I work with pastors, church leaders, sometimes congregations in general, and every once in a while disgruntled congregants. It comes with my position.  People know my email and phone number and periodically exercise their right to call.  I consider it a privilege when they do.

I have noticed something of late.   People think that pastors are super men.  (I think even some pastors think they are too.  What’s with that?).  They have this view that the pastor of their church is some kind of super individual who upon ordination into ministry suddenly lost all traces of humanness.   He’s supposed to fly faster  than…leap tall buildings…be stronger than…    And then every once in a while he does none of the aforementioned.  He just does something very human.

I think pastors need to be “good” (whatever that means) but they are human.  They do need to realize that they are “role models” for their congregation…but they are not superman.  They get tired.  They get frustrated.  They get bored.  They periodically “blow it”.    And when they do, there are people are surprised, shocked and even hurt.  But when they do, because of their maturity, pastors should apologize quickly and ask forgiveness.

I remember sitting in a meeting a while back and a significant leader came in and just delivered an omelette to the gathered group.  (An omelette is three smashed eggs mixed together…flat, yellow, and not very tasty).   He left after being with us for an hour and the room and the rest of the room began to murmur and register their dissatisfaction.  I remember piping up–“I think we need to give brother so and so a mulligan…he just didn’t do very well with us and that’s not normal for him”.    I knew he’d been under an incredible amount of organizational stress of late and though I too was disappointed in his presentation, I knew he was working on fumes when he came to us.

I say that story to register that the person addressing us isn’t superman, he’s human.  He’s subject to all the same foibles that we have as listeners.  Maybe he regularly transcends the foibles but every once in a while he’s not at his best.  He’s human.  Can we give him the grace to accept his humanness?

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