What happens when a pastor falls short of perfection? What happens when a weakness is revealed for all to see? Do we love, support, empathize, encourage, and work to help them or do we find a way to escort them out the door seeking another pastor who will be perfect?
I can imagine that for many pastors, there is a great fear that their congregation will discover that they are merely human like the rest of us… full of flaws and weakness.
I like what Jesus said in Luke 18:19, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”
And in Hebrews 4:15-16, where it is written, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
The point here is that we sometimes put pastors on a pedestal of perfection. And when they fall short, we don’t always extend them the same grace and mercy that God shows us in all of our imperfections. Pastors have doubts, fears, and temptations just like the rest of us. Sometimes they stumble like the rest of us.
When that happens, love them through it. If they confess and seek forgiveness, we should be quick to forgive, as God is quick to forgive us.
Lastly, create an environment at your church and a relationship with your pastor that would enable them to speak freely about their imperfections. They need not isolate themselves in an attempt to hide their flaws for fear of what their congregation might think. Be a loving, grace-filled church to your pastor, just as you are taught to be to the rest of the world.
I go to a church that consistently preaches openly for all men to marry up. They push it in detail. On one hand I agree but what about the women? They have no words of encouragement for women other than the implication to marry a bum. I started a class and the leader is haughty and only warms up to the educated women. She has been nasty to me and urged me to not bother attending. I kept going to the class but I noticed the two friends I made started ignoring me and will not respond to my texts and e-mails. I really get the impression they are groomed to shun anyone who they see as less fortunate. I am a responsible, independant, woman, with a late model car, good job, hobbies, so I know I am worthy of friendship. My huge, huge issue is that I do NOT want to learn this type of behavior and have it rub off on me. Besides my job of over ten years I have my calling and Jesus has helped me so much in my journey. Sometimes I wonder if I should just stay home and have my own Bible study like alot of Christians I know. I really do not want to make Jesus mad for sharing this but it really bothers me. I can just as easily stay home and work on my calling.