How NOT to get too full of yourself as a pastor

Oh, pastor… what a great sermon.

The church grows year after year.

Watch out.

Ever met a haughty pastor?

Or an entitled one?

We all have.

But how do you make sure you don’t become entitled or haughty?

Carlos Whitaker has five suggestions:

1. Don’t have a reserved parking space until you are old enough that you can’t walk.
2. Stay out of your little green room/private dressing room as much as possible.
3. Have coffee/breakfast/lunch once a week with a pastor of a church WAY smaller than yours.
4. If you receive double honor, make sure you give out quadruple honor.
5. Treat applause like a shot of whiskey. After you take a shot… don’t tweet, text anyone, or believe you are as attractive as the shot makes you feel.

In other words… don’t let it go to your head.

Andy Stanley talked brilliantly about this at Catalyst this year.

Think about it.  What perks do you have because of your position?

What would you do if that perk was taken away or changed significantly?

How do you keep things in balance so you don’t get too full of yourself?

Read more here…



  • Karl Vaters October 24, 2013 Reply

    I love this, Todd.

    As someone who ministers to Small Church pastors, I can tell you that Carlos Whittaker’s third point, “Have coffee/breakfast/lunch once a week with a pastor of a church WAY smaller than yours.” would help both pastors tremendously. I think we’d have far fewer burnouts among Small Church pastors and more well-balanced big church pastors if that happened.

    But that has to be initiated by the big church pastor. (And in most cases, they’ll need to treat.)

  • Richard October 24, 2013 Reply

    Is this really a problem that many pastors have? Of all my pastor friends, I rarely see this. One guy in the past 15 years.

  • Fred October 24, 2013 Reply

    I was at a church where a worker got fired for parking his truck in the pastors parking space to unload supplies for a conference.

    • Brian LC November 5, 2013 Reply

      Sad. I’ve always figured the pastor should set the example for the rest of the congregation by parking as far away as possible so guests will have the closest spots. Made for a rainy/snowy run to the door at times, but it was worth it.

  • Constance November 12, 2013 Reply

    I got here by reading your responses to a female blogger named Rachel Held Evans. Perhaps you should add not being condescending and exclusive- particularly in public tweets. That was ugly. You really should work harder to include more women in your conferences, we are the majority after all.

  • Andrew November 12, 2013 Reply

    Dude- you are so meta. I’m assuming that’s how this post makes sense in context of your twitter behavior to RHE. First you write this killer post about not being full of yourself as a pastor and Man of God, then you follow up a few days later by illustrating the exact type of behavior to avoid! It’s freakin’ brilliant! …that is what you were doing, right?

  • PJ November 13, 2013 Reply

    This list is so ridiculously petty, it wreaks of the very thing you’re trying to avoid. Do you know how this sounds to me? #1 My church doesn’t even have parking spaces. #2 My “green room” is my bedroom, and my parish doesn’t know what a green room is much less have space for one in the building. #3 I’m that pastor with the church “WAY smaller”. Don’t come to me to get your humble pie num-nums. #4 Double honor with quadruple honor…how about just saying, Thank you! And #5 Treat applause like Jesus Christ is standing right behind you and get out of the way.

    How about serving the poor? Giving til it hurts? Avoiding honor in the first place? If you want to be humble, undermine what would otherwise promote your own success, like preaching in the desert, trying to keep people quiet about the good things you do…oh and not posting obnoxious tweets.

  • Amy Van Milligan, MD November 13, 2013 Reply

    I also got here by reading your responses to a female writer named Rachel Held Evans. Your tweets were rude, condescending, and obnoxious. It reminded me of the old adage that a woman’s place in in the home. Do you not think that women may have something to say about prayer, social justice, spiritual disciplines, and unity in the church? Do my XX chromosomes limit me to only speaking about pregnancy, abortion, and other “female” matters?

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