Real Pastors

I recently had an opportunity to speak at a church in the midwest. I had spoken at the church previously and had become Facebook friends with the pastor. About a month before my time there this pastor posted on Facebook that his 17-year old daughter had run away from home with another young man. He was asking for prayer from all his Facebook friends.

The morning I spoke, the pastor opened up announcements with an update on his daughter’s situation and asked the congregation to continue praying for her.

Earlier that week I spoke personally with the pastor at a conference we both were attending. I encouraged him to not give up. I told him of our own personal struggles with our daughter who did the same thing at 17 years of age. She had run off with her boyfriend and were living out of her car on the streets of central Texas. After a year or so of this our daughter realized the futility of her behavior and returned home. She has made remarkable progress since.

I say all that to say this. I find it remarkably refreshing when I hear pastors talk of their real struggles as a man, a family, and ministry. Somehow our culture has bought into the misconception that pastors are more than human; they are near saints. They never have problems. Life is wonderful. All is good.

Nothing can be further from the truth. Sometimes I think Christians themselves are responsible for this misconception by placing pastors on a pedestal. And I personally find it uncomfortable and disturbing to meet a pastor who always greets you with the painted-on smile. That fake smile that says “I never have struggles.”

That’s not reality. And such a pastor is not real. Nor trustworthy. Because if he can mislead about his personal life, what’s to think he may not also deceive when it comes to the Bible and spiritual principles?

Find a real pastor.

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