10 Random Things to Know about Pastors – Or At Least This One

I’ve learned pastors are often misunderstood. Especially by people who haven’t known a pastor personally, but we can really be misunderstood by many people. It’s surely a unique vocation. I can’t speak for all pastors. And, certainly – maybe since I was in secular work longer than I’ve been a pastor – I’m not typical.

But, I suspect I’m not completely abnormal either.

Here are 10 random things to know about pastors.

These are true for me, but I suspect they may be for your pastor too.

The temptations you face – I face. I’m not immune from temptation. I’m human. You shouldn’t be surprised when I make mistakes. I need lots of grace. I should be held accountable, but ultimately I’m accountable to God – just as you are.

The larger the church gets – the less I know about anything. But, this can be true of any church size where other people are empowered to lead. Ask me anything. I may or may not have an answer. Sometimes, however, you save both of us time if you email the staff or volunteer leader more likely to know – but I can always forward an email.

The better the message – the longer it takes me to prepare it. There are rare exceptions to this for me. If I am going to have a descent message I will have to take time away from other responsibilities to prepare. This could mean I’m not everywhere you hoped I would be.

Even though I’m teaching it – I may not yet have mastered it. Hopefully I’m working on it, but I teach the whole counsel of God – the Bible – and I’m still a work in progress in many areas of it.

I get nervous every time I start to preach – sometimes sick to my stomach nervous. If you didn’t notice – well, glad I’m getting better at covering. But, you do me a tremendous blessing if you whisper a prayer as I step up to preach.

Sunday is not the only day I work. Honestly! And, preaching is not all I do. I actually work 6 long days a week and even when I’m off or out of town, I’m often working. But, Sunday does come around quickly.

Your story probably won’t surprise me. I am never callous towards it, but I’ve probably heard similar or worse. And, I’m still going to love you.

To my family I’m usually not a pastor – just a husband and dad. And, I like that. I even like to be “just a friend” sometimes.

If you tell me something on Sunday morning – you probably should back it up with an email to remind me. My mind is distracted and I will forget. And, if it can wait until Monday – even better.

I can relate to you better than you think. I like to have a good time. Some would say I’m funny. I even know how to laugh. I don’t even have to be quoting Scripture to do so. We have struggles in our life too. Lots of them. And, the more you see me as a regular person, the more I can relate to the struggles you face and your friends who are afraid to come to church – partly because they think I’m not.

Pastors, any other random thoughts you would like to share?

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Ron Edmondson

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  • […] Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com. […]

  • […] 10 Random Things to Know about Pastors – Or At Least This One […]

  • Rev Adrian Willard says:

    As a Pastor I am often tested in the area of patience. Some may think that because we are leaders that we have patience instilled into us and that we should never fail in that area.But I find myself often times coming up short.I find myself crying out to God to give me Grace to overcome my lack thereof

  • Zenola Diggs says:

    Also remember, all pastors are not men. We are wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, etc.

    • ronedmondson says:

      I wrote this just from my perspective and left it vague as it applies to other pastors for that reason – all pastors share similar issues, but are not all alike.   
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

    • James says:

      Biblically women cannot be pastors. You are illegitimate. What part of “husband of one wife” among many other Biblical standards makes a woman think she can be a pastor. Stop taking the Word of God out of context to fit your own desires instead of the will of God.

      • A. Amos Love says:

        Hi James

        You seem to be edjumacated about “Biblical standards” for pastors.
        But, I’m having a hard time finding today’s “Titled” pastor…
        And what these "Titled" pastors get “Paid” to “Do”…
        In the Bible. Oy Vey!!!

        And, since Making Disciples seems to be a priorty for "today's Pastors."

        Was wondering…
        In The Bible, Can you find, and name…
        One of His Disciples calling them self, pastor? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?
        One of His Disciples calling another Disciple, shepherd/leader/reverend?
        One of His Disciples with the "Title/Position," shepherd/leader/reverend?
        One of His Disciples Hired or Fired, as a shepherd/leader/reverend?

