Thought in progress. Don’t think it’s complete yet. But so far:
A friend was passionately criticizing a pastor of a church the other day. As I listened to this friend, the thought occured to me that the standards this friend was applying to this pastor were not even standards that this friend is meeting in their own life. How is it ok to hold a pastor to a standard that I am not willing to hold myself to? I’m not saying we should lower our standards for pastors. But if I call myself a Christian then it seems really hypocritical to be picking apart a pastor if I am blazing away in sin.
On the flip side, I don’t think we should lower our standards for pastors. I’m sitting in church to learn and I want to learn from someone more experienced and knowledgeable who is actually walking the walk. Not just talking the talk.
Another thing that occured to me was that this friend, generally speaking, wanted this pastor to be basically all things to all people. But just because you are the pastor of the church, that does not mean you are going to be the best counselor, the best leader, the best organizer, or the best planner. That’s why we have a church body. We come together to use our gifts to benefit each other. There is probably someone in the body whose gift is counseling or whose gift is organizing or whose gift is handling financial matters. I personally believe any individual in leadership in any organization, churches included, should do the best job possible and delegate to more gifted people when appropriate.
Am I using my gifts to benefit other believers? Do I expect my pastor to do everything perfectly?
On the flip side, I think people often are frustrated by pastors who claim profienciency in areas where they could use a lot of improvement. There probably is a lot of pressure to get it all right all the time. But is that pressure imposed by God?
The Holy Spirit does the work. We make ourselves available.
Another thing I was thinking about is that when I go to the dentist, I don’t expect that the dentist will invite me over for dinner. But yet, we treat the pastor this way. As if because he is the pastor, then he should be best friends with everybody.