John Catanzaro at The Resurgence recently posted on Healthy Expecations as part of his Healthy Pastors series. Good stuff.

I have the privilege of being a pastor to the pastors in coaching and praying for their wellness. The expectations parishioners place upon pastors in this church age are both complex and demanding. For the last two decades I have observed the continual decline in the heath of pastors in the Pacific Northwest. It is both distressing and grievous when pastors share some of the pressures of the ministry and the criticisms and burdens they carry. I believe the best place to begin is to clarify the pastor’s responsibility list.

Unhealthy Expectations

* They are not substitute parents
* They are not shrinks
* They are not janitors, plumbers, or construction workers
* They are not crisis managers
* They are not perfect problem-solvers
* They are not corporate executives
* They do not have wireless access to the Holy Spirit concerning your problems
* They are not responsible for your sin
* They are not constructed for long-term bashing
* They are not required to shoulder repeated harsh criticisms
* They are not celebrities
* They have families with real problems too
* They are not always available and tireless
* They are not God in human form
* They can burn out

Healthy Expectations

* They serve
* They teach
* They lead
* They inspire
* They pray
* They cry
* They get tired
* They are human
* They need family time
* They must be renewed

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One thought on “Pastoral Great Expectations”

  1. Anonymous says:

    We forget that pastors need to serve the same Jesus that they preach about. They need the same grace covering and divine directives that their congregation members need. Let's cut our pastors some slack when we feel that they are doing everything perfectly! Thank Dr. John!

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Jared C. Wilson


Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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