        One of His Disciples who became…
        A Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People, in Pews?
        ———-

        What did His Disciples know 2000 years ago?
        That those who call themselves “pastor/leader/reverend,” Miss Today?
        ———-

        If, NOT one of His Disciples “Did” any of these things 2000 years ago? In the Bible?
        Why would someone, who desires to be one of His Disciples, “Do” these things today?
        ———–

        Jer 50:6
        “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
        **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

        1 Pet 2:25
        For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
        BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

        {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

      • Rev. Tricia Petraven says:

        Then you are also excluding single men and any man whose wife has died. Are you certain you are not making the Scriptures say what you want them to say?

      • Lydia says:

        Well, I just thought of one. We are all doing our best to be faithful to our calling. We come from different denominations and represent diverse traditions. Do not judge all of us by the words or actions of any one of us.

  • Kay says:

    I wish my dad would have had these when I was growing up. Every young minister needs to read and think about this post. I missed having my dad around just like any child whose dad was working all the time. And, it was hard trying to be the perfect, preacher's kid. Great post.

  • Tracy Robinson says:

    Just imagine doing all of this in two different languages. Preaching takes longer to prepare and to share. Sometimes we even forget the right words to translate right off the cuff. With seven different latino nationality members in worship, we as pastors need to be aware of particular words from particular countries, in order to make sense.

  • Stu White says:

    All true, and likely quite a few more. For me and mine you and your family are what we need to grow spiritually. We thank God for you and yours.

  • Bruce Williams says:

    I’ve been a pastor for 12 years, and was in education for 27 years before that. All day today, I’ve been thinking I am done–ready to quit. Part of my reasoning is that I feel so isolated and like no one understands what pastors do. Thank you so much for this and praise God for bringing it to me when I really needed it.

  • Matt says:

    I’d like to watch a Super Bowl every now and then myself.

    I know what the bible says about a lot of situations, sins, and temptations, and like you, sometimes it’s hard for me to do what it says.

    My family often gets my leftovers (time, energy, focus, etc.) because I spend so much of it on the church; and I feel terrible about that.

    I really love the God and His Word, even more than I love you.

  • nateelarton says:

    I don't read and pray all the time.

  • shannalehr says:

    Ron, as a pastor's wife, I couldn't agree more! Thanks for this post.

  • derek says:

    Maybe we could also add "It isn't my job to grow the church… please don't expect that of me"

  • Douglas McClure says:

    Brilliant!

    I need to underline #10!

  • […] 10 Random Things to Know about Pastors – Even though I’m teaching it…I may not yet have mastered it…but I’m working on it… – Rod Edmonson […]

  • Brad says:

    I preach at myself often. It just so happens we are all convicted by the Law. The Gospel is meant for you, but I often have a hard time hearing it. I hope you don't.

  • Rod Nygren says:

    There are Sunday's sometimes when I too do not want to be here!

    I'd like to have Christmas with my family too.

    I get tired too.

    I am not perfect.

  • Duke Taber says:

    Oh so true! I can't say Amen, I have to say Oh Me!

    Blessings Bro.

  • […] This is mostly true. 10 things you might not know about pastors. […]

  • I absolutely love this…my husband is a Pastor and we've both been in ministry for over 10 years and I wish more people would see that we are "real" people too…with "real" stuff going on in our lives as well…but this list is a great start to taking off the mask and showing true authentic love for each other. Good stuff!

  • Nicky says:

    This is sooo true! My daddy has been a pastor for 15 years and just about every one of the things listed above can easily be applied to him and if not I can think of many other pastors I know who they can apply to! Haha I love Christians!

  • Dana B says:

    I have grown up as a PK. and let me say .. my dad not only worked at the church but because the church couldnt support us (which happens a lot ) – my dad held not 1 but 2 jobs outside the church. My mother took phone calls, was his secretary , treasures , took his dictation for his sermons. So lots of times , pastors and their wives put in around 90 hrs a week . And they do it with love and commitment . Continual prayer is needed for all pastors, whether its worship, childrens, youth or senior . The level of depression that they go through can be tremendous. Anything the people can do or say to help is appreciated. 🙂

  • ronedmondson says:

    Thanks my friend.
    Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • ronedmondson says:

    Thanks. This is so important!
    Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • Erik Bennett says:

    the staff at my church added these:

    – Funny he didn’t mention anything about the numbness felt in the left arm on Sunday nights.
    – Just because I’ve visited every hospital in the area doesn’t mean I want to see where they did surgery and left the wound open to clean the area

  • Zach says:

    I agree with all but what really stands out for me is the following up point. If you tell me something on Sunday morning, the chances of me remembering are slim to none. I'm either preparing for the service or I'm completely drained.

