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5 Lies Pastors Tell Themselves

Although you may not consciously tell yourself these lies, you may be believing them and therefore acting on them nevertheless.

1. I can please everyone - truth is you can't. You may please some people yet at the same time, you'll disappoint a completely different group. You may please one person but in doing so you'll probably disappoint another. You may be able to please those in your church all the time but in doing so you may forfeit your family's happiness and continually disappoint them.

2. I am in the Word enough as I prepare for my sermon, bible studies, etc...  - yes you are in the Word. But sermon prep is no substitution for a devotional life. As a pastor you need to be spending time with God in relationship, cultivating intimacy- and that is completely different than going to the Bible to complete the task of sermon preparation. Yet that being said, I do believe that you can and should link your devotional life with your sermon prep - but don't be fooled to think that one is merely a substitute for the other.

3. I must be perfect - hate to tell you this, but you aren't and you can't. What your congregation needs from you isn't a fake veneer of holiness but rather they need to see a "repenting repenter". Someone who understands and applies the gospel to their life every day. Obviously I am not suggesting, without discernment, that you merely lay out and reveal all your junk and stuff. But it is important for them to know that you are can identify with their failures, foibles and frailties and that they see the power of the gospel applied.

4. I must always be available - no you must not. You can't physically be every where all the time. You have to say be able to say no and be able to create healthy boundaries. Will people in your church get mad at you for doing this? Probably so. But you need to decide who do you want more mad at you - your wife and children or the people in your church that you don't go home to every night.

5. I can meet everyone's needs - you don't have the capacity to meet everyone's needs nor should you if you could do so. You are simply playing God and trying to be their savior if you think you can and should meet everyone's needs - because truly what people need from you is not to meet their needs, but rather for you to point them to the one that truly can - Jesus.


Interesting article. Very well said. I feel the need to point out, though, that while many pastors leave the pastorate, not all unplug from ministry full time. If anything, some leave the pastorate specifically so that they would be more effective in life-on-life ministry. What we sometimes do not like to admit is that the pastorate as it is currently 'set up' tends to involve much more institutional paper work and much less 'real' ministry to our parishioners.

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