Myths of the Ministry

In the 1980s, my dad heard a list of ministry myths about pastors at a convention of the Fort Wayne Bible College (later bought by Taylor University). Many of these are specifically regarding full-time pastors. I thought they were very interesting, and very applicaple for today as well.

  1. Pastors have perfect kids.  People actually think it should be that way!
  2. Pastors have the answers to everything. Don’t me how to change your oil!
  3. Pastors are super-Christians. The only difference is a Calling to full-time ministry. Pastors get tempted like everyone else.
  4. Pastors need less money. Historically this was actually true — Pastors used to get discounts for everything. But that hasn’t been the case for several decades. Pastors have bills to pay like everyone else. 
  5. Pastors only work one day a week. I’ve actually heard of a person who frequently would stop in to speak with a pastor and start out by saying, “I figured you didn’t have anything to do so I wanted to stop by and talk to you.”
  6. I lost it.
  7. I can’t find these.
  8. Not sure where I wrote 6-10 at…
  9. Hmmm…
  10. When/if I find 6-10 I’ll post them, too. But I didn’t want to mess up the beautiful numbering system…
  11. Pastors know what’s happening. Pastors do not magically know if you’re in the hospital or if you are offended or if your life is going down the tubes and you want someone to pray for you.
  12. It’s easy for a pastor to be a Christian. See note on #3.
  13. It’s easy for a pastor to witness.
  14. Pastors have no retirement needs.
  15. The pastor and his family are immune to troubles.
  16. Pastors always have their head in the clouds. Although many pastors need to be visionaries and look towards the future, so it may seem this way because pastors often talk about what COULD happen.
  17. Pastors are a third sex. Ha ha. This made me laugh. A pastor is either a male or a female – and you’re going to get all the emotions and characteristics that go with that sex.
  18. The Pastor’s home belongs to the church. This was the case many years ago but the parsonage idea is quickly vanishing across all denominationsParsonages were often bitter experiences because the family could go away for a day and when they return the walls and furniture could be completely changed– whether the pastor liked it or not!
  19. Pastors don’t need a vacation.
  20. Pastors should always be available. A good church should have a MINISTRY TEAM that is always available. If the pastor is on a date with his wife – leave him alone. This is why deacons were originally created.
  21. Pastors appreciate inside information (aka. GOSSIP).
  22. Pastors sleep in every morning. Sometimes a pastor needs to work 2nd and 3rd shift. I’ll never forget getting home at 2 or 3 a.m. from a youth group event and just as I was arriving home, my dad was leaving to go minister to someone in a hospital.
  23. The pastor’s wife enjoys all facets of the church ministry. My mom (a pastor’s wife) is an exception. But we shouldn’t assume that the pastor’s wife is Called to ministry – she is firstly Called to her husband. (If it makes you feel better, reverse the husband/wife thing to be politically correct). 
  24. If you hire the pastor, the pastor’s wife is part of the deal as well. I’ve heard of one church asking a potential pastor, “If we hire you, what will your wife do for us?”
  25. A pastor is Mr. Fixit. Pastors don’t know how to fix other individuals and all problems in the world. Don’t have an unrealistic expectations — pastors can give you Godly spiritual counsel.
  26. The pastor’s family appreciate hand-me-downs. Pastors families appreciate it just as much as any other family (its not bad, but its not exactly “Christmas” either).
  27. The pastor’s car is the church taxi. “Pastor, I need to get to a doctor’s appointment, can you drive me there?” This actually happens.
  28. Pastor’s don’t need study time or devotional time – they already know all spiritual truth.
  29. Pastors like to eat. Fellowship is important for a pastor – and food often comes with it… too much. 

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