crossroadNote: This is a continuation of Friday and Monday’s posts about pastor and church failures.

Every pastor is called called by God to: 1) Live a holy obedient life {1 Pet 1:14-16}, 2) Preach The Word {2 Tim 4:2}, 3) Pray {Acts 6:4}, 4) Equip believers to do the work of the ministry {Eph 6:12}. It is not right for a pastor to do more, or less, than those three things (Acts 6:2).

BUT pressure is levied on pastors to… Visit all in the hospital and the shut-in members, counsel every person, manage  staff, serve on denominational boards, take day-trips with senior adult members, make sure every member is happy, visit all who visit the church. Then he is to have a perfect family… be perfect himself… never make a mistake, never say the wrong thing, cross every “t” and dot every “i” when it comes to everything in the church he serves. Oh… AND he is to preach and teach captivating messages with people joining regularly, being baptized, so that the numbers stay up and giving meets budget.

Many Pastors fear if they do not live up the previous paragraph’s expectation of the congregation, he will lose his job… his source of income. Yes, many pastors serve for job security. People in the church know this and leverage that fear to their advantage (Their “Ace in the hole“). When a pastor isn’t perfect in their expectations, they “discipline” him and may even force him to leave (Which they RARELY if EVER do to anyone else in the church!).

The pastor is not a religious CEO. His responsibility is to care for the souls of those who attend that particular local church (Heb 13:17-b). When a pastor deviates from God’s expectations, regardless of the reason, he is in disobedience to God. When churches place unbiblical expectations on pastors, it is a disadvantage to them (See Heb 13:17 above).

The answer? 1) Pastors: Follow God’s call from a heart of love and obedience… then let the rough end drag. 2) Churches: Expect and require nothing more or less than God does, for that would benefit you most (Read Hebrews 13:17 again).

But then, maybe I’m being too simplistic.