I'm thinking of one-on-one conversations in which a pastor might ask personal or intimate questions of the church member.
Some things you just do not need to know.
Do not ask questions such as these:
1. How did you vote on that issue?
2. Are you a Democrat or Republican?
3. Will you support my political candidate?
4. Why did you not support me in that project I was pursuing?
5. Have you ever committed adultery (or any number of other things)?
6. Would you give me money? Would you lend me money?
7. How much money do you make? How much do you give?
8. If I will preach this sermon you've been asking for, will you do (something) for me?
9. Have you ever seen my wife with another man? (Or any of a thousand variations on that.)
10. Do you think I'm handsome? If we were not married, would you be interested in me? (Or anything equally horrendous.)
11. What do you think are my best assets? My strongest points? (The variations are endless: What do you like best about me? or even "How do you feel about me?")
12. What did (someone) say about me? (Believe me, pastor, you do not ever want to know what others are saying about you! So please do not ask.)
Is this a foolish exercise, suggesting that pastors not do something so blatantly offensive? To those who think it is, I wish you could read my mail.
The most recent letter—it arrived this morning—told of a minister saying to a new member, "You are so beautiful I wish I were not married!"
Here is a prayer that works perfectly for those of us prone to going verbally where no one in his right-thinking mind should venture:
"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips" (Ps. 141:3). And this: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer" (Ps. 19:14).
If you are as prone to misspeaking as I am, you will want to join me in praying this daily. God help us all to let our speech be pure and our hearts likewise, and to work only to bless those in our charge, and never ever to use or manipulate them.
I keep thinking of this from Proverbs 29:20: "Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him."
Help us, Lord.
Joe McKeever is retired from the pastorate but still active in preaching, writing and cartooning for Christian publications. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
For the original article, visit joemckeever.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.