Every so often, a blogger puts together a list of things they wish a pastor would tell his congregation. And while the lists sometimes have some valid points, they more often than not wind up coming across as saying, “I wish my pastor was less knowledgeable and confident in what he says.” Which, while I’m sure it sounds nice, really isn’t all that helpful, unless you’re looking for your pastor to validate an unhelpful lifestyle of being tossed about upon the waves of doctrine.
Nevertheless, there are some things I do believe congregations need to hear from their pastors more often than perhaps they do:
1. “Because I love you, I’m going to tell you the truth.”
We sometimes bristle at statements that don’t make us feel good, and so we assume that our pastors are unloving when they say something we don’t like. Yet, this attitude more often than not finds its root in our sin, not our pastors’ failure to be sensitive.
Pastors should never be afraid to express the truth of Scripture, and we in the congregation need to be reminded that it’s because our pastors DO care that they tell us the truth—even if it’s something they know we’re going to reject due to our inability to hear it.
2. “Make sure I’m not wrong.”
This might be the second most important thing a pastor can say to his congregation.
It takes true humility to say to your hearers, “Don’t take my word for it. Check what I say against the Scriptures. If what I’m saying doesn’t line up, don’t believe me.”
Good pastors want their congregations to be like the Berean Jews of Thessalonica who examined the Scriptures daily to see if what the Apostle Paul taught was true (Acts 17:16).