Pastoring A Wide Variety of People

One of the more challenging aspects of being a pastor is dealing with various personalities that compose a Church community.  This goes beyond the superficial labels of introvert or extrovert.  Honestly, I believe it goes beyond any other types of tests you can use to categorize the way people behave.  Everyone is unique in how they think, act, and feel, along with our one-of-a-kind experiences. 

Where I find this the most complicated is in how people react to different situations.  For example, one person may do a ministry, and I walk up to them and suggest a few changes for improvement.  At this point, I have had people ignore me, cry, get angry, become defensive, and even quit doing ministry altogether.  Then, after the incident, some people will contact everyone they know and complain while others will leave the Church quietly, and still, others will become my friends. 

Add on top of the unique personality we possess; temporary moods factor into people’s reactions.  Sometimes people are having a bad day; other times, they are hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.  I can never know what might endear me to people and what might alienate me. 

Relationships are hard.  No one denies that, but Church relationships are highly complex.  People attend voluntarily, and they can leave at any time.  Those same people can complain and impact dozens of more people simply because I caught them on a bad day or touched a nerve on a sensitive topic.

As a pastor, the spectrum of people who walk through the doors is unlimited.  I hope that the grace of Jesus will touch every person.  It will give them a right relationship with God along with the people around them.  As God works on their hearts, I always hope they develop some grace toward their pastor and his wife, just like we try to do with them. 

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