11 Signs of a Monster Pastor

In a previous post, I wrote about “monster churches” in reference to congregations that chew up and spit out pastors on a regular basis. Monster churches are highly dysfunctional and rarely fruitful.

The congregation, however, is not always the problem. Just as monster churches are a factory of discord, monster pastors take trouble with them wherever they go.

Nicknames for monster pastors include: dictator, authoritarian and control freak.

Biblically speaking, they may be false teachers, greedy for selfish gain, deceitful workmen and ravenous wolves. They specialize in hijacking congregations then abusing power.

Monster pastors have little regard for the sheep (or the Chief Shepherd for that matter). Instead, their first priority is self, masked by other agendas. Such pastors may use pressure tactics, political maneuvering and/or persuasive speech in order to manipulate a congregation into acting on their behalf. When they don’t get their way, monster pastors usually 1) move on to another church, 2) cause a stir in their current church and/or 3) blame the congregation for not following their lead. Simply put, monster pastors are building their own kingdom rather than Christ’s kingdom.

As a general rule, monster pastors:

• Are always right and never wrong.

• Cannot accept criticism without becoming defensive.

• Are not willing to share the pulpit.

• Do not support other ministries.

• Overly use the personal pronoun “I.”

• Resist accountability.

• Feels threatened by former pastors.

• Surround themselves with “yes men” rather than edifying leaders.

• Do not entrust ministry to other leaders.

• Undermine programs that they cannot control.

• Insist that everything in the church run through them.

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ScottAttebery@churchleaders.com'
After serving in campus ministry at the University of Central Arkansas and coordinating student conferences for the Department of Church Ministries from 2000-2005, Scott pastored Wyatt Baptist Church in El Dorado Arkansas. In 2008, Scott’s wife, Jill, passed away in an automobile accident. He recalls, “God used our Church to be Christ to my family and me during that time.” After seven years of pastoring, Scott was selected as the Executive Director of DiscipleGuide Church Reources, a department of the Baptist Missionary Association of America. Scott’s most important ministry is to his son, Bryce.