Top 10 Things Pastors Do That Bug Me

Let’s start off by making a few things clear:

  • I am a pastor.
  • I love and respect pastors.
  • Every pastor has probably done some of the things on this list. I know I’ve been guilty of several of them myself.
  • Pastors need to be cut some slack just like everyone else.
  • Nothing on this list is aimed at any particular individuals.
  • I really don’t mean to sound negative. I consider this healthy venting.
  • Nevertheless, here are ten things pastors do that bug me:

(10) Don’t grow personally, but still try to lead. Leadership is all about growth. If you’re not going to the next level yourself, you certainly can’t take anyone else there.

(9) Don’t work hard at their preaching. This is a personal pet peeve of mine because preaching is my passion, and I’m sold out on its importance to the Kingdom of God. One time I visited a church where I’m almost positive the pastor was making up the sermon as he went along. I’m not kidding. He kept closing his eyes and pausing for long moments, and the sermon was only about 10 minutes. I don’t think it even had a point. A preacher has about half an hour each week to address God’s people and share a message from the Bible. What an opportunity! There’s never any excuse for wasting it.

(8) Reek of arrogance. Christian leadership has no place for arrogance, and yet so many pastors swagger and sway like they’re some kind of super savvy, spiritual giants who have it all figured out. Usually they’re older guys who think the young guys think they know everything but actually know nothing, or younger guys who think the older guys think they know everything but actually know nothing. (Read that sentence a couple more times and it will start to make sense.) In the Bible we see that Jesus Christ was perfect and knew everything and was perfectly gifted and able, and yet not one single time do we ever see Him acting like a hotheaded know-it-all. Christlike people act like Jesus, not like arrogant fools.

(7) Waste time. I can’t even tell you how many pastors I’ve known who waste more time than they spend working, yet talk all the time about how busy they are. Here’s a hint: If you have time to talk a lot about how busy you are, you probably aren’t really that busy. Stop faking it. You aren’t fooling anybody.

(6) Preach about reaching unbelievers and do nothing about it/ Preaching about reaching unbelievers and then doing everything they can to keep it from actually happening. Okay, so this one’s two-sided. It drives me so crazy that it makes me feel like thumping people. I have no patience to listen to a preacher go on and on week after week about reaching unbelievers with the Gospel, and then not doing a single thing about it. Great example for the flock! And some preachers prattle on with this message over and over but vehemently oppose anyone who tries to make an effort to actually befriend a “heathen.” Five words for these guys: weeping and gnashing of teeth. Figure it out.

(5) Make it all about them. Some pastors have to be the center of everything. They have to be the superstar, the center of attention. They hold tightly to control, which eventually chokes a church to death. Jesus alone is the superstar–He alone is the Hero of the story. He alone is the One who is in control.

(4) Try to act super righteous. Some pastors are two different people: the phony pastor and the real person. There should never be a dichotomy here. There’s no need to pretend to be perfect just because you’re a pastor. From the Bible up to today, God has taken seriously messed up people, changed them by His grace, and allowed them to be His servants. Pastors are not super holy–they’re sinners saved through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, just like every other Christian.

(3) Gossip about and slander other pastors. A good example of this would be if I inserted names into this list. I don’t know if it’s insecurity, jealousy, or just a serious character flaw, but some pastors’ conversation drips with slams against other pastors. Didn’t Jesus pray for our unity?

(2) Act like jerks. Christians should be known for their love, and yet some pastors are just plain mean. I actually saw a church sign once in Tennessee that said: “Boozers are losers.” The pastor put it there. Part of their Overcoming Addictions Ministry promotion, I suppose. Jesus said His people would be known by their love, not their hate. Not sure how some folks get that one confused, especially people called to pass along the message.

(1) Think they’re cool by listening to U2. So you’ve got a thing for Bono. Gee, how cutting edge and culturally relevant of you. Makes you almost as hip as parents in the 1980’s who thought their kids would think they were cool if they listened to Bruce Springsteen.

After all that you might think I have a chip on my shoulder. Well, I did–but now I feel all better. Thanks for listening.

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Published in: on March 16, 2007 at 8:37 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Haha, #1 is great. By the way, when’s the next time you’re preaching at SonRise?

  2. Gosh. I love U2 and Bruce (I’m listening to Bruce right now!). How embarrassing.

    Is a pastor cool if they listen to the Pussycat Dolls? I might buy some of them. Then I’ll be hip, yo!

  3. Hey, cool pastors can listen to that stuff. The clincher is when pastors think that listening to those bands is what makes them cool. Big difference. Now if they listen to the Supertones, that does indeed make them cool.

    Chris, my next preaching date at SonRise is tomorrow.

  4. I love this work


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