Home Pastors Articles for Pastors The 5 Temptations of a Pastor

The 5 Temptations of a Pastor


Still struggle with that? Try empathizing with your opponents.

You may want to dismiss them, discount them, counter them or even belittle them (on bad days). Don’t.

Instead of beginning a conversation by stating your differences, why not begin by emphasizing what you both agree on and trying to understand why your “opponent” is upset? For example, instead of saying:

Josh, you and I completely disagree and I’m not sure there’s anything we can do about it. I just can’t see it your way and you can’t see it my way.

Why not say something like this:

Josh, I’m grateful we share a commitment to Christ as our Lord. And I’m thankful for what you’re doing to help us advance our mission. I sense you’re upset with the direction we’re heading in. I just want you to know I understand that, and I hope we can discuss our differences.

Do you hear the difference? I think if you or I were on the other side of the changes in an organization, we’d want a leader to approach us with the second attitude, not the first.

When you show empathy, you help people understand that they were heard. And that’s huge. Sometimes that’s all people want.

You may discover that after being heard, some (not all) opponents will change their minds and even support the proposal at hand. That’s the power of empathy.


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Well, there are more than just five temptations pastors and church leaders face.

What are some others you’ve encountered?

How have you battled them?