When you think of a ‘fool’ often a humorous movie character comes to mind like the Three Stooges, Don Knotts, or Jerry Lewis. But Proverbs gives a different slant on a fool. We are to avoid them, not argue with them, or refuse to employ them. Proverbs describes fools as unwise, unteachable, proud, and blinded to their foolishness. But can pastors sometimes act like fools? I think so. Consider these 11 traits of a foolish pastor.
- Foolish pastors live in a black or white world.
- Foolish pastors think they have all the answers. Because of their education, experience, or “God’s anointing,” they believe God made them the repository of all correct answers and good ideas.
- Foolish pastors are blind to their own weaknesses. When someone tries to help them see their blind spots they often respond with, “Yea, but….” They seldom receive correction well. They give an excuse for everything.
- Foolish pastors shift blame and minimize responsibility instead of owning up to their mistakes and errors of judgment. They often defensively react.
- Foolish pastors take credit instead of giving credit to others.
- Foolish pastors see themselves as victims… of misunderstanding from others (they just don’t know what it’s like being a pastor), a bad church situation, or a resistant board they inherited when they came to their church.
- Foolish pastors think they deserve special treatment like discounts at stores or deference from others because of their position.
- Foolish pastors resist accountability. They like to make their own loosey-goosey schedule. Since they are “always on” they justify not keeping a reasonable office schedule.
- On the other hand, some foolish pastors think they are at the beckoned call of everyone in the church. They take pride in being available to others 24/7. Unfortunately, their family and personal life suffers.
- Foolish pastors don’t see how they suck the life from others with their demands, passive aggressiveness, or whiney attitudes.
- Foolish pastors ultimately flame out, burn out, or compromise their morals and integrity. They simply will not last in ministry.
Fortunately, I’ve only met a few foolish pastors. One foolish pastor I knew destroyed two churches, his marriage, and sullied the reputations of the good pastors in his community (guilt by association).
Most pastors are men and women of integrity who sacrifice greatly for a call greater than themselves.
I applaud you.
I love you and hope my blogs and books encourage you.
But…if you are a foolish pastor, please turn from your foolish ways and find someone who will help you before it’s too late.
What are some other traits you’ve seen in foolish pastors?