One of the biggest complaints of a large church is that there is not enough individual attention from the pastors.. There are a variety of things that we as a congregation believe that our pastors should be responsible for; visiting us in the hospital, coming to our house when we are sick, need prayer, or if we feel our home is in need of deliverance..
We expect them to be available when we need counseling, help with our marriage, our job, our kids, our parents, and friends.. We want them to answer our questions, fix our problems, and sometimes even to tell us what good little sheep we are.. We even try to get our pastors to spend time with us outside of church, and then become offended if one of them didn't accept our invitation to our dinner party or a round of golf..
Rarely do we take into consideration that counseling and ministering to the congregation on a one on one basis is just one part of their job. Nor do we consider that like the rest of us, pastors have their own families, their own problems, and obligations outside of the church..
We put so much pressure on our pastors to do the impossible and then take it personally when they don't measure up to our standards.. We blame them, and in turn we harbor bad feelings about the church as a whole.
But where do we, the congregation fit into all of this? Are we not the body of Christ? Are we not told through the Word of God to minister to each other? Why do we desperately need a pastor to pray over us rather than any other member of the church? Is it because we think that a pastor somehow has a better access to God than the average church goer? Do we think that maybe a pastor has some supernatural power that we do not?
I'm attending theology school right now and as far as I can tell, I will not receive a diploma in superpowers when I graduate.. According to the pastors I have spoken to, they never received one either..
Why do we put so much pressure on our pastors to do for us what we can all do for each other? A prayer from a friend is just as effective as a prayer from a pastor.. We can lay hands on someone and through faith and the Holy Spirit, we can bring about healing. We can minister to each other, counsel each other, and support each other..
We can also attend dinner parties and play golf.
I'm not suggesting that we don't respect our pastors, follow their leadership, or ask them for help when we truly need it.. But expecting so much from pastors (who are really only human) and then becoming upset when they can't deliver is just selfish..
I'm sure some of you are thinking "I have asked others to help and have not received it".
Well, we get what we give right? Ask yourself how many times you have stepped up to help others? Or is it possible that someone has been there to help you, but that someone wasn't a pastor so you didn't appreciate it as much?
You know? Maybe it's time to take the focus off our pastors (and ourselves) and put it where it will do the most good;
On each other..?
I'm telling ya, we can do better..