Three Non-verbal messages . . . .
which a pastor ought never to communicate.
#1) My Way Or The Highway
#2) It Is About Me
Obviously, a speaker can verbally say, “It’s about me.” by using such words as . . . .
We have all heard people communicate a “message” of self-importance by the repeated use of these words and we may have said to ourselves . . . . “He/she has an “I” problem.”
In general conversation and/or preaching, there are those who use such terminology as “my church,” “my ministry,” or “my deacons.” I cringe a little when I hear those words, although I understand how easy it is to use these words because of the economy of words and the simplicity of expression which accompanies these words. It is more cumbersome to say, “the various deacons of Faith Baptist Church, along with me, wanted to ensure that . . . . so we . . . .”
However, there are also non-verbal ways to say. . . .
Its about me.
Just like there are politicians who let it be known that they are the government, and forget that it is the people who pay their salary, likewise, there are pastors and leaders who can communicate a similar message – non-verbally.
Again, a more extensive list can be delineated. This list is not exhaustive, but suggestive.
- Additional Closing or Corrective Comments: A pastor has to make sure that he says something at and/or after this-or-that event, following another or the main speaker.
- Doesn’t Mix Well: The pastor “always” references and/or sits with key people.
- Focused Self-Compassion: When the pastor is sick, everyone ought to be concerned! You always hear about it when it is him or his family.
- Tacking On: The pastor has to repeat and rephrase what was spoken by another since he didn’t really say it as good as the pastor could have.
- Visible Godliness: Prays the longest —- rarely-to-never the shortest.
- Blame Shift: Point to others when something embarrassing happens which is really caused by your failure to know, plan out, and/or realize ahead of time.
- Loves Titles: Please never address the pastor by his first name — Titles matter!
- A Shifting Appreciation of Others: The pastor recognizes and/or appreciates him/her when he/she compliments, but not so much when he/she disagrees.
- A “Ball Hog:” He can’t pass the ball. He always has to be the one toshoot it when it is in his hands – He is good!
- Self-Focus: My concerns should be your concerns.
- Anti-Berean: “Bereans” have their place, but not if it means he/she contradicts the pastor.
Yes — there are push backs on many or even all of these examples.
Nevertheless, there are non-verbal ways to communicate that the ministry is about me.
That message is heard and time and exposure confirms it.
Is Believed To Be More Credible!
Expresses Who We Really Are Because It Is Typically Seen As Unplanned!
* Other Ways To Say It:
I don’t need to give my time or attention to other speakers, or Bible classes.
While others are ministering, I don’t need to pay attention.
My family doesn’t need to attend what others should attend.
I don’t need to be on time.
The names and lives of others are easily forgotten — “I don’t have a good memory” is really you have little interest.
It’s okay if I run late. My time is important, but others … not so much.
Disclaimer: Nothing said above is meant to imply or suggest that I haven’t been there verbally or non-verbally. The temptation to self-focus is a sticky sin of ministry. Key solvents in ungluing it are awareness and honesty.
Caution: Resist being aware and honest and it will sink a ministry. Some may look like they are still floating, but it is a destructive illusion.