Recently a lady told me she loved to hear about the life of a pastor. She could not imagine what I thought and did and posts that reveal my life she found interesting. Well, I hope she is not the only one as I decided to share a few of the concepts that guide me as a pastor.
1. Everyone is Deeply Flawed. I don’t understand people no matter how hard I try. They frustrate me and often leave me feeling confused. The one common theme that runs through all my experiences is that people are flawed into their very soul. They continually do things contrary to the will of God no matter how good they appear. Every time I deal with people, I expect to be disappointed by the sin in their life. I know that people feel the same way about me and rightfully so. Always expect the worst and be surprised by godliness.
2. Be the Leader You Want. Despite countless books and classes on leadership, very few people grasp the way that Jesus wants us to lead. Servant leaders are rare, and when one cannot be found, I will do the job. Who knows, maybe God put me in this position to be the leader that is needed. One of my mottos is to grab the bull by the horns and get to work.
3. Don’t Focus on Negative Attention. As children, many people picked up a nasty habit. They found the only way to get the attention they so desperately crave was through lousy behavior, complaining and drama. These people grow up, and one day they show up for Church. They bring all those issues to the community of believers. Instead of finding healthy ways to engage people they are always fussing, cussing and crying. I have discovered that when you give in to these people, then they will continue to do it for attention (or get worse). I refuse to give in to their desires, and it usually drives them crazy. The result is that they leave the Church with a loud voice and try to take people with them.
4. Fake It Till You Feel It. This is my introvert nature speaking. My desire to avoid people is ingrained, but the cause of Christ calls me to community. When I go to places where people are gathered, I start out struggling, but I know if I fake it the feelings of joy will eventually come to me. I say the right things, ask questions, try to smile and be kind in every way. Do that long enough, and finally, you no longer must fake it.
5. Address the Elephant. Every group of people, especially the Church, has people with issues. In most cases, everyone knows, and no one talks about it. This person is the proverbial elephant in the room. I refuse to set back and let someone be a big bully or have a big mouth that hurts the body of Christ. At least three times I have confronted someone, and it was ugly. They were wolves and wanted to destroy the flock, and I would not allow it. In all the cases, not one person had ever confronted their evil behavior. They scared people, and no one dared to call them on their ungodly behavior. I refuse to let anyone take the Church hostage.
These are some of the significant guidelines for me as a minister. Most of them have some connection to scripture and others are born out of experience. Maybe these will help you to understand my behavior along with some other preachers. Then again, perhaps these are just me.