By Daniel Im: I know it’s hard to believe, but pastors are human too. Like the rest of us, pastors are susceptible to believing lies. Lying is the native language of our heart, which started back in the Garden of Eden. Although pastors constantly teach about truth and love, they also wrongly assume that they are not susceptible to lies. It’s easy for pastors to consume themselves with the lies that the congregation believes and urge them to see the truth of God’s Word. However, it takes a strong pastor to realize the lies that they believe themselves.
Dayton Hartman first had this realization in seminary when he looked at fellow seminary students and questioned how they could believe lies about themselves and their ministry. From there, he started cataloging the lies that he believes and wrote a book to help pastors navigate through this uncharted territory.
Lies Pastors Believe
One of the most prevalent lies that pastors believe is that they must earn their worth. Pastors start to view their identity by achieving a respectable goal and gaining affirmation through achievement. Many pastors forget that they are affirmed in Christ and want to pursue avenues of ministry that other people will affirm them in. Some pastors lived radically sinful lives before they were saved by Jesus and feel the need to achieve a great ministry goal to earn God’s favor. This lie was Dayton’s motivation to write Lies Pastors Believe.
One way for pastors to fight against the lie of the achiever is to seek biblical counseling. It is crucial for a pastor to have a safe place to feel comfortable talking through their struggles. An advisory council needs to be able to ask the pastor the hard questions. What is your motivation? What are you trying to achieve? Without this help, pastors go on believing the lies that their worth is the goals that they achieve or the churches that they plant.
The infamous “Castaway Lie” tends to lead to pastors putting themselves on an island. There’s a lie that by being a pastor, you are not allowed to be a friend to your co-workers. People believe that by being a friend to your team, you are undermining your leadership. Pastors will destroy their leadership team if they choose to operate on their own.
Pastors need to build community with the leadership team. It’s important to move in unison and live life together. That is the gospel community at play. However, if the senior pastor is unwilling to facilitate relationships with the leadership team, it is the responsibility of the team to create those relationships. Pastors should start by having a hard conversation with the senior pastor telling them that you desire a relationship. Pursue the lay people of the church and leadership team to pursue relationships. When you deny your need for community, you are denying your humanity. Community and relationships are so important for a healthy church.
To read the remainder of this article and to listen to the entire Behind-The-Scenes segment with Dayton Hartman, click here for the full post.
- “Native language of our heart is lying.”-
- “Some pastors try to make up for what they did in the past by achieving a great ministry goal.”-
- “When you believe the lie of the achiever, you think you are earning Jesus’ love.”-
- “Find a place to feel comfortable talking through the emotional wounds of your past.”-
- “You need community with the people on your leadership team.”-
- “When you deny your need for community, you are denying your humanity.”-
Source: Lies Pastors Believe