When God thinks of you, what comes to mind?
This is a hard question for many of us to answer. We often think the answer is failure or disappointment or unloved.
Yet, none of those are true.
What you believe the answer is to that question shapes much of your life. This is especially true if you are a pastor.
There is a weight that pastors feel that I don’t know translates into other jobs. I think that people in churches can know about it, but not fully understand it. I know that as a youth pastor, I didn’t truly understand the weight of pastoring until becoming a lead pastor. For no particular reason, it just worked that way.
While there are many weights that a pastor carries, some of them are just human weights that others carry (including parenting), but I thought up five that I think pastors particularly carry on a daily basis because of what they do each and every week. There is an important distinction here. These are not pains; they are the weights of pastoring. There is a huge difference between pain and weight (so no one misses that).
I’ve been sharing these weights and joys recently so that those who attend a church know what it is like to be a pastor and how to best support their pastor. When those two (a pastor and the congregation) work together, some amazing things happen. When they work against each other, it is a disaster.
To see the other weights and joys, you can read them by clicking on the links: Preaching God’s word every week, You can’t change people, God’s call on your life, Seeing life change, People under you are counting on you and God using you.
Weight #4: What God Thinks of You
Pastors do not answer to their churches, boards or anybody else. Ultimately, they answer to God. Even though it is incredibly biblical, most Christians don’t like to hear it.
While pastors do answer to boards in their job, we ultimately do not answer to people. I remember having a conversation once with a guy who was upset about something we decided to do, and he said, “I give here. You answer to me. I should get to say what happens because I give here.” It is a whole other post, all the inaccuracies in that statement. I looked at him and said, “I don’t answer to you. I answer to God, and that scares me a whole lot more than the idea of answering to you.”
While this is true and biblical, most Christians do not like this idea. (Side note: This isn’t a ticket for pastors to do whatever they want.)
And it should scare a pastor to death. It should keep him humble and on his knees.
The idea of God judging how I lead Revolution, how I preach, how I shepherd, scares me. But I think it is a holy fear and one that should drive all pastors. Will God approve of what I did? Will God be glorified with what I did?
Before many pastors can answer those questions, though, there are some things they feel but never deal with. Many pastors get into ministry to help others, but many carry around approval idols. Not dealing with this causes them to put the emphasis on what people think of them instead of what God thinks of them.
Don’t miss this: Whichever one you think is more important will have an enormous impact on your leadership and the kind of church you lead.