One way to de-stress your pastor or leader…

Maybe this is just me, but would you like to help de-stress your pastor or leader?

Tell us what the conversation is about…before the meeting.

I typically get requests that start like this:

Pastor, can you call me?

Pastor, I need to meet with you.

Pastor, can I have a few minutes of your time?

You can only imagine what happens in these meetings. I often hear something such as:

  • I had an affair
  • I committed a crime
  • I am leaving my wife
  • I have an addiction

In the past year, I’ve heard every one of those, a couple of them multiple times. Even before the meeting, my mind starts racing, I imagine the worst, and I am confused in how to prepare or pray before the meeting.

Sometimes people simply want to hangout…or…occasionally…they may even have something positive to share. Those are encouraging meetings, but it’s good to know that in advance too.

Here’s how you help your pastor. Tell me the basics of what the conversation is about before the meeting. You don’t have to tell me everything, but just the general nature of what we are going to discuss. Even if it’s going to be bad, eliminating the energy I have to put into imagining the worst, allows me to preserve that energy for other things, helps me fully prepare and pray for you, and lowers the immediate tension when we meet.

Fellow pastor/leader, am I alone here? Would this be helpful to you? 

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18 thoughts on “One way to de-stress your pastor or leader…

  1. Agreed Ron! "No surprises!" – This is what my supervisor expects from me always. A surprise will paint a good picture of me in his mind. That is the basic psychology of any human mind.

    Similarly, it is good to give the pastor the theme of our prospective conversation in one-liner. Nothing will go wrong by that way.

    (Ron, I have learnt from various posts in your blog that I am not alone in this world with certain thoughts. There are many similar to me with same kind of feelings. Thanks Ron for helping me to realize this truth.)

  2. Yes and No! Sorry indecisive today! I am not sure which is better. I counseled troubled teens and their families for years. You can’t even begin to imagine what I have heard. Either way, it is not easy, in fact it is never easy! I think if I knew before, I could get prayed up better, but then again, it is always a temptation for me to “fix things” and if I am not prepared, then the Holy Spirit has full reign in the session. Let me throw this into the mix. Neither way is easy. Both ways are hard. But, what made it easier for me was having a “file”, after each session, I wrote in that file and then me and GOD closed the file, me turning everything over to God, asking HIM to work out the things I “heard” in that session, handing over the “file” and the way it made me “feel” and turning it to hope by taking a God Promise and making it my focus. Whether you know before or after, the result is the same, You are called to God 1st and you can’t change them or their situation, but HE can… Closing the file made it easier no matter what way I stepped into it! Praying Earnestly to God, handing HIM back the file is how I ended every appointment.

    James 5:15-16
    And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. (
    Amplified Bible

    Twitter: kmac4him

  3. 100% agree with you. Actually, I think this is just a special case of a long-lost common courtesy – if leaving a message for someone (voice mail, email, whatever), let them know what the subject is. Am I suddenly standing on a soapbox?

  4. Curious if this works the other way too… I don't remember getting nervous when/if "the pastor" wanted to meet w/ me. I know it eats at me now though when people ask to meet w/ me. Surely we aren't the only ones who get nervous… Are we?

    • Good point. I'd say you are exactly right. Probably with parents and children, husbands and wives too!
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  5. Ha Ha Ha! Also beware of the, "Let's meet for lunch- there's an issue I need to discuss," line. If you take a pastor out for lunch, don't do any business. Do business in the board room- enjoy fellowship over lunch.

  6. Amen! I was asked one Sunday morning to meet that evening; it was something that 'needed to be handled immediately.' When, at the meeting, I discovered it was a physical need in our nursery, I actually laughed out loud (probably more out of relief than anything). I had stressed the whole afternoon about the unknown. Great advice!