Things A Pastor Should Not Do-People should know that being a pastor is not an easy job at all, because pastors do a lot putting the members above themselves, helping people out of disturbing situations, and teaching them about the hope and joy of Jesus. For this reason, some pastors feel like they are always expected to do more than they should.
However, as much as there things expected of pastors to do, there are also certain things a pastor should not do as these things can be harmful to themselves or others. It is unfortunate that some people have unrealistic expectations about the things their pastors can do. It is funny how some church members think the leader of their church can do everything all the time.
Yet, it is not so because though pastors can be very busy and have a lot of things to do for their congregation and the community, there are also a number of things the pastors should not do. Though they might serve with all diligence Sunday after Sunday and other church service days, but we must remember that they are only humans and should not be expected to do everything.
Now let us go into the article proper and see some of the things that pastors should not do.
Things a Pastor Should not Do
1. Skipping vacations
As at 2022, 42% of pastors considered leaving ministry. Although there are so many reasons for this, one of the major signs of an unhealthy pastor is stress. Pastors suffer when they don’t take time off to take care of themselves, relax, pursue healthy interests, and spend quality time with their families.
According to studies, regularly taking a vacation is one of the most effective ways to lessen stress, increase productivity, and reduce pastor burnout. When the church is committed to caring for your minister’s mental health and overall wellbeing, they would encourage the pastor to take a vacation.
2. Giving church finances to just one person To Manage:
Church fraud has greatly increased in recent years and is expected to hit $80 billion by 2025. One of the major causes of fraud or church embezzlement is a lack of proper management of church finance, especially when pastors put one person in charge of everything that has to do with church’s finances.
So it is advised that as a pastor, you should make more than one person responsible for everything. The person that opens the mail should not be the same person who makes the bank deposit. The person that makes the payments from an account should be checked by another person who balances the account. As a pastor you should always look for ways to reduce the temptation for those who handle the church’s money.
Pastors should establish a team of people working together, for example, treasurers and accountants, and also with regular reporting of a church’s finances to a board, creates a safe system of checks and balances. With all these in place, pastors can focus on other important matters beyond money management.
3. Ignoring your church’s online presence:
In 2020, during the pandemic so many pastors had no choice but to move their churches online and start live streaming their worship services during the pandemic. However, balancing in-person worship and discipleship with online tools, like websites and live streaming, can be stressful.
For this reason, some churches prefer to put more work and focus on their physical gatherings and there by ignoring their online community. I know this may be a tempting strategy, but in reality, you must know that most people will look up your church online before they even visit your building.
Rather than avoiding online engagement, pastors need to get engaged with digital tools that enhance their in-person worship services, classes, and discipleship programs. When pastors invest in these kinds of online resources, it will help people build deeper connections with their church and propel them forward in their spiritual formation.
4. Depending Too Much on social media:
Many pastors become attached to social media because it’s free, offers useful tools, and seems to be the best way to reach a wider audience. However, social media today is full of problems that can distract and discourage pastors. Offensive comments, cyberbullying, censorship, and political divisions are some of the social media issues that adds to the stress that pastors face.
There are many valuable and effective strategies that pastors could develop and bring better results and this is better than just putting all the focus and energy in learning how to use social media.
5. Using peer-to-peer money transfer services:
There is a recent trend for some pastors, especially church planters, which is the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps like Venmo, Zelle and Cash App to accept charitable donations. Many pastors prefer these apps because they are easy to set up and are often uses little or no fees if you don’t withdraw money very often.
Unfortunately, the use P2P payment services for churches put both a pastor and their ministry at risk. For example,
Pastors making use of their personal account to collect donations through these services might lead to personal liability and tax issues.
The IRS made changes to the 1099-K requirements beginning in 2022 mind you, this can cause a lot of trouble for churches not registered as a 501(c)(3) organization that are using peer-to-peer money transferring services.
It is against Venmo’s Terms of service, and there is no support for non-profit use or questions.
The “free” version of these services like Cash App are meant for “peer-to-peer personal” transactions only and not for individual donations to organizations.
Many news outlets like the New York Times have reported that Zelle and other P2P payment apps are highly vulnerable to fraud.
6. Refuse to release people into ministry:
Pastors must have in mind that God’s people don’t belong to you. You did not called them, Jesus did. Any pastor who feels threatened at the notion of the worship leader moving on, or a member of the church attending a conference at another local church, should be careful as this insecurity will end up perverting the leadership of that pastor. The mind set of pastors should be to equip people for the work of the ministry and then let them fulfil their calling no matter where God leads them without stopping them on their way out the door.
7. Paying More Attention To Gimmick, Miracles and Programs Rather Than the People:
There are pastors of churches that bring in bubble machines to attract the kids and A-to-Z programs to attract the adults to their churches. With this, they put more attention on glitz, glare, glamour and gimmicks rather than meeting the real things people in the church and the community needs. The church can easily become more like a Christian Club Med (or even a circus) than an expression of the kingdom of God. And that is not the way it should be.
8. Pastors Should not Share Everything:
It is very wrong for Pastors to tell the congregation everything. They can be transparent about some things but not everything, just as Jesus did not reveal everything to his disciples.
Pastors must understand that the cases members share with them are private, so it is very wrong for a pastor to share members private cases with the congregation. Whenever a person tell his or her problem with the pastor either for counselling or for prayers, the pastor must know how to keep it to himself and God, even the family of the pastor must not know. Pastors should not be so free to tell confidential information about others from the pulpit or in private conversations.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the rule of pastors?
Exalt Christ, not self. Pastors must be honest, not exaggerating or overpromising, pastors should be peace-loving and not contentious, patient, not volatile, pastors should be diligent and not slothful. Pastors should avoid and, when necessary, report conflicts of interest and seek counsel.
2. What are the four roles of a pastor?
Below are the four roles a senior pastor cannot delegate:
- Primary Spiritual Leader.
- Primary Leader of Leaders.
- Primary Vision-Caster.
- Primary Champion of Culture.
3. What skills should a pastor have?
The skills that ministries seek usually include skills such as being warm, friendly, empathetic, a good listener, a problem solver, enthusiastic, gentle, persistent, flexible, ethical and trustworthy. Most of these skills relate to working with people individually and in groups
4. What are the top three responsibilities of a pastor?
The major duties of pastors include preaching sermons to their congregation, organizing charitable activities and church events and meeting with members of their congregation to help them strengthen their faith or overcome significant life changes.
If you are interested in going into ministry, there are certain things a pastor should not do. As a pastor who desires expansion in his or her ministry, I strongly advise you go through this post carefully because the information you get from this post will greatly help you in raising a congregation that loves God and loves you as their pastor.
Many pastors are not aware of the things they shouldn’t do and because of that, they keep having problems in their churches and with the members of their church. Even church growth will be very difficult when pastors are not aware if the things they shouldn’t do. So as a pastor or someone that intend to go into ministry, I advise you carefully go through this post to know the things pastors should not do.
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