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When Pastoring Makes You Angry

Few people work under higher expectations to be nice than pastors, yet few occupations nurture as much anger.
— Ed Dobson

My father pastored in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for seven years. Every Sunday he preached and then walked to the door to shake parishioners' hands. And every Sunday one man said on his way out, "Well, you got it off your chest again, didn't you?"

I never heard my father complain about that man's disrespect for his preaching (he only recently told me about it). He was able to forbear.

If the same thing happened to me, I would probably go to that man, ask him what his problem is, and suggest there are 480 Protestant churches in town, one of which should be able to please him!

Pastoral life is ripe soil for rage. Criticism comes often and unfairly. Hard work may return small tangible results. Members resist leadership and change. Conflicts among church workers are endemic. Volunteers don't show up for promised work. We're pulled between giving our best to our families or ...

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