Myth#7 – Pastors should be at my disposal any time, day or night.
It seems that people often view pastors as emotion or spiritual ER doctors. They should always be available when you have an emergency. Many pastors often feel “obligated” to meet the needs of their congregation whenever and wherever asked. But this is neither biblical nor responsible.
In Acts 6, the church was growing so much that many people were feeling neglected. The leaders of the church were trying to do too much and the people were suffering. So the leaders got together and decided it wouldn’t be right for them to neglect God’s word and leading the masses because they are bogged down in other areas of ministry. They decided to appoint some capable leaders to handle other areas of ministry. And because of this move, the church continued to grow rapidly.
Although most people think the pastor should handle every crisis, it is simply not biblical. God has called pastors to equip the church for ministry. In our church we have moved to a model where your LifeGroup is there to help minister to you when you have trouble or questions. If you have to go to the hospital, the first person you should call is your LifeGroup leader, not the pastor. And if you are not in a LifeGroup…you are missing out on something. It is so important in a growing church! It is how you stay connected. It is how you get emotional and spiritual care on a personal level.
Of course we know there are times when someone may not feel comfortable talking to their LifeGroup leader or someone in their LifeGroup, yet (maybe they’re new to the group). If someone needs some care from a “pastor” at our church, we have setup an email: firstname.lastname@example.org where you can have someone with pastoral experience help you.
Remember, pastors have families and other responsibilities outside of the church. And when a pastor can focus on what he is called to do (preach God’s Word and lead the entire church), that is when the church can really grow!