Why Pastors Are Often Impatient

I admit it. I’m impatient. I’ve learned, though, that many leaders, including pastors, are impatient. The reasons are many – and I’m not arguing they’re good ones – but here are some of the reasons pastors are sometimes impatient.

  1. What we do matters. In fact, we deal every day with eternity as we share the gospel and make disciples. The significance of that focus demands that we live in urgency.
  2. We’re typically results driven. We tend to gauge our success by our accomplishments. When you do that, you want to achieve more. Things that happen slowly only get in the way of that goal.
  3. Our profession often expects results. Even for pastors, that expectation exists. Not only do we want to see results personally, but those we lead also evaluate our work on that basis. Few of us are comfortable with plateau.
  4. We usually know what we want to accomplish in the big picture. That doesn’t mean that we’ve cast the vision well, but we still know in our mind what we want to accomplish. When you already see the desired result in your head, you want to see it accomplished sooner than later.
  5. We see all the work still to be done. It’s sometimes so much that anything or anyone who slows things down becomes problematic. We don’t have time for unnecessary delays.
  6. We sometimes assume that others automatically trust us. When we believe that others will follow us simply because of our position as pastor, it’s hard to understand why anyone hesitates to get on board.
  7. We forget that others don’t have all the data we have. We’ve usually reviewed options, analyzed possibilities, etc., before moving forward, but the people we lead don’t always have that data. We forget that reality and become impatient when others don’t follow quickly.
  8. We sometimes work in systems that are too complex. Some churches have so many committees and processes that it seems to take forever to get anything done. If you hit enough organizational walls, impatience and frustration will happen.
  9. We forget that someone was likely patient with us at some point. I can think of more than one person in my life. I forget that patience, though, when someone else is hindering or delaying the work God has called me to do.

What would you add to this list? 


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