Pastors
A Constructive Criticism that is Sorely Needed

Scriptures

If you are new or an seasoned Pastor in your congregation, there are the obvious scriptures such as:

Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
1 Peter 5:1-5 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Matthew 6:1-34 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. ...
Galatians 6:6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.

Lacking in the Church Pastoral Role

There is something that has become lacking and missed in apparently most churches, based on first-hand experience and research.  What is lacking by Pastors are (1) spending more time teaching the Scriptures, (2) creating home study groups and (3) fighting their egos. 

Scripturs Missing

In the place of scriptures are antidotal stories which Pastors are trying to teach morals.  The stories seem to make many people feel good but this is in place of edification through the boundless relevance of the people in the whole Bible to use as examples along with so much more in the Scriptures.  The argument given by Pastors is the stories are to help the listener associate by using modern people and places.  This can have it's place periodically but the question to ask then is "did God not make the scriptures to be relevant for today?"

There are highly intelligent people in the world who are captains of industry, top sales people, engineers, computer programmers, etc. who use concise language and are capable or reasoning a matter quickly.  It can be insulting to many people or cause them to close their minds when hearing a Pastor's message that is filled with conjectures and stories where the Scriptures is always the best choice because it is designed by God to be first a witness, next salvation and then so much more.  Using the Scriptural stories of People is always relevant, concise and with Spiritual significance to yield more fruit by the hearer of the Word of God.

Isaiah 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Insulting and Ignorance by Pators

Anyone who spends anytime listening to Ministries on the radio or Satellite radio along with going to Church, visiting Churches, or watching a Church Service on television is bombarded with a Pastor's message that has:

Human Being have the capacity to rationalize anything negative as justified and after time can have thier thoughts on right and wrong be desensitized.   Sadly, it has been said by Christians that "God would want me to be happy and anything I do is covered under the blood" which is obviously wrong.

On major Television Network News and Christian Broadcasting programs, there are often well know Christian Pastors and Authors who speak on topics they are not prepared and end up saying some very ignorant comments.  It is better to say something like "I do not know about that particular area" or "I will have to get back with you regarding that topic."

On Satellite Radio on Mach 12, 2017, a well-known Christian Author and President of a Bible College, when being interviewed responded to a question on Abortion and said that Congressmen and Senators know that Abortion is wrong but they refuse to pass legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.   There are so many problems with such a blanket statement such as (1) an unsaved Congressman may truly believe Abortion is okay, (2) the Christian Author should have given scriptural references, without the verse if time doesn't permit, to state the perspective on Abortion being wrong, and (3) also state that Planned Parenthood is paid by taxpayers to fix mistakes or an unplanned pregnancy which is not the responsibility of the taxpayer. 

There are many other areas but these areas have become part of a problem that could be described as epidemic.  The unsaved world naturally is going to be against God but Christian Pastors are the Ambassadors who should be very wise and show intelligence when speaking without fear.  

1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,.

The Attack against Pastors

Pastors are going to be (1) attacked verbally, (2) gossip against, (3) fired by a Board of a Church, (4) even physically attacked / threatened.  Pastors need to recognize that the Satanic Forces around all of us are also going to use weapons to discredit and destroy a Pastor.  The Pastor's defender is God and if when doing God's Will then God will always take care of the Pastor.   How the Pastor handles the attacks is very important and must be done Biblically. 

The Pastor needs to be prepared for temptations.  It is almost beyond belief how many Pastors have been caught publicly (1) in adultery with a woman in the congregation, (2) improper handling of Church Funds, (3) outright embezzlement, and (4) an ostentatious lifestyle of the rich and famous.   Not much needs to be said Biblically why this is wrong and Pastors and Teachers have a greater level of accountability.  Pastors should keep in mind that some nationally and internationally well-known and respected Pastors / Evangelists, that appear to be truly Christians, have participated in these areas and have fooled millions of people before being exposed. 

Lastly, it is quite evident also, regarding problems in the Church, that there are wolves that have come into the congregation as Matthew 7:15-20 warns us all.

Solutions on using the whole Word of God

Pray before composing thoughts regarding the message to be given on an upcoming Church Service or Event.  A good method is to write down general topic thoughts and begin reading the Bible along with searching on the Internet or in a Concordance to have the Holy Spirit guide content.  Consider:

  1. The congregation and the listening audience demographics is certainly mixed with new comers to veterans in the Faith so that a Christian Message has to be clearly understandable by all and yet with substance enough to help mature Christians.  Always remember to start with the tenant or foundation of a topic with Scriptural references and then continue to expand using more Scriptural references. 
  2. All problems in life, which we all face, have solutions and comfort in the Scriptures.  A Pastor needs to stay focused when addressing the congregation with Scriptural references throughout a message.   Comedians have often said that if the audience does not hear a joke every few minutes then the Comedian is not doing his job.  Mentioning one or two Scriptural references in a 20 to 40 minute message is a problem.
  3. Do not avoid controversial areas of the Word of God.  Capital Punishment, Abortion, Adultery, Consulting Spiritual Medians, etc. are not taboo subjects.  If the Pastor uses the Scriptures then the convicted listener may repent and the unbelieving person may become a Believer.  It has been said by many Pastors, "If you do not like the message that I am teaching from the Scriptures, then take it up with the home office as I am just the salesman representing the product who is God."

