Dear pastor friend. I love you. I mean it. I really do. But would you please stop whining about being a pastor? I don’t want to sound rude. Nor do I intend to minimize the stress you’re under. I’m with you. I’m for you. I’m one of you. But please stop whining about being a pastor.
I love pastors. And that’s the main reason I’m writing this post. The dirty little secret is – far too often when pastors get together at conferences or conventions all they do is whine and complain. Here are four encouragements to the pastor who may find himself whining.
1. Don’t lose sight of your calling. Being a pastor is an incredible privilege. One reason so many pastors end up whining or complaining is because they’ve lost their perspective. Ministry can be tough sometimes. When it’s tough, it’s easy to lose your focus. Don’t lose sight of your calling. Remember the incredible privilege it is to be a pastor!
2. Don’t let the critics control you. I read something earlier this week that really made sense. I can’t remember exactly what it was so I hope Rick Warren will forgive me. He said something like this – “When your ministry increases, so will your critics.” Mark it down, if you’re going to lead a church expect to be criticized. The key is, don’t let the critics control you. It was Aristotle who said, “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” If you want more information, here’s a post I wrote on how to deal with criticism.
3. Don’t love prominence more than people. Why is it that pastors long to be prominent? Okay, don’t act like it’s just me. I’ve noticed in my life and in the life of so many pastors, there is a longing for prominence, for importance, for significance. It’s not wrong to want to make an impact. But it is wrong to want to make an impact just so you can be famous. Don’t love prominence more than people.
4. Don’t live for the praise of man. This is very close to my last point but let me make one important distinction. Typically a love of prominence deals with people outside of your church. The praise of man deals with people inside your church. If you think you’re only as good as your last compliment then you’re in big trouble. I love Proverbs 29:25. I want to live my life for an audience of one. And I want to fear God rather than man. If you live for the praise of man you will always be disappointed.
Let me be honest, this was not an easy post to write. I know I run the risk of offending some pastors. It hurts me to know that. Believe me, I truly love pastors but please hear my loving encouragement. Enjoy your calling. Fulfill your purpose. Accomplish your mission. No. More. Whining!