I love to please people! All my life, I have wanted people to like me, affirm me, and generally think that I’m wonderful. As I have matured as a leader and as a pastor, I’ve discovered that I have to sometimes set those desires aside and do the right thing regardless of what other’s think. My goal MUST NOT be to simply “please people” — my goal must be to help people and please God. Sometimes I have to set boundaries and tell people “no” in order to help them. Other times I have to model a new approach and lead people to walk in a more effective, efficient manner.
Sometimes I have to set boundaries and tell people “no” in order to help them.
Everyone seems to have their idea of what their pastor should do and how he should use his time. Hardly a week goes by, that someone does not pull them aside and share with them their opinion of what their life’s assignment should be. Most of the time, the assignment is fair and reasonable, but it almost always matches their own personal preferences and desires instead of the desires of the Lord or their pastor. As the senior pastor, he MUST consider the big picture and keep the entire church body in mind as he leads. If he simply jumps from personal assignment to personal assignment, he will not lead with vision and God-given direction.
Here are the 5 promises I made to a church during my first sermon as their senior pastor:
- I promise to love God. In order to fulfill this promise, I must be disciplined in my private time with the Lord. The man who never spends time with God in private is no good in public.
- I promise to love my family. I love to work hard and I love being a pastor (most the time). Because of this, I have to guard against neglecting my family. I have asked other staff members to tell me if they see this in my life and I have pledged to tell them if I see it in their lives.
- I promise to love you. I love our church and all our people. I look forward to serving our Lord together for many years to come. Keep in mind that all of our pastors love God and love our people as well.
- I promise to love the unchurched. I want to see people come to Christ. I need to spend more time around lost people. I need to get out of the office more and into the community.
- I promise to preach the Bible. I have tried my best to focus on God’s Word in my sermons and in my teaching. It takes time to prepare true, Biblical sermons, but it is worth all the hard work and extra effort. Currently, I set aside Tuesday and Wednesday as my main study days. Occasionally, I will schedule an appointment or meeting on those days, but I try to devote those days to preparation for preaching and teaching the Bible.
I also went on to say the following to them:
As we move forward, I pledge to always be open to suggestions and ideas. My default of wanting to please people will always be there, I’m sure. But, I promise when I’m faced with the choice of “simply pleasing someone” or “providing Godly leadership,” I will strive to choose providing Godly leadership every time.
If you are a pastor, hang in there! God is good and worthy of our service. If you are a church member, pray for your pastor. Encourage him. Be a blessing and serve God faithfully!