pastor
  9. Two Ideas that Should Change how We Think about our Bodies, Weight Loss & Food
  10. Food, Weight, The Gospel and Stop Being the Victim

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Top Posts of July

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In case you missed them, here are the top posts of July 2013:

  1. The Five Stages of Discipleship
  2. Why Pastor’s Should Take a Summer Preaching Break
  3. The Sins of a Pastor || The Pastor’s Family
  4. The Sins of a Pastor || Giving Away too Much at Home
  5. Adoption and the Desire to Control
  6. Finding an Accountability Partner as a Pastor
  7. 21 Skills of Great Preachers
  8. Interacting with the Opposite Sex as a Pastor
  9. The Things Pastors Know and See
  10. The Sins of a Pastor || Untouchable

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The Sins of a Pastor || Untouchable

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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?

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Finding an Accountability Partner as a Pastor

If you are a pastor, you need some kind of accountability. You know it. You stand up in sermons and tell your people they need accountability. The problem is that it can be very difficult for a pastor to find accountability. Who can they turn to? Who can they trust?

For pastors, the people who are most eager to be your friend, be your accountability partner are usually the last people you want filling those roles. They usually have agendas or are expecting things you won’t be able to deliver.

Here is the rub for a pastor. Men can vent about their bosses or someone at work. But, if a pastor opens up in their MC and says, “I’m really frustrated at work right now.” Or he says that to an accountability partner, the game has changed. Who is the pastor talking about? Are there sides to take? Who got on the wrong side of this leader?

The same goes for a pastor when they need accountability for purity, integrity, want to talk about their marriage, their kids or their struggles. Just anybody cannot fit this role.

Here are a few things to look for in an accountability partner as a pastor:

  • Someone you trust. If you can’t trust your accountability partner, you are off to a bad start. You won’t be honest and the relationship won’t bring about the goals it sets forth. You have to trust the person, completely. This is why many pastors don’t have one. They bounce from church to church too quickly and never make deep friendships.
  • Someone who understands your role. Being a pastor is different than being a doctor or a landscaper. The person who holds you accountable has to know this. They have to understand the spiritual and emotional side of ministry. All work is hard work. Ministry work is just different hard work. Not harder, just different. The person who holds you accountable has to understand this. Sometimes, it takes a pastor educating someone because not everyone understands.
  • Someone who loves you. They must love you as a person and want what is best for you. This doesn’t mean telling you what you want to hear, but it does mean wanting to see you succeed and become the person God created you to be. Loving you means saying hard things to you sometimes.
  • Someone who isn’t begging for it. If they want this role in your life, it is usually not a good idea. When people want to get close to a pastor or his wife, there is usually an agenda you want to avoid at all costs. Not always, but usually.
  • Someone who is a big fan of yours, but not too big. They must cheer for you, but can’t be over the top.
  • Someone who might not attend your church. They might be outside of your church. At the very least, you should have another pastor you can vent to and get advice about things you can’t get from someone who attends your church.
  • Someone you are not married to. Your sole accountability partner should not be your wife. Period. You should be open and honest with your wife, keeping no secrets, but someone else should hold you accountable.

What would you add to the list for an accountability partner for a pastor or pastor’s wife?