Battered Pastors (4)
May 12, 2014
Over at Ref21, I have posted part four in my series on battered pastors. In this latest post I offer the first three of seven exhortations for battered pastors.
All people experience hurt at the hands of others. But we are all also, without exception, the source of hurt. We are all simultaneously receivers and inflictors of pain. This is true of pastors. What pastor believes that he can somehow be insulated from the sorts of pain we inflict upon each other? He is, after all, a sinner called upon to lead other sinners. Parishioners often project upon their pastor a whole set of expectations that no ordinary man can fulfill. As a result, being criticized is an inescapable feature of being a pastor. If you cannot tolerate being criticized then don't be a pastor.Read the entire post HERE.
These common sorts of criticisms and pains are not what I have been writing about in this series of posts. Rather, I am seeking to shine a light on the very real problem of toxic followers, those who mob the pastor and seek his downfall. The battered pastors I am writing to and about are competent pastors but have found themselves in churches who, for whatever reason, are pastoral "meat grinders" (I learned that phrase from an elder at a previous church).
At the risk of sounding alarmist, I do believe that the church (in the West at least) is going to see (is seeing?) an increase in the number of churches which batter their pastors. It makes perfect sense. With the demise of the very idea of authority it should not be surprising that more pastors are being driven from their churches. A consumerist church cannot abide a prophetic pastor.