Dear Pastor, We don’t need you to be perfect

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

To all the pastors who have to lead during a national crisis, here’s what I want you to know: we do not need you to be perfect. We really don’t.

As a lay person who has the luxury of showing up on a Sunday to worship in a pew with her guys, then going home after the “amen,” I don’t know. I do not know what all it takes to pull it all off, week after week after week.

I don’t know the pressure you have. I don’t know how many decisions you have to make in the course of a day, a week, a month, a year. I don’t know the kind of fire you take (is any of it really friendly, ever?) or the shrapnel that buries into skin. I don’t know, but I can guess.

As I often say to my husband, “It’s not a failing. It’s an impossibility.”

Not being a pastor myself, I don’t know. It’s not a “won’t.” It’s a “can’t.”

What I do know is that these are crazy times, times that we’ve never lived in before. From my spot in the congregation, I can feel the PPSI, pressure per square inch, creeping up. It is heavy. It’s oppressive. It’s very hard.

Please know that we don’t look to you to be perfect, to know it all, or to get it all right all the time. We don’t. What we do need you to do is to fill your own tank first.

“We cannot give what we do not have.” This is a powerful truth I’ve been learning, and it fits every one, every size.

Pastor, if you don’t have a heart full of the love and grace that you’re needing, or the peace and joy and sweet rest, then you will not have it to give. We need you to have some to give.

It isn’t selfish to fill your cup first, it’s only wise. It isn’t thoughtless to slip away for some rest, it’s only prudent. It isn’t a failure to admit you don’t know, for you know the One Who does.

I will pray for you tonight, Pastor, that God will fill you up with all that you need, for then you shall have it to give.


One small, caffeinated American mother in your pews

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