I have been doing some form of pastoring for almost 30 years, and I have certainly been a sucky pastor on many occasions. So, I hope you can learn from my failures and use them too. Here are seven ways I've been a sucky pastor at some point or another.
1. I was a sucky pastor when I allowed myself to get burned out. I forgot a very simple fact: If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to care for others! A burned-out leader is a dangerous leader. Please care for yourself emotionally, and make sure to do whatever it takes to fill yourself up on a regular basis.
2. I was a sucky pastor when I put church growth ahead of my wife’s well-being. Keeping the accelerator wide open while your wife has to support and love you, while at the same time she has to care for kids, parents and other church people—it’s not so honoring to her. If she goes down, you will go down! Care for your bride first, and then care for Jesus’ bride.
3. I was a sucky pastor when I ignored the passions of those I lead. I have rolled over those on our team for the sake of the “vision.” Little did I know that in doing that, I greatly delayed and harmed the vision. We can’t do anything of great value by ourselves, and allowing those with us to lead and operate in their passions will bring the vision closer and faster than you ever imagined.
4. I was a sucky pastor when I forgot the importance of the kids’ ministry. I don’t know how to talk to kids. Honestly, I love mine (all grown now), but I don’t know how to really interact with kids in general. It’s just not my thing. When my kids were young, it was easy to put the proper energy and resources toward that ministry, but once they moved on … so did I. I forgot that “the church that wins the kids wins the city.” Don’t ever forget that.
5. I was a sucky pastor when I tried to do what worked somewhere else. Trying to stay relevant and on the cutting edge by using someone else’s "how" is exhausting. Constantly trying something new from someone else just doesn’t work. You have to pay the price on your face before God to know what is really next.
6. I was a sucky pastor when I didn’t remember what was important to those on the team. Stay involved in the lives of those on your team. If you forget what’s going on with them, their families and struggles, your team will only be loyal to the paycheck.
7. I was a sucky pastor when I minimized the real pain of others. While running hard for the kingdom, I would forget or not consider the pain of those in the church, saying to myself, “It’s OK; they will understand—I’m doing great things for God over here.” No, they won't! And really, they shouldn’t. We are in the people business, and it’s easy to keep trying to catch new fish and let the ones we have already caught starve in the net.
What did you do that really showed your own “suckiness” as a pastor?
Artie Davis is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at ArtieDavis.com or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.
For the original article, visit artiedavis.com.