Helping people is a good thing. But some people are too clingy. They zap all my time. They complain about being neglected and not being adequately taken care of. No matter how much anyone does for them, it's never enough. Their expectations only continue to increase.
Sometimes people will show up to PCC expressing their need to “get close to the pastor.” I mean some people will do this on their very first visit. If there is one thing I have learned, it is this: this type of person has an agenda or an expectation of me that I will not be able to meet. It’s only a matter of time before they are disappointed in me or our church, and then leave.
Many people have expectations of me that are unrealistic. Some people expect the pastor to pick up their children from school, talk to them when they can't sleep at night, mow their lawn, and fix their car. Pastors are expected to wear too many hats too: he must be a therapist, marriage counselor, spiritual advisor, scholar, teacher, healer, administrator, accountant, fund-raiser, friend of children, preacher, church leader, community activist, hospital Chaplin, wedding planner, funeral director, baby dedicator, and house-blesser. But it doesn’t end there; he should also conduct religious services, plan and lead special services, make house calls, show up at recitals for children, be on call seven days a week, and work on holidays – Christmas Eve, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Pastors must have perfect marriages with exceptional kids. Finally, they must live in homes that are acceptable to public opinion and drive automobiles that are not too expensive.
For too long pastors have been manipulated into unrealistic roles by demanding personalities that are unhealthy and unbiblical.
Let me spell it out: There are people who expect me to be with them 24-7 for anything they desire; personal time, marriage counseling, and hang-nail hospital visits. But if my own marriage begins to fracture or I break down spiritually, rendering me unable to minstier to them (when I need ministering to myself), they will drop me like a hot potato.
Ask me how I know this.
It's a good thing I don't let such people get to me.
... when I say "amen", know that I REALLY get this :-)
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