7 Misconceptions About Pastors

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One of my favorite things about pastoring a church that has a lot of un-churched and de-churched folks is hearing their misconceptions about pastors since they haven’t been around pastors very much. These misconceptions are far from serious, but are definitely prevalent.

 

  1. They only work on Sundays.

 

I guess they think the idea of hundreds of people showing up to a property with buildings, websites, personnel, etc., just runs itself on one day of work a week. While this would lead to a much easier life, pastors do work other days besides Sundays.

 

  1. Their home life is nearly perfect.

 

Folks can look at the picture of a pastor’s family on a website, assume they meet the biblical qualifications of a pastor in 1 Timothy 3, then jump to the conclusion that the pastor must have a nearly perfect home life. I can’t speak for all pastors, but although my home life is really good and healthy, there are many imperfections. My kids throw fits. My wife and I have disagreements from time to time. That’s just part of life.

 

  1. They’re paid very little or very much.

 

Some people have the idea that all pastors are stricken to a life of poverty. Others think the few TV evangelists flying around in private jets represent the majority of pastors. Most pastors I know are middle class men who aren’t paid pennies, but aren’t making big bucks either.

 

  1. They have tons of friends.

 

People think that since congregants line up to talk to the pastor after church, he must have tons of friends. After all, how many people reading this ever have people voluntarily line up to talk with them? Just because plenty of people line up to speak with pastors, that does not mean all of those people are the pastors’ friends.

 

Most pastors are left out of social gatherings. People think pastors already have plenty of friends, they’re a bit intimidated by pastors (due to their position of authority), and think it’d be easier to not invite pastors. I’ve seen this time and again as both the child of an executive pastor and after 15 years of ministry.

 

  1. They don’t struggle with spiritual disciplines.

 

Just because a pastor has a responsibility to “minister the Word,” that does not mean it always comes easily. Pastors struggle to build up the energy and desire, at times, to engage in prayer, Scripture reading, Scripture memorization, evangelism, etc.

 

  1. They don’t like to have fun.

 

Pastors need to take their calling and position seriously, but shouldn’t take themselves too seriously. I know plenty of pastors who are really fun guys. This misconception is rooted in the idea that pastors are nearly like monks.

 

  1. God gives them special access.

 

While pastors have a higher level of expectation, in terms of responsibility to God for folks’ souls (Heb 13:17), that does not mean pastors have some special phone line to God that nobody else has. Nobody has to go through a pastor to access God. No pastor has a greater ability to talk to God (through prayer) or hear from Him (through the Bible) than anyone else.

 

Can you think of any other misconceptions about pastors? Let me know in the comment section below.

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