Close this search box.

Pastors Are People Too

I know this might sound like a shock to some, but pastors are just like anybody else. Despite what some may think (or how some preachers may portray themselves), the men who stand behind pulpits every Sunday delivering sermons are on the same spiritual level as the congregants who sit in the pews. There are no superheroes, no men of steel, no group impervious to the toils and pains of life that everyone else must endure.

I’m not trying to burst any bubbles or say that pastors aren’t great people. They are…at least, most of the ones I know. But being great and being different aren’t the same thing. Like I said, I know a lot of great pastors, but I can assure you, they are not different than you.

  • They laugh and cry.
  • They have highs and lows.
  • They counsel and sometimes need counseling.
  • They get hurt by the words of others and sometimes, like the rest of us, hurt others with their words.
  • They can be both strong and insecure, both loving and insensitive.
  • They have fought with their spouse, yelled at their kids, silently cursed the car in front of them because it’s not going fast enough.
  • Like you, they can make really big mistakes. Mistakes they aren’t proud of, wouldn’t want to tell anyone, and just flat out make them ashamed.

Don’t get me wrong, most pastors I know are “stand up” kind of guys. They do their best to model the faith, live strong for Christ and exemplify the qualifications for elders found in passages like 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Again, most are sterling followers of Jesus.

They’re just not Jesus.

They don’t live on some super-spiritual level that’s above temptation and sin. If you feel that way about the pastor, it’s a nice sentiment, it just isn’t true. But this should help both our sympathy and gratitude: Our sympathy, knowing that the guy preaching to you this Sunday is just one more broken person forgiven by the grace of Christ and who will likely, until the King’s return, demonstrate his very common brokenness every now and then. But his brokenness should also inform our gratitude, trusting that God didn’t give up on people because they ceased to be perfect. On the contrary, because of his great love, God, in Christ, became perfect for them. Now that is Good News.

Good News for you and your pastor.

So remember the next time you see your pastor, Bible in hand, alight upon the pulpit to preach God’s Word – that the hope of the pastor is the same as the hope of his people: Jesus.

Because pastors are people too.

Picture of Yancey Arrington
Dr. Yancey C. Arrington is an eighth generation Texan, Acts 29 Network and Houston Church Planting Network fan, and Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. He is also author of Preaching That Moves People and TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You, and periodically writes for Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.

8 thoughts on “Pastors Are People Too”

  1. Really enjoyed this post. It has been something that I have wanted to say for a while to a a few people in our core “pastors aren’t perfect, they are people too.” Thanks.

  2. Donna Bierwirth

    Yancey, I pray for you and our pastoral staff – that you would be shielded under the wings of our Savior from temptation and strife. It is a blessing to us all, that all of you are daily submitting yourselves before the Lord, to be fully yielded to the power of the Holy Spirit – I for one am grateful for your heart before God.

  3. AMEN. Pastors are human and some churches need to stop putting them on so high a pedistall that they cannot do anything wrong. Great blog, bro. Continue to speak the truth.

  4. amazingly encouraging!
    i know you are a gifted teacher, but i think this writing thing is coming along as well 🙂

  5. I would love to know more about this. I am currently hurting and people in the congregation think I should behave one way when my heart tells me to go a different direction. Are there any other articles that are good for me to read right now?

  6. Sincere appreciation for this revelation regarding notifying us other regular church members in whatever denomination towards being aware that even Pastors’ are fellow human beings with their strength and weaknesses just like myself. For it definately proves Romans 5:23 to be saying the truth that even Pastors are among those of us who have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. And each one of us along with them are only living by the grace of our beloved Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Best of 2013

With 2014 around the corner, here is my best of 2013… Best Ministry Book – Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy and The Meaning of

Read More »