(1) Can he hide his liquor? Pastors should not drink, so finding a great secret place to drink is a true skill of any good pastor.
(2) Can she hide her opinion? Everyone has an opinion… but not the good pastor. She needs to learn how to tuck her opinions somewhere deep inside… because her opinion is usually just annoying and makes people feel uncomfortable.
(3) Can he avoid being our friend? No one in your church wants a pastor for a friend; that’s way too personal. A good pastor has no friends… except his family. And even they would prefer him to take up a hobby somewhere in the basement.
(4) Can she
hide her feelings pretend like she is always happy? Most folks want to follow a Joel Osteen type of pastor because he’s the type of guy that looks as if he takes a crap smiling. A wise pastor works hard to avoid being too Christlike because Jesus kind of got sad and angry sometimes.
(5) Can he always remember everyone’s name, even when he accidentally forgets or doesn’t know them? Seek a pastor with a great memory because people hate being offended.
(6) Can she be a great financial giver? Church budgets are tight, so every year we need a good return from her in order to make her salary work well for us.
(7) Can he maintain his approval rating without being political? While the pastor should comfort the afflicted, he is often somewhat of an affliction to the comforted. But nonetheless, he should still be able to please all of the people, all of the time.
This article is just a humorous way to deal with a serious problem. In many church contexts, pastors are humans expected to do the work of a robot. Every year, too many pastors and local churches break up because of some sort of avoidable miscommunication in regards to expectations. As a search committee, take time to look at your expectations and ask yourselves, “What is our congregation’s fine print?” and “What are our unwritten expectations?” Perhaps even try and answer, “What is a pastor?”
In my mind it is unwise to think you can do this objectively by yourself. A wise search committee should run their expectations through an outside consulting group first. Most search committees have no idea what a pastors life is like. Contact thinktheology.org if your search committee would like help or advice while building a vision for your next pastor. We would be honored to help you with questions like…”What does a pastor do all week?”, “What is the life of a pastor like”, or “What personality would best fit our church?”