Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Psychic Pastors

One of the biggest frustrations I have found in ministry so far is staying in the loop when it comes to parishioners going to the hospital or being sick in general. I usually find out a few days later (usually on Sunday morning). I want to be there for my people when they need me, but I do not read minds. Another problem is with visitations. I always ask before I come over and I usually get some kind of excuse "I'm really busy this week" or "I'm not feeling well today" which tell me that they really don't want me to come. But then I hear complaints that I do not visit as much as I should. I am somewhat introverted and so I ere on the side of respecting personal space and privacy. I really wish that people could just be open and honest. "Hey I would love to have you over for coffee." or "Would you like to join us for lunch after church?" That hasn't happened yet, in four years.

Is this something I should encourage from the pulpit? Should I just tell them to be more open and blunt about wanting a visit? I really think that some people feel that the pastor should just know when to call or when to come and when they don't the parishioner gets mad. To all the church folks out there remember this, pastors have many gifts from God but one we do not have is psychic abilities, we can not read mind. I know that I would like a more open relationship with my parishioners where they feel comfortable asking for pastoral care instead of me having to guess and make assumptions.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I've been struggling with the same things. A few of mine are good about calling me and telling me when stuff is going on, but others are not and I have gotten on to them. I have even gone so far as to tell them "I'll respect it if you say you don't want a visit, but if something is going on at least let me know so I can be praying for you!" I think sometimes you just have to be direct about it.