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21 things pastors need to stop now

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Dr. Francis Akin-John

Dear Pastor,
I love you. I want nothing more than for you to be all who God wants you to be. So, this might hurt a little. I’m writing you this letter because I have noticed a few things that we have fallen into saying or doing that don’t represent Christ well.
With all due respect, please stop:

• Stop pretending you are perfect
Jesus is perfect. You aren’t. Let us see your humanity. Share your mistakes with us. It gives us hope to know that even the pastor doesn’t always get it right. It also gives us the courage to be honest about our faults, too.

• Stop emotionally and spiritually abusing your staff
Although some elements of the church are like a business, church staff should not be treated just like employees. They are family. They aren’t perfect, but you need to love them anyway.When you hurt them, you hurt God’s family. I know far too many pastors, who need therapy after the wounds of working for a bad boss.

• Stop hiding your secret addiction
When we find out (not if, but when), it will ruin your ministry, devastate your family and place another black mark on the church. Stop lying about your actual condition.
Don’t be another example that people point to, when they call Christians a bunch of hypocrites. Get help now.

• Stop skipping your time with God
Lack of time with God is the quickest way for you to dry up spiritually. Your responsibility as a pastor is first and foremost to have a strong personal relationship with God. Prayer and Bible reading are not a waste of time. It’s the most productive thing you will do all day.

• Stop talking about your “smoking hot wife
It’s great that you love your wife. But talk about how beautiful she is on the inside, too. Praise her godly character.I don’t want my daughter growing up hearing you imply that attractiveness is all that matters in a woman. She gets too much of that from the rest of the world already.

• Stop thinking you are the reason for your church’s success.
Check your ego. Good pastors rightfully give God the glory for the fruit of ministry. It’s all because of Him. You are just a tool in God’s mighty Hand. Stop taking the place of the Holy Spirit in your church; for, He is the true Vicar of Jesus church.

• Stop comparing yourself to other pastors
Comparison is a loser’s game. You’ll either sin by taking pride in how much greater you are, or you’ll sin by coveting what they have. You can’t win. You can’t win with comparison. Stop lying about your worth, wealth and work. Stop the hyperbole and exaggerations and embellishments.

• Stop sacrificing your family in the name of doing “ministry”
Your first job is to pastor your family well. Your degree of busyness is not a badge of honour, especially when it keeps you from being present for your family. If you allow your ministry to destroy your family, then your family will successfully destroy your ministry! If you can’t separate your family time from ministry time, then you are still immature.

• Stop reading business books more than your Bible
Yes, there are a lot of parallels to leading a church and leading a business. I love a good leadership book, as much as anyone else. But if you are spending far more time with secular books than the Bible, you have a problem. The Scriptures hold all the leadership principles you need, and many CHRISTIAN, ministry books based on the Bible.


In this article:
Francis Akin-John

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