Perry Noble recently came up with a list of the top â€œSix Temptations Senior Pastors Face.â€
He then went on to list seven. So much for his math skills. His list, however, was spot on. Mine would be nearly identical with a couple exceptions.
#1 – Selling Out Godâ€™s Vision In Exchange For A Paycheck.
I know so many pastors who fear losing their jobs because they think if they say what God wants them to say or attempt what God wants them to attempt then they will get fired. They claim to believe in the Sovereignty of God but then cower before the â€œall powerfulâ€¦committee!â€
#2 – Trying To Please Everyone
You CANâ€™T do itâ€“no matter how you preach, what you wear or who you talk toâ€“someone is going to get angry at you. Jesus never tried to please everyoneâ€¦He was faithful to His Father and His callingâ€“we should do the same.
#3 – Thinking Working Harder Will Solve The Problem
There have been so many times I have felt like I needed to violate the 4th commandment in order to make things happenâ€¦BUTâ€“the commandment to rest is not a mere suggestion. Itâ€™s a command!
Sometimes the godliest thing a pastor can do is walk away from the work for awhile and relaxâ€¦and let God prove how HE is perfectly capable of running the world (and the church) just fine!
#4 – Sacrificing Their Family
Iâ€™ve seen so many pastors allow the church to thrust their wives into activities that they hateâ€“but the pastor tells them to do it in order to â€œkeep the flock happy.â€
Iâ€™ve seen pastors go to the sporting events and school plays of every kid in the churchâ€“except for his own; after all, they will understand, right?
Pastorsâ€“there isnâ€™t a church or ministry ANYWHERE that is worth the price of your family! (How do you know if you are sacrificing your family? Why not ask them?)
#5 – Not Delegating Their Weaknesses
One of the myths that pastors buy into is that they have to be â€œwell rounded.â€ Let me be very upfront hereâ€“there isnâ€™t a well rounded person on planet earth. NO ONE is good at EVERYTHING.
If you have a weaknessâ€¦instead of spending all of your time trying to master it (which you never will) why not delegate it and focus on the things you actually do well. THOSE are the things that will add the most value to your church over the long haul.
#6 – Avoiding Conflict
Unresolved conflict is like cancerâ€¦if not dealt with it will grow and eventually kill an organization or ministry. If there is tension or unresolved conflict on a staffâ€¦it is the pastors job to make sure it is dealt withâ€“not ignored! (Anyone need to have a conversation today?)
#7 – Not Spending Personal Time With God
When a pastor is not personally walking with God then He cannot expect His church to do so! Pastors, NOTHING should come in between us and our personal time with Godâ€“that is where our fire comes from! We NEED HIMâ€¦He doesnâ€™t need us. SOâ€¦we need to spend more time seeking His face rather than merely asking Him to bless our plans.
I donâ€™t know if these are in order or not, but I do know one thing that seems conspicuously absentâ€”Iâ€™m talking about worrying too much about the people who leave. Over the years Iâ€™ve spent waaaaaaay too much time on this one. And in doing so Iâ€™ve even managed to talk some people into staying who should never have stayed.
What Iâ€™ve learned is this, if people do not want to be at your church, why would you want them there?
Think about this for a moment. Itâ€™s like forcing a child into a sport they hate.
Itâ€™s like dance lessons for the klutz no matter how much they beg you to let them do something else,
singing lessons for the tone deaf,
piano for junior who has shown zero musical talent.
We waste a lot of time trying to force people into a mold that just doesnâ€™t fit. So one more temptation pastors need to guard against is trying to shut the back doorâ€”seal itâ€”bolt itâ€”paint over it. It causes untold headaches down the line.
Think of it this way. The church is often compared to the body (human body) in scripture. And what happens to the body if we close the back door?!
Pretty ugly picture, isnâ€™t it?
Thatâ€™s why so many churches are uptight and cold and stiff.
Theyâ€™re spiritually constipated (another thing I remember Perry talking about).
I use to contribute to this at Southbrook by trying to seal the back door.
Not anymore. We need a back door. Every healthy church has one.
Just a thought.
And here’s another…
As we continue our “One Moth to Live” series, let me zoom in on the men. Many of you guys have said you wish you could step up and start living the life God intended for you, as leaders, fathers, husbands, friends, etc. If that’s you, don’t forget to gather with a hundred or so other men just like you on the first Monday of each month as we challenge one another to be XMen for God!
This coming Monday is our next meeting. Below are the details:
When? 6:15 am for coffee and donuts, 6:30 -7:15 for a word from the Lord and fellowship with each other.
Where? The Video Cafe (lower building on the campus of Southbrook Church)
Why? Because God has called the men to take the lead and, well, most aren’t!