Sunday, March 8, 2015

Reason #14 - Professional Pastors Are Placed on a Pedestal by the People

Whether they like it or not, pastors are almost always placed on a metaphorical pedestal by the people of the church.

When I worked as a pastor I felt this every day. Many people treated me as if I was pseudo-royalty. They spoke to me with an odd sort of reverence (I suppose I was a "reverend"). It all felt bizarre, and I was never comfortable with it.

In I Corinthians 12 we read that every member of the body matters. Additionally, those who we might think are less important are actually, according to Paul, worthy of more honor. Paul never suggests that pastors should be treated as more special than the remainder of the people.

The church has one head; his name is Jesus Christ. He does not share this position with anyone else. Since that's the case, pastors should not be placed where only Jesus belongs: on a pedestal.

Greatness within God's kingdom is reserved for servants. Those placed on pedestals (except Jesus) are the opposite of servants. They are being served instead of serving. This may not be pastors' intent, but it is reality.

The phenomenon of pastors on pedestals is even worse at theological conferences. This is where superstar pastors are treated like movie stars (for example here, here, and here). I've seen it a few times, and it's disturbing.

In the end, pastors on pedestals harms both the church and the pastor. One simple way to do away with this problem is to eliminate professional pastors from the equation. This will occur if they all resign permanently. Let's hope it happens today.

(This post is part fourteen of 25 Reasons Professional Pastors Should Resign.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A friend of mine,Lenny, was admonished by his "pastor" for addressing him by his first name Bob, instead of his Bible title "Pastor Smith", upon which he retorted, I will address you by your Bible title, Pastor if in the future you will address me by my Bible title "Saint Lenny." Nuff said!