The lie Satan told in the Garden of Eden—“you can be like God”—is the same one that propagates the need for perfection. Christ would rather pastors humbly admit they’re not God, and thus, can’t do all things well at the same time. Wisely embracing limitations allows pastors to determine where they want to strive for excellence and where they’re content to be strategically lousy for the sake of God’s glory.
Christian pastors are unified in a commitment to preach the gospel, but they also share another trait—most work demanding schedules.
LifeWay Research found 8 out of 10 pastors say they’re on call 24 hours a day and more than half report they frequently find their role as a pastor overwhelming.
For this reason, it can be helpful to take a step back from ministry routines to examine unrealistic expectations that often accompany the job. Give yourself permission to be human today by meditating on these three things you don’t have to do as a pastor.
1. Pastors Don’t Have to Be Experts.
Congregants often expect their pastors to be theological sages—leaders who can speak wisdom into every life situation or area of concern brought up by a church member or guest.
But while pastors are certainly called to exhibit knowledge and wisdom, Scripture never asks them to be experts in all things.
Pastors actually demonstrate wisdom when they outsource responsibilities to people in the church or community who are more gifted and better trained to serve in certain capacities. This can include allowing others to conduct certain types of counseling, oversee financial planning and accountability, and speak into issues that require framing a biblical worldview around a specific field of knowledge (e.g. legal advice).
The truth that pastors don’t have to be experts even applies to theology, a pastor’s specific area of aptitude.
Daniel struggled to understand the very book of the Bible he was authoring, causing him to consult other Scriptures (Daniel 9:2-3), and Peter wrote to the Church saying Paul’s inspired words were hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16).