3 Tips to Overcome the Awkwardness Between You and Your Senior Pastor

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Sometimes it can be hard to relate with your senior pastor, if there is a generational gap.

My pastor and I do get along but we are very different.  I’m an extroverted married man with a son, he’s a introverted, Roman Catholic priest.  We have a very good relationship but it’s one that the both of us have worked hard at growing.  In fact there have been moments when talking about the personal and important things have been awkward.
Two of those areas are: money and scheduling (i.e. time off).  It’s just awkward because those topics are personal.  And because we are so different it’s difficult to relate and express certain needs.  So having that conversation, having any deep conversation with your pastor can be difficult.  So how do you overcome the awkwardness?

Be Consistent: 

It’s important to consistently chat, talk and discuss anything with your pastor.  If it’s something important you may want to discuss it several times.  The goal is to build your relationship, I’m not saying go out to lunch each week (unless he’s buying) but be consistent with asking how he’s doing, and share with him what’s going on in your life.  

Be Clear and Open: 

I’ve been guilty of subtle implying to something, but all that does is create uncertainty.  You need to be clear about your feelings when you disagree with a decision your pastor makes.  Don’t beat around the bush and show that you trust how he will respond to your questions, comments, thoughts and feelings.  

Be Respectful: 

This is key and can be hard if you are in a situation where your pastor and you really clash.  You might not agree with a decision or you might struggle with his leadership either way remember one thing.  Never criticize your pastor in public.  If you want to lead you need to know how to respect authority.  I’m not saying we should be walked all over, but check your heart before you react.

I remember hearing Andy Stanley at a Drive conference warn that when there is a gap in communication either trust or suspicion will fill the void.  We need to building the trust in our relationships and that comes when you can communicate clearly, consistently and respectfully.

Please Share Your Thoughts

Chris Wesley Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met my wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, heI was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.

More from Chris Wesley or visit Chris at http://www.christopherwesley.org

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