I have been concerned over the years that what is often looked at as pastoring is not always true pastoring. A pastor is a shepherd, who watches over and bring nurture to the life of the sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, so He certainly is the greatest model of pastoring.
I am not sure Jesus would pastor people in the way modern pastors are being pushed to. Today’s culture seems to look at pastoring as something that actually looks more like pacifying.
“Meet my needs, keep me happy, scratch my itch, don’t tell me anything I don’t want to hear.”
Because churches have to run budgets and keep finances in order, making decisions is more affected by finances than principle. In addition, I am concerned we have created a codependent culture, where the pastor has to jump at every demand, every need and every complaint.
Because of this, pacifying people becomes more of a driving force than truly feeding the sheep with what God is saying. Certainly there are many pastors that misuse their authority, but are the people of God ready to be nurtured into being overcomers, or are we just wanting to be pacified?
I think Paul nailed it when he warned his spiritual son Timothy:
“For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears“ (2 Tim. 4:3, MEV).
So, are you positioned to be pastored into your destiny or are you just seeking to be pacified? The following are seven signs you want to be pacified more than truly shepherded.
1. They do not have an enduring spirit. If you notice, sound doctrine needs to be endured. Why? It’s because the solid truth of God often hurts at first. It challenges us and makes us uncomfortable. Not in an accusing way, but in a manner that calls awakening to a higher level. Those who want to be pacified don’t have endurance. Once the church life gets a little challenging or they have to deal with relational conflict, they often bail—blaming the church for everything.
Those that want to be pacified will make big statements, but have no follow through, because they have not learned to count the cost and build an endurance to plow through seasons of resistance. Tough times always cause them to bail.