I recently published a post on “Why Some Church Members are Mean.” If you read this blog often, you know I love and respect pastors – but I must admit that a few pastors are mean, too. Here are some of the reasons behind their “meanness”:
- Some are not believers. That’s a hard sentence to write, but I’ve known pastors who genuinely come to know Christ after they’ve started ministry. Then, His Spirit softens that pastor’s heart.
- Some spend too little time with God. Pastors often admit they spend too little time in Bible study and prayer. They do those things in preparing sermons, but some find it hard to have consistent spiritual disciplines—and they’re not under the Word that changes people.
- Some are having troubles at home. Those troubles, too, might be related to the pastor’s attitude. What happens, though, is that he allows those troubles to influence how he treats people in the church.
- Some have been beaten up with criticism. Some of the criticism may have been justified, but too much of it can make anyone cynical and frustrated. It just gets tiring, and it’s hard not to retaliate in a mean way.
- Some are dealing with private sin. Continual conviction and ongoing defeat take their toll, and the pastor lets that burden affect his relationship with others. Often, he doesn’t listen, and he responds in a curt way.
- Some deal with anger issues. Perhaps they grew up in an angry home, but they haven’t conquered that issue yet. They’re mean when they let anger rule their life (see “10 Reasons Anger is Often a Problem for Pastors”).
- Some have been recently wounded. They don’t usually carry a grudge, and they forgive quickly – but a recent event is still creating some inner turmoil. That turmoil sometimes makes itself known in meanness.
- Some listen to nobody. That is, they don’t have a friend or mentor who can speak into their lives. These pastors walk alone, and nobody has permission to help them see their apparent meanness toward others.
- Some simply don’t recognize that others see them as mean. They’re not self-aware, and they can’t even imagine others seeing them as mean. They don’t recognize that sometimes their facial expressions appear angry and their words come across as mean.
- Some aren’t really called to this work. They might recognize that reality, and their daily work is more frustrating than edifying; hence, they allow their inner tensions to come out as meanness.
What would you add to this list? Pastors, how can we best pray for you?