15 Myths People Believe about Their Pastor

15 Myths People Believe about Their Pastor

Whenever you meet someone new, typically the conversation turns to vocation. "So what do you do for a living?" Teachers teach, nurses nurse, lawyers argue, salesmen sell. These vocations we understand. But most people aren’t really sure what pastors do or who pastors are. Pastors seem to have a lot of unaccounted time on their hands.

In a perfect world, our pastors would pray, evangelize, counsel, teach, comfort, and lead us with integrity. Their sermons would be spell-binding, their humor contagious, their personal lives, flawless. Pastors would basically be spiritual super-heroes.

But we know too many stories of church splits, cover-ups, and sexual addictions. Pastors almost always disappoint us.

Perhaps our expectations run too high? But shouldn’t we expect righteousness in a spiritual leader? And yet, most parishioners aren’t criticizing character; they’re picking apart sermons and cancelled programs and personality. The church holds a standard of perfection, even while forgetting that most people didn’t even like how Jesus did ministry. He had critics, antagonists, and confused listeners in every audience. The church forgets that, unlike Jesus, pastors are regular people who can’t see into the future and have to pay their bills like everyone else.

Let’s scrape away some disillusionment and shine a light on 15 common myths that people have about their pastors. Perhaps we can all adjust our expectations and maybe even support our pastors a little bit better as they seek to follow God and lead us in spiritual growth.

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1. They only work on Sundays.

While a pastor’s workload varies from denomination to denomination, a LifeWay Research study found 65 percent of evangelical pastors worked over 55 hours per week and eight percent worked more than 70 hours per week. Sermon prep, meetings, administration, counseling, church activities, and personal study take up the majority of a pastor’s workweek. Most pastors take a day off during the week to make up for the weekend’s work, yet 40 percent report working seven days a week. Doesn’t sound too healthy, does it? (2 Timothy 4:5)


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