The sequence of the Churches in the Book of Revelation represent a pattern of the health of the Church throughout the history of formation before the Tribulation Period.  Many scholars state that we are living in the last Church age of the Laodicean Church which is noted for having a name but nothing else because they were lukewarm. Read Revelation 3:16  This is a warning to consider in leading your congregation.

Don't feed the Animals?  'YES!' but teach them to feed themselves

We all have heard about or seen the signs at National Parks which say don't feed the animals because this will teach the animals to beg for food rather than do what is natural for the species.  Pastors need to realize, beyond John 21:17, that part of their ministry to the congregation is to teach them to help themselves and learn on their own and in small home groups.   Numerous Churches have published articles that show that the greatest growth by their members occurs in home study groups.

Fighting Ego and Illusions

One of the hidden dangers that every CEO, Owner of a company and Manager will always face is employees reporting that (1) all work is going great, (2) there is nothing wrong, or (3) there was a problem and it was fixed.  If the Pastor is doing something wrong then most likely it is not going to be said because the Pastor's Church employees are afraid of being fired and also in the Christian arena, people are hesitant of offending. 

What often seems to happen to Pastors, is egos are inflated and there is a belief that every is going perfectly where God is using them mightily.  The Pastor should consider if things are going perfectly then the Pastor's Church is not being attacked by Satanic Forces which means the Satanic Forces do not see the Pastor's Church as a threat to their missions to destroy the Christian.

Negative Criticism will always be there against Pastors

Pastors always need to remember that Church is a Hospital for Sinners so a Pastor is dealing with people with problems.  People, in many cases, are going to be offended.  When the Scriptures are being taught, God's Word calls all of us to conviction that leads to better lives and a Faith and love for God. 

Many Pastors daily are confronted by people coming for help in so many painful circumstances like adultery, addictions, abuse, loss of job, financials problems to name just a few.  Professional athletes, who practice during the week before the game on a weekend, always need a day or two to recuperate.  The Pastor, when counseling too many hours will need time to recuperate also.  When the Pastor resumes to focusing on the general requirements of preaching God's Word then there can be the  danger of the Pastor refusing or avoiding any positive constructive criticism with the thought it will be negative. 

Solutions to understanding and dealing with getting weary of facing potential negativity along with other areas:

  1. If it is possible, have an administrative assistant for the Pastor.  The assistance can help in filtering emails, letters and phone calls. 
  2. Additionally, if the technology is available to the Pastor, then have automated emails to handle emails.   If a Church has a website then a generic email address for correspondence to the Pastor(s) should be set up.  Any emails sent to the email address should trigger an automated response with something to the effect of "Thank you for contacting the Church.  We value our congregation and visitors emails!  Your email will be directed to one of the Pastors as soon as possible and we will get reply back if required.  In the meantime, please look at our website for more information that may help you.  We look forward to seeing you at all of our scheduled events including Service this Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
  3. All correspondence should be read no matter the content.  The author has been in two congregations when the Pastor has publicly had to apologize for not returning phone calls, replying to emails and generally not making himself available.  In one case, which is a mega-Church, the Pastor in his apologize said that if he read anything negative in an email or letter then he immediately would delete or throw away the letter because he said he couldn't handle any more negativity along with feeling he was being mightily used by God so negative people didn't need to be in his life. 
  4. Set up a group of peer friends, who are trusted by the Pastor, to meet weekly for personal time to discuss how things are going in the Pastor's Church and in the Pastor's personal life.  The group needs to have the trust and friendship where they can say anything and will listen to anything in confidence coming from the Pastor.  This will give the chance for the Pastor to talk openly and candidly anything that is a problem or requiring a solution that the Pastor has not solved.  This group will also be committed to prayer for the Pastor.
  5. Be very, very careful to never be a counseling session alone with someone of the opposite gender without another witness or counselor.  Besides the potential for incorrect perceptions and negative gossip, there is the undeniable opportunity used by Satanic Forces to use vulnerabilities of emotions and attractiveness to cause sexual immorality.  There is scarcely a person who doesn't know about so many prominent and local Churches having sexual scandals.  This should be expected by all Pastors as all Christians are in a war where we are on the front lines and in the trenches where a Pastor is a high profile military target when using military analogies.