    Good stuff!

  • This list is so true for me. The only difference: my nervousness is usually on Saturday nights. By the time I stand up to preach, the nervousness is gone and anticipation has taken over. Thank you for the transparency in this post.

  • […] to subscribe to the RSS feed for the latest updates.Ron Edmondson recently wrote a blog post about 10 Random Things to Know about Pastors. His list inspired me to write my own. Here are 10 random things you should know about […]

  • Paul says:

    Pastors as all Christians also needs people to minister to them.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thanks Paul
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

    • Joe Sewell says:

      For a time that was one of the ministries my wife and I shared. When we had to change churches, the new pastor already had a pretty good support system. The next forced change put us back in a position where that ministry returned, though my wife and I were sufficiently "damaged" from the previous issues that we had to draw into it slowly.

      I've found, too, that, for most ministers, the best way to minister to them is to let them minister to you. Don't resist their help.
      Twitter: joe_sewell

  • […] Edmondson on 10 random things to know about pastors. This right on and I found myself nodding as I read each […]

  • moraw says:

    i'm currently pursuing my master of divinity and try to do my best in my life and church, but some times i've fought inside myself, because outside of my home (church and seminary) I'm the Candidate to the Ministry, the one that probably will be ordained in a couple of years, but at home I'm just "dad" "honey" or another "normal" man. And lately I've been suffering of pulpit panic, even i know all the pew since too many years ago…but i think that God is working on it, we are not perfect , isnt it ? Thanks for your post.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. Praying for you in this transition time. Good times and stressful times.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • "My wife is not me in female form nor is she your wife she is mine; her ministry is keeping me in the ministry and that is a big enough ministry by itself."

  • good post Ron and very true. I think most of them can apply to a worship pastor also.

  • DZ_Dunlevy says:

    Solid work. I especially relate to "Your story…"

  • Tom Jamieson says:

    Hey Ron! Great post! I can definitely relate to most of these points, especially number 10. I KNOW I won't remember it if it isn't in writing. The only one I differ on is number 6 — I don't get nervous when I preach. I do get excited though, which can also produce feelings of nausea! I would add one more thing as well — the pastor's wife is not superwoman. Thanks for sharing.

  • D.Lake says:

    Sometimes I don't want to attend church either.

  • ronedmondson says:

    True statements
    Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • This is so good. I think sometimes we forget these things. We have this intense desire to idolize in our hearts and when we have a lot of respect for a person, we can tend to put him up on a pedestal. It's important for pastors to remind people that they are just people like everyone else. They shouldn't be expected to have all the answers either.

    I appreciate your transparency and your heart. I have so much respect for you Ron!

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thank you Tony. You made my day!
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

    • Joe Sewell says:

      Too often we deny the "pedestal" thing, but when we put more respect on a pastor than is truly due them, we may as well put them on a pedestal.

      Pastors are human, too. They don't have it all together. They may have more "book learning," and they may have more time to search the Scriptures, and more experience, but that doesn't mean they know it all. The humble pastor will take a question about the message and use it to improve the next presentation. For example, one time a former pastor of mine taught from Galatians, specifically the passage dealing with those who would not inherit the kingdom of God. It included "witchcraft," which in Greek is the word from which we get our word "pharmacy." Since that pastor was a former hospital pharmacist, he knew all too well what mind-altering drugs could do. I asked him later, though, about validly-prescribed anti-depressants, since I was on one (still am, in fact). While he did say that they could still be abused (to which I agreed), he made a note to mention that in the two Sunday morning services to come.
      Twitter: joe_sewell

  • jackschull says:

    Great post Ron! My kids are normal kids, not super kids. Don't over expect please. They have enough pressure.

  • I sometimes feel like punching the guy that just cuts right in front of me, either in traffic or the mall!
    Twitter: blessingmpofu

  • @jacobricker says:

    OH how true those are Ron, oh how true! I can relate to everyone of them! I could add an 11th, pastor dont have a special red phone that go directly to God, sometimes I have a hard to hearing from God just like everyone one else. Thanks for the post, its great!

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