Pastors are not perfect.
Yes, I said it – pastors are not perfect! Just like every other Christ-follower, pastors are sinful people serving a holy God.
Unfortunately, both pastors and lay people forget this fact sometimes. Sometimes lay people expect their pastors to always have the right answer, to do the right thing and have it all together. This makes it really hard for the pastor when they mess up. They struggle to admit what they did wrong and ask for forgiveness.
Sometimes pastors think they’ve got all the answers and are never wrong. Or maybe they are just so used to being criticized for everything they do that they build up a wall between themselves and others and their hearts become hard toward their people. Either way, it makes it hard for them to admit when they do something wrong or to ask for forgiveness when they should.
So, what do we do about this? We all need to realize that none of us are perfect. Not even one. Jesus gave us high standards by which to live. We are called to hold each other accountable. This doesn’t mean that we should be after each other for every little thing that we each do wrong. It does mean that we don’t ignore everything either. For example, ignoring divisive behavior within a congregation can destroy the congregation and keep it distracted from reaching its God-given potential.
Instead, we need to gently encourage each other to do what is right – to seek to love God and love others in a way that brings joy to God. We also need to ask forgiveness when we mess up. We need to have a loving and listening heart for those who come to ask for forgiveness from us. If we are to be a people marked by the forgiveness of Christ, we need also to be a people who asks for and offers forgiveness. It needs to be part of who we are. We must always remember that the Christ who gives us commands is the same Christ who gave his life for us.