We all know what a pastor is. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of being a pastor? It’s not just the definition of being a minister in charge of a Christian church or congregation. It takes a lot of courage to be a pastor, especially in this day and age. Not everyone is called to be a pastor, nor can everyone fit the bill to do the job and do it well.

Have you ever wondered how pastors’ lives are different than other people’s? Have you ever wondered how they get through hard times? How about wondering how much different than us (as the people of their congregation) are they really? How does God grant them the ability to forgive the congregation sins? Have you ever wondered how they really feel about their faith? Guess what, the good news is you can ask them.   They are given the power by God to forgive sins. The truth is they are just like you and me. They are human and they are sinners. They aren’t perfect just as we aren’t perfect. They have feelings, believe in God and Jesus as their Savior, go through struggles and question their faith and their faith journey.

Our pastors are the same as an average Joe. They pray just like we do and they have hard times in their lives where they’re unsure of their faith as much as we are. Just because they recite scripture from memory, doesn’t mean that they don’t ever have skepticism and doubts about the things they talk about or read about. They have questions that they ask God as much as we do. They want to offer their congregation the reassurance about how amazingly good God is. But at times, they are the ones who need our reassurance about how good God is. We can take what we learned from their words and from their sermons and put them into context to help them through any hard time they may be facing, whether it is technology not working, which unfortunately happens quite a lot, or them telling the congregation about the death of someone in their family. Pastors may want their congregation to get to know more about them.

When was the last time you actually stopped and asked the pastor of your church how he is doing? Not just as the pastor of your church, but in his personal life? Of course, it is not normally in anyone’s nature to walk straight up to their pastor and put an arm around his shoulder saying “hey pastor, tell me about your personal life? What is going on with you?” That isn’t exactly the correct or the polite way to go about things. But you can ask him how he is feeling and how his family is doing as a start in the right direction and offer up prayers and words of encouragement and support when and where it is needed. Even if you think you notice that the pastor of your church looks a bit worn down, just go up to him and say that they’re doing a good job. That little sentence can make them feel a heck of a lot better. Everyone gets winded from their faith walk, including our pastors.

A lot of people don’t really like to ask how their pastor is doing because we all have gone through having that assumption that our pastors not only hold the church together, they also hold their own lives together with no problems. But that isn’t true either. How often have you found yourself not really wanting to talk to the pastor about something you’re unsure about in your faith walk and think, “no, he’s a pastor. He is too busy to make time to talk to me. That is almost equivalent to the thought “no. He’s Jesus. He’s so busy, He doesn’t have time to listen to me.” Jesus not only gave pastors the role of being the leader of the church. He also gave them the ability to talk to anyone in need. God gave us that ability as well.

How often have you found yourself saying or thinking, “Oh come on. He’s a pastor. He has it all together. He’s a pastor. They never seem like they have any struggles.” That assumption is wrong too because as I said before, pastors are just as susceptible to temptation and faith struggles and personal struggles as anyone else.


I researched some facts about pastors that most of their congregation are unclear about. They are:

  1. Pastors are called by God; they do not volunteer. When someone feels the call on their heart to go into the ministry, they take that tug on their heart, soul, and mind very seriously.
  2. Pastors are overseers of the church, not hirelings. The work is hard and seemingly never-ending. It can be downright daunting as well to teach God’s people and try to lead them down the right path with your words. What pastor wouldn’t get run down with that type of responsibility on their shoulders?
  3. The pastor is accountable to God for the souls of his congregation.

More information about pastors can be found at https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/251406-5-facts-pastors-church-members-unclear.html/3

“Obey your leaders, and submit to those who rule over you in the Lord, as those who will give account for your souls; let them do this with joy and not with grief, for that would not be profitable to you” (Hebrews 13:17) That verse is often seen as one of the scariest verses in the Bible because it tells the members of the church that they must submit to the leaders in that church. All the while warning the pastors, aka the leaders of the church that they are held accountable for their leadership to their members.

Finally, number four: the pastor is there to please God, not the congregation. Take it from the Bible itself.  Galatians 1:10 says, “Do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

So why not go outside of your comfort zone and give an encouraging word to your pastor today, especially this Easter weekend?


More from Beliefnet and our partners