by Ron Edmondson
Pastor, there are some things your church can’t do for you.
They simply can’t.
Please understand. I love the church. Greatly. I’m a local church guy. But they simply can’t do these things for you.
And if you think they can, or you leave it up to them to do these things, you’ll someday find out the hard way—they can’t.
I’ve watched it many times as pastors didn’t do these. They followed the demands of the church and somehow expected the church to be providing these needs. It caused a void.
Some pastors have even crashed and burned waiting for someone else to do for them what only they could do.
Granted, you may have the greatest church of your ministry career, but regardless of how wonderful the church is they can’t do all the things for you that your soul, personal life and ministry demands.
You’ll have to do them yourself—by God’s grace—if they’re going to be done.
Here are seven things your church can’t adequately do for the pastor:
Hold you accountable. The church can’t guard your heart and character. It doesn’t matter how many rules or committees they have, if you want to ruin your life, you’ll find a way around the structure.
Love your family and protect your time with them. They may love your family. They may respect your time with them, but if you really want to protect your family—you’ll have to take the lead role here.
Understand the demands on your time. They can’t. And you’ll only be disappointed if you expect them to. All jokes aside, they know you work more than Sunday, but they don’t know all the pressure placed upon your role. They can’t understand anymore than you can understand what it’s like to sit at their desk, or operate that machine they operate, or drive that police car or teach that classroom. We only know what we know, and we can’t fully understand what another person’s experience is until we experience it.
Ensure you discipline your Sabbath time. You can teach it—they can know it—but if they need you they aren’t going to necessarily understand that you’re on a Sabbath. If you’re going to rest—if you’re going to have a biblically commanded Sabbath—you’ll have to discipline yourself to take it.
Read your mind. People are usually waiting to be led. They are looking for a vision to follow. They can’t follow an unspoken vision.
Build your sense of self-worth. If you’re waiting to hear how wonderful the message was, what a good job you’re doing or how much the church loves you in order to feel you’re doing a good job—you’re going to be very disappointed most of the time. You’ll have to find your sense of self-worth in your relationship with God and living out His purpose for your life—the same place you’re hopefully encouraging the church to find their sense of self-worth.
Completely discern your call from God. Some may be used of God to speak into your life, but your personal calling is between you and God. They won’t always understand when you’re “called away” or when you feel “led” to lead in a certain direction. And you can’t expect them to.
Don’t expect others to do for you what only you—by God’s grace—can do.
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he’s been helping church grow vocationally for over 10 years.
Visit Ron at http://www.ronedmondson.com/