What We Really Need From Our Pastors

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So often what we want is not really what we need. We want a cheeseburger, but we need a salad. We want to ride off into the sunset bad boy, but we need to grow old with a solid, dependable best friend. We want to run kicking and screaming at the first sign of trouble, but we need to learn how to stick it out.

Too often, we, the church, want a pastor who is eloquent, a pastor who has it all together, a pastor who makes it look easy, a pastor who tells us that if we just have enough faith our life will be full of blessings, and a pastor who is faultless, blameless, and, of course, sinless. But what we need is a pastor who is honest and open about his brokenness, a pastor who allows his friends and congregants to see his humanity, a pastor who is trying to close the gap between who he is and who God created him to be, and a pastor who fosters a community of grace by boldly going first.

On Sunday morning, Pete Wilson, by authentically and emotionally sharing a recent struggle, reminded me what I love most about Cross Point, a church has transformed my perspective, my faith, and my life. He reminded me that while we all strive to holy, we remain human, broken, and hurting. And we will not fully experience life, redemption, or healing if we hide that truth from ourselves and those around us.

What do you want from your pastor? And more importantly, what do you need from him/her?

Oh, and you can listen to Pete’s message here.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Oh preach it, girlfriend. PREACH!
    My recent post romance and porn duex…

  • So true – I want a confident spiritual leader, but also a humble guy who admits he isn't perfect. Thanks for sharing!
    My recent post Losing Sight of the Finish Line

  • Amen! I listened to this message earlier this week and it wrecked me. Good stuff!

  • I would likely not be attending a church right now if it were not for Pete Wilson. He restored my faith in pastors at a time where I saw too many who didn't live out of the spotlight the way they did when it was show time.
    My recent post Day 13 Bonus- A Solomon experience

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  • I don't think I've ever heard of a pastor being described as a salad. Love the metaphor.

    And you're right, it's the tension of being a pastor. Holding up the standard God desires us to have through Christ without declaring/pretending that we've arrived is tough.

    Great post, thanks for sharing it.

  • Lindsey,

    As a pastor I want to say thank you. The expectations that people place on the shoulders of ministers is typically unreal and unfair. I am Thankful for people like you.

    For me… I want a pastor that is fully pursuing Jesus and is led by the Holy Spirit into the ways of God. If she/he is living that life I will gladly follow their leadership!
    My recent post Sugar Coated Brownies

    • I definitely feel like it is the problem of the people in the church for placing unrealistic expectations on our leaders.

  • …So what if all I want from my pastor is just a salad?____Yeah, Pete knocked it out of the park, yet again. Those of us over at the Bellevue "Drive-In" loved it as well.

  • What a Great Post Lindsey! I luv your Pastor’s writings too, he shows his humanity in many ways. Something we Need.
    I’m greatful my pastor is quite open in sharing when he’s facing a struggle. We need to understand Pastors are not “SuperMen” because of their position.

    I will listen to the message.Let’s pray for us (people) to understand this and them to be kept by the lord.

    Blessings from the Dom. Republic.

  • Here's to dependable best friends and the badboys riding off into the sunset! 🙂

    You are so profoundly right… what I want may not be what's best for me, or what I need.
    And God always gives me what I need — which completely changes my perspective on every situation.

    I really needed these words, Lindsey…

    So much love, friend!
    Ann
    (P.S. Heather Adams and I had a wonderful phone conversation this week and mutually sang your praises! 🙂 You are loved, girl!)

    • Ann Voskmap, I miss you and hope to see you SOON. Somewhere. Love that you connected with Heather Adams. She's amazing at what she does. Glad she is doing it for your BEAUTIFUL book.

  • tam

    You all are quite fortunate to have pete for a pastor, that is for certain.

    I think we all desire to see anyone in leadership to be human and for them not to pretend they arent so. To appear perfect, or to want that appearance, to me communicates that no connection is wanted. We need to relate to leaders. I don’t relate to perfection, I idolize it. I relate to authenticity, it inspires.

  • Great post! Good pastors give us what we need, not what we want. Just like good parents. Just like a good God.

  • Great post Lindsey! Dead on. I want a pastor that is always striving to grow in his walk and it is evident in his life. I want someone who not only preaches about life, but actually DOES life. I want someone who is real, transparent and honest, but still shows descretion on when to share. I want someone who I feel genuinely cares about the struggle of others and is moved to action when he feels the call. I love Pete! He is truly gifted. He definetly has been called to be a pastor. Love his heart.
    My recent post My Hiding Place

  • Andrea

    Lindsey,thank you so much for posting the link to Pete Wilson's message. I just listened to it and it was such a blessing to me. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you again for pointing me towards it.

    • Thank you for listening to it. It is a great message.

  • Thats a great post. We would love to have such a Pastor, but the truth is there aren’t many…Good that you have got one..Pete is awesome!!

  • Anonymous

    SO awesome, that’s wonderful!!!! 🙂