I’m a pastor’s kid. A PK. You can send sympathy cards to…just kidding. But, seriously…
Those of you who are PKs are likely shaking your heads right now, your mind going through dozens of memories trying to explain to yourself exactly what that means. Have you ever tried to explain it to someone on the “outside”? There’s really no way someone can understand what it means without having been there.
I’ve come to a conclusion having grown up in the church. There are two kinds of people in that world: the Christian and the Churchian. I’ll explain more in a bit. (I’m taking two roads here).
Hmm. I think I just decided to make this a two-part blog.
Okay, let me get back on track here. The Christian and the Churchian. As a PK, I learned the difference between the two. And I was taught that lesson by the way people fed my dad (and my mom). I’ll discuss the difference between the two in my next blog. Today, I want to talk about feeding your pastor.
So, we all know that church people love to eat. I call it the acceptable sin (of course we know that it really isn’t acceptable, but we try to tell ourselves that it is). Most pastors enjoy the special meals, pot lucks, and the occasional pies that show up at their door. However, pastor’s (and their families) need to be fed spiritually, emotionally, and relationally as well.
Pastors are human. Pastors have hearts. Pastors feel pain. Pastors have emotions. Pastors make mistakes. Pastors have real lives with normal families. Pastors cry. Pastors get angry.
Pastors are not perfect. Pastors do not have perfect wives and perfect children.
People tend to think they can say anything they want to their pastor. They think it is their right. They feel they somehow have ownership over him. They throw insults at him: “Your sermons are too long.” “Your sermons are too short.” “You sing too fast.” “Your voice is bad, you shouldn’t sing.” “I don’t like the way you dress…talk…smile…walk…” (SERIOUSLY!) “Your daughter talks too much.” “Your son is too loud.” I mean, really? How would you feel if week after week you were fed a string of negatives? How would you feel if you and your family were constantly belittled? It’s hard to not allow those kinds of words to become a part of you, to cause you to question yourself. (Side note: gossiping behind your pastor’s back is NO better than speaking to his face.)
I wonder what would happen in our churches today if pastors and their families were fed properly. What if the church family saw the pastor as their shepherd, the leader that God placed in their lives? What if instead of feeling ownership over their pastor, they saw God as their pastor’s advisor and left the “instructing” of him up to the Holy Spirit?
So, from my point of view, as a pastor’s daughter, here’s how you feed your pastor. Love him. Support him. Encourage him. Surround his children and love on them. Understand that they are people with feelings. You know The Golden Rule? It applies here. Before you believe gossip about your pastor, spend time in prayer and see what God tells you about him. If someone comes to you with gossip, turn them away. Did you know your pastor’s wife may be one of the loneliest people in your entire congregation? It’s true. Love on her! Send her a card every now and then to let her know you care. Hug her. SMILE at her. Pray, pray, pray. Pray for your pastor and his family.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 NIV
The church is not supposed to be a place for griping and complaining, for tearing down and tearing apart. The church is to be a place for uplifting and encouraging, for healing and restoration.
Feed your pastor properly so that he is full and can feed you God’s Word.
Philippians 4:8 NIV Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.