Ten Random Things to Know About Pastors

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

Author: A Shepherd's Voice

Dale Ackley is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN.) and works with the pastors in California in the area of Ministerial Care. He has an earned doctorate in Psychology and Counseling and an earned doctorate in Ministry. He married the love of his life in 1967 and has two grown sons and four grandchildren. He and his wife Kathy reside in Fresno, CA.

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