From Steve: Please do not try and emulate the men that Ron Edmondson describes here.
BY RON EDMONDSON
I’ve read that leadership expert Peter Drucker once said the hardest jobs in America (not necessarily in order) are President of the United States, university presidents, hospital administrators and pastors. I talk to struggling pastors weekly. Having been in the business and political worlds, and now as a pastor, I definitely know the hardest job I’ve ever done is being a pastor.
Yet every pastor I know wants to do a good job. They want to be successful in their Kingdom building efforts. At the same time, they also want to be liked. No one likes to be unpopular.
I was talking recently with another pastor how hard it is to pastor effectively and make everyone happy. (Actually, he admitted he was a people pleaser and I was telling him how impossible that will be long term.) To illustrate the point in a humorous way, we began to cite examples of ways to keep people happy that triggered this post.
So let me say this is written sarcastically. On purpose. Sometimes it’s easier to say the hard stuff if I say it in a humorous way. (Or at least what I think is funny.) And there are some serious issues addressed here that many pastors face. But, after all, I want to be the favorite pastor too, so I’m keeping it lighthearted in my approach.
Here are 10 ways to remain favorite pastor:
Never turn down a social invitation. – Sacrifice your family time. It’ll ruin your family dynamic but keep the church happy.
Don’t talk about money. – Jesus never did, right? Don’t be meddling.
Never mention sex. – Good Christians don’t. They just don’t. They don’t even think about it.
Stick to the sins everyone else is doing. – Don’t mention things like gossip or gluttony. Those are too personal.
No challenges please. – We don’t want our toes stepped on and definitely don’t want to leave with homework. Or at least give us some homework passes. Please.
Preach “feel good” messages. – That hard stuff to hear…who needs it?
Wear the right clothes. – Like Jesus did, right?
Don’t buck tradition. – Especially the ones that were started by pastor so and so. You know the ones.
Play everyone’s favorite music. – Every Sunday. (You miracle worker.)
Don’t lead…just preach. – Give us your “best” message every Sunday, but don’t take us anywhere new.
Pastoring is a tough job, but remember, our calling is not to be popular. It’s to be obedient. And, not to a crowd, but to a King.