I’ve had a rare seat all my life. For the first twelve years, I sat in the seat of a preacher’s son. Then after watching other ministers for the next seventeen years as a church member, God placed me in the seat of a church staff member for the next twenty-three years. Loads of data have downloaded into my analytical, judging, and perceiving mind.
This fifty plus years of data is mine. I am tempted to think everyone else has the same data-the same filters, perceptions, understanding, and empathy. But after considering who else I know that has sat in a similar seat, I see how rare it is and am forced to reconsider my thoughts.
A few years ago I posted a few blogs about how to pray for your minister and how to recognize church idols that inhibit their leadership. To push out more, allow me to upload some data to you that I see from my seat. When you read it, most likely within seconds you’ll see it, also. But it may be the first time you’ve seen your minister from this view.
Like you, your minister will mess up. He drives on the same roads, lives in the same town, sees the same social media, has the same time constraints, and exists in the same humanity as you. He’s going to have a bad minute, hour, workday, maybe even a whole week. He’s going to give in and feel bad afterwards. Sound familiar?
Like you, your minister wrestles with who to please. Does he please his wife, those who agree with him, those who disagree with him, those who give the most, those who have the most influence, those who hired him, those who like him, those who will never trust him, those, and those, and those…and that’s just on Mondays. On Tuesday and every other day of the week, he wrestles with that trio of me, myself, and I. Sound familiar?
Like you, your minister is growing up. He hasn’t arrived at Sainthood. He didn’t instantly love everybody the minute he professed to follow Christ. He doesn’t have endless grace. He may have blindspots. Forget may. He knows his weaknesses but may not enjoy acknowledging them to the whole world. He’s well aware he’s got room to grow. Sound familiar?
There’s plenty more to see from my seat. Regardless of our seat, we all have the opportunity to improve how we view our pastor. If you really want a good look, ask God to give you a glimpse of the view from the pastor’s seat. Or better yet, how about God’s?