FaithLife

Who is a Pastor? Weird Pastor Stereotypes

I am not a fan of stereotypes, especially weird pastor stereotypes. I strongly believe that they are a myopic and lazy ways to define a group. As someone who serves in the office of a pastor and knows a number of pastors, I have heard a lot of funny beliefs people have about pastors and what it means to be a pastor. So who is a pastor? I’ll answer this by addressing weird pastor stereotypes I have come across. 

So who is a pastor? What are some of the weird pastor stereotypes that exist?

People have a lot of funny beliefs about pastors and what it means to be a pastor. So, who is a pastor? Click To Tweet

1. Pastors are Old

In my discussions with people, it is obvious that many of them have an issue with young pastors. It is obvious from the way they react when coming in contact with a pastor in his twenties; They expect him/her to be old! For almost a decade, I have had the privilege of being around really young pastors and I always receive the same reactions when I introduce my pastor to someone – “Ah this small boy is your pastor?”, they’d often say.

What many people do not realize is that the people who have become the standard for how old a pastor should be, started off as young pastors themselves. The only reason you believe that every pastor should be old is because young men who dedicated their lives to the work of the ministry (a fact you’re unaware of) gained exposure in their older years. 

What many people do not realize is that the people who have become the standard for how old a pastor should be, started off as young pastors themselves. Click To Tweet

Yet, we see a precedence for young pastors from the Bible. Some historians argue that Timothy (Apostle Paul’s protégée) was just a teenager when he served as the Bishop of Ephesus. Hence Paul’s instruction to not let anyone despise his youth (1 Timothy 4:12).  Similarly, our Lord Jesus started his ministry at a young age (30). In fact, a couple of his disciples were younger than He. So there is really no age specification for Pastors. Pastors actually come in all age groups.

2. Pastors are not Stylish

I believe style is relative to personality types. So to conclude that pastors cannot be stylish is wrong. This stereotype is just an unspoken mentality held by some people. With respect to dressing, modesty is what is prescribed by the Bible, for every believer (both clergy and laity alike). Hence, there is nothing wrong with a Pastor being classy as long as his dress sense is regulated by modesty. 

Our Lord Jesus started his ministry at a young age (30). In fact, a couple of his disciples were younger than He. So there is really no age specification for Pastors. Pastors actually come in all age groups. Click To Tweet

Recently, Pastor Emmanuel Iren went live on his YouTube page to discuss some things every single Christian brother should know (go and look for Parole 101 and watch it, I cannot gist you). At some point in the video, he hinted at how some people are yet to come to terms with the fact that he has a parting on his head. Like, wow! 

People have issues with someone drawing a line at the side of his head, just because he is a pastor? In fact, I once knew someone who had an issue with a Pastor who kept a beard. I felt this was very ironic because he was also growing a beard. So that we can focus on what really matters, can we please agree to kill the ideas we have formed of pastors as people who walk around in oversized suits asking people to celebrate grace (no reference to anyone living or dead, any resemblance to anyone is a mere coincidence)?

3. Pastors are Idle

For some reason, in some people’s minds, no matter how much work a Pastor puts in, he is always seen as idle or not doing enough work. The problem is that many people don’t understand what a pastor’s work is or should be. I have heard many side comments made about Pastors and their role. For instance, comments like “is it not to be wearing a suit and collecting tithe and offering?”.

Can we focus on what really matters? Can we please agree to kill the ideas we have formed of pastors as people who walk around in oversized suits asking people to celebrate grace? Click To Tweet

Allow me to say that a Pastor has been called to do one of the hardest things on earth – to train human beings and human beings are very complex. I personally think that a pastors’ work becomes more complicated if he/she pastors a church in Nigeria where he is expected to be everything to everyone, including their pastor. 

Consequently, a Nigerian Pastor is also a relationship coach, mental health expert, financial advisor and much more. For some reason, many still believe that most pastors are not deserving of the credit they get. But as the saying goes  “heavy is the head that wears the crown, or in local parlance, do am if im easy”. 

It seems like a pastor is only remembered when he breaks down or worse still, dies of exhaustion.  If you have a good pastor, you must acknowledge today that he/she is working really hard in the ministry of word and prayer amongst other things. Therefore, he/she deserves to be celebrated as often as possible. 

4. Pastors are Morally Perfect

Yes! There are moral expectations of pastors and this is biblical too (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-11).  But pastors are human too. Hence, they have sinful propensities like every other human. A realization of the humanity of pastors should lead you to pray for them,  rather than castigate them. 

I am not justifying bad behavior with this point, rather I am asking that Pastors be given the same level of grace that we would easily extend to any other human being. Pray for pastors, they also face temptations and trying like you. Sometimes they just has to show up and do their job, while facing multiple battles. Be kind.

A realization of the humanity of pastors should lead you to pray for them,  rather than castigate them.  Click To Tweet

So next time someone asks you, “Who is a pastor?” Don’t come up with these weird stereotypes. Agreed?  

Do you know of any other pastor stereotypes? Please let us know in the comments section.

Want to read more on this subject? Here are “4 Things You Should Know About Your Pastors and Spiritual Leaders“.

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A man helped by God, who tells evocative stories.
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