I’ve learned pastors are often misunderstood; especially by people who haven’t known a pastor personally. But, we can really be misunderstood by many people. It’s surely a unique vocation. I can’t speak for all pastors. Here are 10 random things to know about pastors. These are true for me, but I suspect they may be for other pastors too:
1. I face the temptations you face. I’m not immune from temptation. I’m human. You shouldn’t be surprised when I make mistakes. I need lots of grace. I should be held accountable, but ultimately I’m accountable to God just as much as you are.
2. The larger the church gets, the less I know about anything. But, this can be true of any church size where other people are empowered to lead. Ask me anything. I may or may not have an answer. Sometimes, however, you save both of us time if you email the staff or volunteer leader more likely to know — but I can always forward an email.
3. The better the message, the longer it takes me to prepare it. There are rare exceptions to this for me. If I am going to have a decent message, I will have to take time away from other responsibilities to prepare. This could mean I’m not everywhere you hoped I would be.
4. Even though I’m teaching it, I may not yet have mastered it. Hopefully I’m working on it, but I teach the whole counsel of God — the Bible — and I’m still a work in progress in many areas of it.
5. I get nervous every time I start to preach, sometimes sick to my stomach nervous. If you didn’t notice — well, glad I’m getting better at covering. But, you do me a tremendous blessing if you whisper a prayer as I step up to preach.
6. Sunday is not the only day I work. Honestly! And, preaching is not all I do. I actually work six long days a week and even when I’m off or out of town, I’m often working. But, Sunday does come around quickly.
7. Your story probably won’t surprise me. I am never callous towards it, but I’ve probably heard similar or worse. And, I’m still going to love you.
8. To my family I’m usually not a pastor, just a husband and dad. And, I like that. I even like to be “just a friend” sometimes.
9. If you tell me something on Sunday morning, you probably should back it up with an email to remind me. My mind is distracted and I will forget. And, if it can wait until Monday, that’s even better.
10. I can relate to you better than you think. I like to have a good time. Some would say I’m funny. I even know how to laugh.
Dr Dale Ackley