Why can’t preachers live a normal life?
The new reality show “Preachers of LA” has incited a riot amongst people who hold the all too familiar position, of placing a standard on preachers that is impossible to live up too. While there are some things that happens on the show that shows flaws in these men’s character; which one of the critics is flawless? They don’t want preachers to have material things. They don’t want preachers to argue and get loud. They don’t want preachers to have fleshly struggles etc. Basically, they don’t want preachers to be normal people. There is this façade of what people want preachers to be, that is simply erroneous.
As a preacher I have found myself being attacked by people with this mindset. Not willing to be a victim, I refused to allow myself to be placed in this “how preachers are supposed to live” box. What frustrated me the most; was the individuals who had the most to say, had not read a book of the bible in its entirety. How can you create a standard for how I should live, without reading the book that sets them? Not that we’re above ever being wrong, but us preachers are called to teach God’s word to the people. Do you think we don’t know what the word says about how we should live? Is there a different set of standards for how a preacher should live as opposed to everyone else?
There is only one set of rules that govern every human being. God does not have guidelines for preachers and a different set for everybody else. When the bible says that teachers will get the greater condemnation, it wasn’t speaking concerning the teachers lifestyle; it was speaking of the teachers teachings. We will receive a greater condemnation if we (the ones called to teach) teach people falsehoods about God’s word. It has nothing to do with our day to day life. This does not give us an occasion to act a fool, but the world needs to know that the playing field is even. Jesus says “with the same measure you judge someone, is the measure you will be judged.” So whatever standard you hold a preacher to, will be the same standard God holds you to. That should scare some people.
I’m not writing this to cover up preacher’s sins, or make an excuse for anything we might have done wrong. I’m writing this to say; when we come down from the pulpit, we have normal lives. You are sadly mistaken, if you think that every time you have a conversation with a preacher, it’s going to be about God and they’ll have their preaching voice on. Or if you think we will have on a suit or robe 24/7 and we’ll say we’re blessed and highly favored every time we’re asked how we’re doing. Sometimes we might just be talking about the color blue. It’s not probable that we’ll be talking about the color blue, but we definitely won’t be talking about God, church and sermons all day every day. (I know yall laughed)
Honestly, who wants a leader that acts like a robot on Jesus auto pilot? I would think people would want their leaders to come off as genuine individuals that they can relate to. Instead it seems that the masses want something that is unrealistic. It’s not real to think your pastor will never do anything that’s not church related. One night your pastor might go to a sports bar with some friends to watch a game. He might even have a drink. That’s what men do. Do you think because he’s a pastor, he ceases from being a man? There is no sin in doing this, yet if people see a pastor at the sports bar they’ll act like he just committed a murder.
Can you imagine; everyday, everyone looking at you and not wanting you to do normal harmless activities? That’s what we deal with as preachers. We can’t even crack a joke without someone saying “aint you pose to be a preacher?” Why yes, I’m a preacher. I’m also A HUMAN!! We’re gonna laugh and make jokes. We’re gonna cry and feel pain. We’re gonna have ups and downs. We’re gonna have days where we feel like we can do all things, and days where we’re crying to The Lord for strength. We feel all the same emotions and temptations. We enjoy the same luxuries of life. We like to have fun doing things outside of the church like everyone else; because we are just like everyone else. So why can’t we be treated as such?
Why do we have this aura placed on us that is not humanistic? We are just imperfect vessels being used to lead others to the one that is perfect. We don’t preach ourselves, we preach Christ. The moment someone places an expectation of perfection on a preacher, is the moment they committed idolatry. There is only perfect being, and that is God. To put a man on that pedestal is blasphemous. As my biblical mentor always says “we’re just folks.”
I have fought this false image tooth and nail, and will continue to do so. I will not be subjected to the scrutiny of those that will criticize me or any other preacher, for living a normal life. I understand that we are ever walking in our calling, so I’m always prepared to minister. I have no problem praying for someone wherever I am, but it would be nice for people to notice that we’re at a park; and right now I’m here as a father watching my daughter swing on the swings. Yes preachers go to the park with their children. Our day to day lives are just like the normal persons. Only difference is, we spend more time thinking about how to help others enjoy life, while those enjoying life think we should not enjoy ours.
If you have a problem with a preacher doing the same things you do; do you really think that’s fair? The man/woman of God is putting in countless hours of studying, fasting and praying to be able to pour into your life to help you prosper; but you want them to live in poverty? You put in a prayer request for a safe flight when you go on vacation, but if the pastor goes to the same island, it’s a problem. You listen to the newest rap music to and from church, but the pastor can only listen to gospel. You enjoy hanging out with your friends, but only want the pastor to hang out with The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.
This thinking has to stop. It’s time to look at preachers for who they really are-normal people who answered their call from God. Answering our call did not make us any less human, or any less normal as the next man. Outside of preaching, we have normal lives. It is ok for you to expect us to lead by example; that we can handle and it’s what we should do. Just understand that the example we’re leading, is how to live a normal life for God.
By Mitchell Chance @DrMitchLove
Posted on October 18, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Christ, God, Human, hypocrites, Jesus, judgment, Lord, Pastor, Preacher, Preachers of LA, Sermon, standards. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.