Even if your resume is near perfection, you’re looking at the wrong church.
Why? Because your resume isn’t perfect. And no congregation is perfect either. Nope. There are no perfect pastors, either. And by perfection, I mean without any room for improvement.
Before I can go any further, I must confess. My personality style lends itself toward perfectionism. I subconsciously strive toward it every day of the week. So personalities like mine obviously aren’t excluded from ministry. But perhaps ministry is God’s way of helping us find balance, and silencing our inner critic.
So here’s why perfect people can’t be pastors.
- Pastoral ministry is messy. The nuts and bolts of everyday lives are not clean and quickly set in order. People have multi-layered problems and issues that don’t instantly get better overnight. The work of God’s grace is long-suffering, and the servant of the Lord must also be patient. You can trust God’s grace is working through your patient love and prayers.
- Pastoral preaching is never perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect sermon, written or spoken. The pastor usually gets one shot at each message he or she preaches. Once is not enough to work out the kinks and get it all said just right. But, you don’t have to preach a perfect sermon for the Holy Spirit to do His perfect work.
- Pastoral leadership potholes abound. There’s a staff, a council, a team, and countless individuals that all have a different needs. Some need you to be a visionary. Some need you to be a grace-filled prayer warrior. Some need need you to be a world-class orator. Therefore, there’s always an opportunity to disappoint someone. You will never be all things to all people all the time.
- Pastoral critics abound. I know, you thought there were only one or two in each congregation. Those are the ones that speak up. There are many more who never share criticisms aloud (thank God). Everybody has a different idea of what a perfect pastor, preacher, or leader should be. You really only have to please the One who called you.
This look behind the curtain of the pastoral soul is not an excuse to stop getting better for the future. God is calling you to get better, and you will always have room for improvement. So do the best you can every day and humbly serve our perfect God with all of your imperfections.
If you’re not a pastor, I apologize if that sound was your bubble which just burst. But please know that your pastor has weaknesses and will eventually disappoint you.
Your pastor might live better than most, or be a better preacher than most, or even be a better leader than most. But your pastor obviously ain’t perfect in spite of his or her perfectionism.