Monday, October 22, 2007

The Blessings and Challenges of Ministering in the Small Church (Part 7).

Blessing: The people of the church can know the pastor.

In the last posting on this topic we looked at the blessing it is for the pastor to know the people of the congregation. The flip side of that blessing is that the congregation can know the pastor—if the pastor is willing to let them.

Too many pastors are placed on pedestals. It is easy for this to happen when the pastor is larger-than-life. It is like the pastor is a “super person.” The problem with that is that no one can relate to super person. It is too easy for a pastor to not be a regular person.

The small church pastor has the opportunity to allow a significant portion of the congregation get to know him/her on a personal basis. People will quickly find out that the pastor is on the same journey that they are. People can relate to a pastor that they know.

The real me that the congregation knows:

  • I wear shorts to the office on a hot summer day.
  • I have blood sugar issues if I eat too many carbs first thing in the morning.
  • I grow dahlias to keep my sanity.
  • I look horrible in a swimsuit.
  • I work far too many hours most weeks.
  • My office is a mess.
  • I struggle with “sin” like everyone else.
  • I have good days and bad days.
  • I am the chief cook in our house.
  • My daughter is on the mission field in a country where “foreign” missionaries are not welcome. (She comes home in a couple of weeks so we can now talk about it a little more openly—my church has known where she is from the very beginning.)
  • I have a sweet tooth.
  • I love to sail but rarely get the chance due to working too many hours.
  • I am like a good coach—pushing his players to get the most out of them.

The list could go on and on and on.

I believe that it is important for a pastor to let the congregation get to know the real person behind the pulpit. People will not always like what they see—but they will value the pastor willing to take the “risk” of being a real person.


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