Pastors evoke guilt wherever they go. Simply being in front of people makes them spew forth guilt-ridden justifications, excuses, and lies to cover their inadequacies your presence pulls up in their head.
Oh, I hated this.
I resigned from pastoring a while ago now. One of the best results of this is that I have not heard one person give me a stupid excuse why they weren’t at church!
Excuses annoyed me to no end.
After church on Sundays, my family often stopped at the local Wal-Mart or grocery store to pick up a couple things while in town. Inevitably we would see someone who skipped church. Guilt exuded from their pores.
All I said was, “Hi.” Then, for five minutes I’d hear their reasons for skipping church and how they did devotions today and they’ll be sure to watch that one preacher on TV their aunt likes. Dude, I just wanted some bread. Just running in to grab it and get going.
I tried not to guilt people to attend church. I figured if they want to be there; they’d be there. If they don’t want to be there, the church is probably better off without their bad attitude.
That was my reasoning. Probably I was just chicken to confront people.
If people skipped two weeks in a row I’d check in on them. My heart always sank when people skipped a couple weeks in a row. I hated making that call. Who knows what I’d hear.
Worst case scenario is they’d left the church and were ticked off at me. Best case scenario I’d have to listen to completely lame excuses and justifications, otherwise known as “lies,” about why they weren’t there.
There were always a couple people who refreshingly said, “Yeah, I just didn’t feel like going.” I appreciated the honesty. I’d take that over made up health concerns or blaming it on the same weather everyone else had.
Speaking of weather; bad weather on a Sunday is a great way to tell who’s playing and who’s for real. There are exceptions. In Northern Wisconsin we can have pretty bad weather. But the people who consider bad weather to be moist roads or anything below 47 when it’s cloudy or 35 when it’s sunny, are fake.
I was rarely shocked at who completely tanked spiritually or who flaked out on their faith. I knew this simply by watching what level of weather kept them from church. Bad weather on Sunday is a good barometer of how well people will handle persecution!
Simply seeing their pastor makes people feel guilty and guilt makes people be weird. I don’t miss that at all. It’s a true source of joy for me!
2 thoughts on “The #1 Best Thing About Not Being a Pastor Anymore”
I can see how you would be relieved to not have deal with the guilt of other people. We are supposed to leave this guilt with Jesus, not transfer it to others. I’m fortunate to have found a small church. Your twitter posts have reminded me often that while the pastor is also my friend he is getting it from all sides and could use a little forbearance from me.
Your ministry though Twitter has been instructing to both pastors and laypersons as to the human toll of being a pastor, especially for a small church where the pastor becomes all things to all people. Thank you.
Forbearance is always good!