12 Things Pastors Cannot Do

12 Things Pastors Cannot Do

Pastors are, in my judgment, amazing people. They faithfully serve Sunday after Sunday, often with no desire for recognition or fame. In faith, they can do a lot—but here are several things they can’t do:

  1. Read minds. Everybody knows that, but many church members hold pastors accountable for unstated expectations.
  2. Be everywhere. No human being can be every place at once, yet some members still get angry when pastors have to say “No.”
  3. Change hearts. Only God can do that.
  4. Know everything. Most pastors study hard, but nobody can answer every question somebody asks.
  5. Please everybody. Even Jesus couldn’t do that.
  6. Live sinlessly. Nobody can. Including you. And me. We’re all sinners.
  7. Grow churches. If the church does grow, it’s because God does it.
  8. Multiply dollars. That’s too bad, too, since some churches don’t pay their pastors well.
  9. Escape mistakes. All of us will mess up sometime, often unintentionally and even unknowingly.
  10. Avoid favoritism. Pastors minister to everybody, but having better (and best) friends is natural.
  11. Reveal everything. No matter how much you may want to know the details, pastors may not be in a position to tell you.
  12. Ignore sin. Pastors must address this issue, even when it’s not popular.

Say a prayer for your pastors today. They have a tough job. And, come back tomorrow, when I’ll address things that laypersons can’t do.

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Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.