Are you a failure? I was! For most of my 35 years, as a lead pastor, I thought my job was to tell people how to find God, how to life for God and a whole lot more. I was a teller. Why was I a failure? Because most of them just went on doing what they wanted to do.
Pastor, people are wanting to connect with you in a meaningful way. You will become the hero pastor they need and want when you connect on a deeper level, share empathy, and welcome their open heart. Here are ten barriers to avoid:
- Commiserate. Sharing stories of your own similar experiences is not showing empathy; it turns the focus away from the person with the problem.
- Correct. First listen. After the other person feels fully understood, then see about correcting any misunderstandings or inaccurate impressions.
- Interrogate. Too many questions distract from the feelings at hand.
When you treat people as people and not projects to fix, you find people who are ready to connect and be real. Pastoring then becomes a meaningful spiritual experience for you and those you shepherd.
If you are struggling as a pastor with disappointment, not knowing what to do next or burnout, Take the Four Seasons of Ministry Assessment and get a clearer picture of where you are and how to move forward. Go to Four Seasons to take your assessment.