Two sets of expectations are present in every local church and show to effect the pastor in significant ways. The expectation the church has on their pastor, and expectations the pastor places upon himself. Both are almost always present and almost never agree. A pastor friend was approached by two separate deacons at two separate times in the first year of his pastorate. One came to criticize him that he was not in the office enough. The other came to complain that he did not visit the elderly enough. He met with both of them to discuss what felt like an unrealistic expectation and to determine how he was to be in two places at the same time. That conversation proved fruitful to place more realistic expectations upon him for the future.
As unrealistic as that expectation was that was placed upon that pastor by his deacons, most faithful pastors know that the expectation we place upon ourselves is even more unrealistic at times. We want to be Superman. We think our people demand it of us. When faced with similar expectations placed upon me, I was usually the one person who was most disappointed I could not be at the office and visiting folks in their home at the same time. Pastors commonly place unachievable, unhelpful expectations upon themselves, and when you combine the expectation of each individual member of the congregation upon a pastor with his own unrealistic Superman-like expectation, something must give.
Pastors, honestly evaluate your own life and ministry. How do these 2 expectations specifically affect you in ways that are unhelpful, or maybe even sinful? Feel free to share to help other readers sort through their own manifestations of these expectations.
What say you??