Most people will see you as a pastor first. I want people to see me as a follower of Jesus who happens to be a pastor. (In my mind, the difference is big!)
Accomplishing this goal takes some work. Many church members see pastors as a “step above” the normal person. (Some pastors even believe this to be true.)
To me, the pastor who is viewed as a normal person has an extreme advantage over the one who is viewed as the “perfect spiritual leader.”
To demystify your pastoral role, you’ll have to take some self-revealing risks. Here are a few suggestions when revealing personal flaws:
- If you’re courageous enough to expose selected spiritual doubts, people may relate to you as a real person.
- If you carefully reveal a marital struggle (with permission from your spouse), people may be more likely to listen.
- When you talk about certain personal failures, many people will feel an increased bond with you.
- If you are hurting and you express your need, your church family can be aware to pray for and minister to you.
It’s not uncommon for someone to say to me, “Craig, when you shared about your struggle with ____________ (fill in the blank), I knew you were someone I could relate to.”
A few people might reject you for your authentic confessions, but the vast majority will accept, embrace, and trust you as a genuine believer wrestling to grow closer to Christ.