Many jobs require varied skills and knowledge. But only one job in the world requires expertise in theology, politics, finance, emotional disorders and counseling, parenting and family challenges, sex and romance, and usually some HR and operations skills, too. That’s right, the pastor. We expect him to be an expert on any pressing issue in our lives. “Pastor, who should I vote for?” “Pastor, my kid won’t listen to me.” “Pastor, why is the new Sunday school room painted taupe?”
Of course, I mean that we require all this from the position of pastor and thus the man holding the office. Pastors can glean deep wisdom from the Bible to help them sort through difficult issues and challenges. But while the Bible offers wisdom it doesn’t offer expertise, and the difference is significant. Certain passages can be looked to for clarity on specific issues and struggles, but just as often we put the pastor in a position demanding that he speak as a professional expert into an issue about which the wisest thing he could probably say is, “I don’t know.” One of the wisest things a pastor can do is to admit a lack of knowledge and refer people to someone better suited to help. If only we would let them do so.
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