As I travel from church to church – it does not seem to matter the country I am in – it appears that there are unrealistic expectations placed upon the local pastors. It is as if people think they are super human or maybe even super pastor …
People place high expectations upon their pastors and often don’t vocalize those expectations – forgetting that they have a life, a family, and are simply a human being. Expectations include: they are to be good at everything – youth work, Sunday School, visiting seniors, preaching, leading Bible studies, as well as worship leading. On top of this they are expected to find two or three days a week to prepare Sunday’s teachings as well as have three hours a day in God’s presence and prayer. They are to be culturally relevant, good evangelists, always out witnessing. Appropriately dressed, always with the right attitude, a kind word for everyone, never impatient, always knowing the answer. Often they will have a second job to supplement their income but that does not take away from the quality demanded by those who attend. And, he should always be home to welcome and entertain anyone who may simply drop-in unannounced. Super pastor or super priest.
Of course, all of them fail us in one way or another because our expectations are over and above what anyone could expect of any one person. And, most times, the expectations are not spoken and so the super pastor is not even aware that all these things are expected of him. Not to mention they never agreed to all of these expectations in the first place. So, we are offended and think the pastor is simply not loving, caring or open to people such as ourselves. Maybe he is in the wrong profession and should simply go out and find a “real job.”
Let me suggest that men and women in ministry do not need all of our expectations piled upon them. They do not work for us – they work for the Lord and only for Him. Their ministry is to help the Lord accomplish whatever it is He has called them to do – not what we want them to do. Their job description is determined by Scripture and not the wants and needs of the people. They need to be treated as human beings and supported by our prayers.
And, to top it all off – it is not even biblical to have a pastor as the lone leader of the church. The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets and to have a healthy organism (not organization) it needs the five-fold ministry team functioning fully (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher). And, by the way, the people today who are pastors are most often not the five-fold pastors of Ephesians 4:11 in the list above but simply “pastors” and local elders – not part of the five-fold team in the least.
Not to mention that most pastors would not look good in blue tights with a cape!