When the Pastor is a Glory Hog

I’m sure there are pastors who really are glory hogs. A lot of guys want to be “THE guy” – the one the church depends on and looks to as the supreme religious leader. The church becomes a personality cult around this kind of pastor.

Glory Hog

On the flip side there are churches that actually expect and demand that the pastor be the go-to guy for all things religious and spiritual. Some church members find it unacceptable to be visited or called on by anyone other than the senior pastor.

I remember one time as a pastor I tried to create a pastoral care & visitation team, The idea was to help others who had a gifting and calling for this kind of ministry assist the clergy. I was accused of trying to pass the buck and shirk pastoral responsibility. One person even told me,

“It’s fine to be visited by others, but people really want the big dog.”

But this idea of a clergy-based ministry isn’t biblical. In fact, the Bible shows us that healthy ministry is carried out be everyone. When there was a need that wasn’t being met, the 12 Apostles (the first church leaders and preachers), said, “We can’t be distracted from our God-calling. Let’s find other godly people to assist.” Thus the early church appointed its first deacon team. We read about in Acts 6:1-7 ~

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

The Apostle Paul talks about the Church being like a body. It’s made up of many parts, but each part needs to function well for the whole body to be healthy.

If you have never taken a spiritual gifts inventory, it is a good place to start asking how God might have gifted you to serve and minister (it’s not the end-all, just a starting place). Try this one

As Christians we’re all in this together. We are co-ministers for Jesus. Though we all have different roles to play, everyone should play a part. So step up to the gift God has given you and begin serving!

2 Replies to “When the Pastor is a Glory Hog”

  1. Don’t you think that the glory hogs and those who insist on being ministered to by the big dog are all part of the same culture? We learn how to be “whatever” by what we see around us.
    Dependent Christians are dependent because they are taught to be dependent, or learn to be dependent. Attention seeking Christians become such by being in a culture where celebrity is honored above service. And who better to teach that than the Glory Hog pastor?
    I find it interesting that so many pastors want to pastor a large church when Jesus seemed to spend more time with fewer people. Sure, there were the large scale miracles — the feeding of many. But so much of what we have recorded about Jesus, and specially his teachings — are one on one, or one on a few moments. That was the best way to grow believers then, and it’s still the best way. I’ve never been convinced that anyone learns very much in a room with 500 other people listening to a sermon of which they’ll be lucky to remember 2%.

    Liked by 1 person

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