We all know that 78.6% of all stats are made up on the spot. For all my nerdy stat friends – that is called a joke.(Choose not to be offended) Anyways, I just read an interesting statistic, and of course, I assume it’s true, after all its on the internet 🙂
Here it is:
65% of pastors feel their family lives in a “glass house” and fear they are not good enough to meet expectations.
In the south, we call this a 2 for (pronounced too-fur), meaning a 2 for the price of 1 deal. In this statistic, we have two issues that I want to break down.
1. 65% of pastors feel their families are living in a proverbial “glass house”.
I understand the feeling. Your families are put on a pedestal that no human could live up to 100% of the time. The question is: Is there a solution and if so, what is it? The answer is yes but.
Yes, there is a solution, but you will have to change your thinking. First of all, you need to come to terms that you will never please everyone 100% of the time. Pastors, you need to let your family know that even if there are ridiculous expectations from others, what matters is their relationship with God and the family unit. They should understand that everyone falls short. It’s not our desire or God’s best for their life, but it is life.
The pastor’s spouse should be free to be themselves. Long gone are the days of expecting the pastor’s wife to play piano plus lead the choir along with a myriad of other duties which may be out of gifting. Unless they are drawing a paycheck to fulfill specific responsibilities, they should be involved as they desire, just like everyone else in the church.
This viewpoint needs to be shared with the church family. They won’t know unless they are told. Old habits are difficult to break…and so are mindsets. Of course, you should share this with love and grace so they will receive it in the manner in which you intended.
So here is part two:
2) 65% of pastors fear they are not good enough to meet expectations. (placed on them by the congregation)
Nobody is perfect and for anyone to hold you to that expectation is just not rational.
Chances are though; this may be your perception of the matter and not actually the members’ expectations. Again, this goes back to mindset. Just because one overbearing person comments, doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way.
I had a person say, “people have come to me saying they don’t like _____.” When pressed on who “they” were, it was just he and his wife. There was no large group of “they.” Ask probing questions while keeping your cool and not reacting. You may be surprised when you get to the root of the matter.
Be comfortable in your own skin. Your family needs to be free to be themselves.
If you aren’t lazy and are sincerely doing the best you can to serve the people… rest in that. Your best is all that you can do.
Jeff Hoglen, D. Min, DMiss