This post is a guest post of one of my fellow Average Pastors, Jason Byers. Jason knows what it means to be an average pastor of an average church. Two years ago, Jason left the comfort of a position in larger church to serve a in the rural church. He is one of my heroes. He is a great pastor, a great leader and a great friend.
Perks and Quirks
by Jason Byers
A friend of mine was mentored by the legendary youth pastor Jeanie Mayo for a couple years. At his very first meeting with her (along with 20 others from around the nation), she took the group to her bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet. Stuffed inside were many vitamins, prescriptions and some over-the-counter meds needed to sustain proper health for her and her husband (then, a lead pastor). She spoke candidly to her guests and explained that she was a very real person who was just trying to do the best she could with what she had.
My friend got to see a side of Jeanie Mayo that I’ve never seen. To me, she is a legend with very few mistakes and many epic achievements! To those who got close enough, they saw both her PERKS and the QUIRKS.
Everyone has them.
We all have strengths to our personalities that we cater to; and weaknesses that we cover up. Yes, even pastors of congregations less than 150 have both perks and quirks!
Churches expect their pastor to have perks. It gives them something to boast about at company picnics and community softball leagues. The pressure to deliver an ideal version of God’s Anointed can be exhausting! But being perfect simply isn’t realistic; just like your favorite team can’t be the world champions every year.
Since every personality has its drawbacks, the trick is to manage the tension between arrogance and self-loathing. You were created by God to be an instrument for His glory! Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought. And, don’t put yourself down either.
If you are an average pastor struggling to keep this balance, here are a couple tips about dealing with your own strengths and weaknesses.
YOU’RE NOT AS GOOD AS YOU THINK YOU ARE.
You are a leader for a reason. But some of us are tempted to think we deserve to be where God has graciously assigned us. There’s a fine line between confidence and conceit, and I’m not convinced I’ve mastered that boundary.
Paul said, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ ” (1 Cor. 13:21)
God has a way of keeping us humble. Try keeping yourself humble first! The ones who say, “I’m not quirky,” are misleading themselves.
There is a hidden fool inside all of us.
YOU’RE NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK YOU ARE, EITHER.
Do you want to know a secret? You’re pretty awesome. To think that God didn’t create you with something special to offer is an insult to His divine creativity. He didn’t make a mistake! We may be full of flaws and miscalculations – which are quirky – but there are perks in our personalities too!
Paul said, “The weaker [parts of the body] are indispensable!” (1 Cor. 13:22)
Don’t think for a moment that because you’re at a “small church” you must be a “small person.” The royal blood of Jesus Christ covers you! Realize His anointing on your life! Unleash the perks He has strategically placed in your nature.
In Christ, we are more than conquerors!
I want to thank Danny for letting me write this entry as a guest. This blog (from my good friend) serves as an encouragement to the average pastor – the men and women who aren’t in the spotlight of mainstream ministries. The stigma of the “average church” is that it is inferior to the large churches, and as such will inherit an inferior leader. The temptation of the leader is to mask weaknesses as part of a lie that we’re all super awesome and getting better. This is a mistake!
Accept the truth that everyone – including us average pastors – has PERKS and QUIRKS!