Pastors Getting Real

by Staff June 17, 2015

A choice excerpt from this short CT interview with Peacemakers Ministries' Dale Pyne:

How does a pastor develop humility to resist the idol worship and the pressure to perform?

We all must remember who we are in Christ and who we are not without him. We must genuinely redirect the glory and praise given us to the Lord (1 Cor. 10:31). Pastors are no different than you and I. They can only resist the temptation for self-glorification by staying in the Word, on their knees, and getting connected in a high-integrity accountability relationship with one or several spiritually mature individuals. It would bless pastors if church leaders who oversee pastors know who the pastor is connected with and could establish a way to verify ongoing accountability without compromising confidentiality.

There are different levels of accountability, of course. The kind I'm speaking of is personal. It's accountability for the leader's personal relationships and life. So if a pastor is having moral temptations, he needs to be able to go to someone in confidence. The pastor needs to have people to go to. And they must trust that the relationship is a confidential one.

In addition, I'd encourage pastors to be vulnerable from the pulpit. When I'm speaking and I tell a third-party story, people might say, "That's very interesting." But when I tell a story that involves me and my own sin, then people say, "Wow, here is Dale. He's a leader, and I respect him. But he's telling me that he's just like me."

If we're too busy denying and protecting and putting on a church face, then the congregation perceives that the pastor has it all together. We say to ourselves, Wow, I am so far from that pastor. I am unworthy. Why isn't God working in me the way God's working in him? The people start to elevate them. It's not all about the pastor, but that transparency releases the congregation. It helps the pastor be real. And releases the congregant to accept who they are and pursue hope in Christ.