Yes, it really happened. Years ago at one of our previous churches a little older lady who was not a shut-in called our home. Felicia took the call and had a look of shock on her face as she held the receiver to her ear. Then came her response to the call, “no mam, I don’t think he will do that. I’m so sorry.” As I wait for the call to end curiosity is getting the best of me. Felicia put’s the phone down and said to me. “You are not going to believe this. That was (name not important) and she wanted to know if pastor Jeff would go to the store and buy her some panties.” It’s funny now but at the time I didn’t take it with such humor. Why? because folks will find any reason to become critical and put their pastors in difficult lose-lose situations. In twenty-nine years of pastoral ministry it never ceases to amaze me what good folks expect from their pastor.
- They expect him to know without being told.
- They expect him to always be there even if He doesn’t know that there is a there where he needs to be because he hasn’t been notified or he needs to be somewhere else.
- And they expect him to do the outrageous, like errands for panties.
Here are a few tips on some things you can do or not do to be a blessing to your pastor.
- Don’t expect the outrageous. Your pastor is not your errand boy, your delivery boy and certainly to the fetcher of panties. Now honestly I have found pleasure through the years serving folks who needed me. I have purchase the occasional gallon of milk because I asked if they needed anything or was just trying to minister to someone who I knew (because they told me) was going through a difficult time.
- Don’t expect your pastor to know without being told. It always gets me when I ask someone how they are and their response is,” better.” Why? Because most of the time I’m wondering, better that what? They have been sick and expect their pastor to know it. They didn’t call their pastor they just expect that some little bird told him. ‘t your sick let your pastor or someone in the church office know. If you want a visit for prayer say it. Something like this, “I’m sick and would like pastor to come by and have prayer with me.” Or “I’m sick, I don’t want anyone to come to my home or the hospital room but would love for my church family to be praying for me.” It’s really that easy. Communicate with your pastor. Let him know what the boundaries are. Some people don’t like having the pastor or anyone else come into their home or hospital room. Tell him that! Most of the time pastors are left guessing.
- Be understanding if your pastor can’t come right now. Many times I’ve had (even in small churches) multiple situations at one time and must choose where to be based on what limited knowledge I have.
- If you are missing church services, please, please, please take the responsibility to let your pastor know where you are and why your not attending church. Please don’t expect him to be pastorPI. A simple call, a voicemail, a text even a Facebook message to let your pastor know. That way he can take the appropriate action or non-action.
It all comes down to communication. Our world has never been more connected. Social media, land lines, cell phones, text messaging, email, etc. Your church may have one pastor or you may attend a church that has multiple staff members. Regardless of the size of your church communicate with your pastor or pastoral staff. It will be very much appreciated.
It all come from the memory of the lady who wanted me to buy her panties. Blessings!