The Healthy Church Staff Podcast

What to Do When Your Pastor is a Jerk

February 12, 2024 Todd Rhoades Season 1 Episode 26
The Healthy Church Staff Podcast
What to Do When Your Pastor is a Jerk
Show Notes Transcript

Ever encountered a church leader who left you feeling less than blessed? It's a touchy subject, but on the latest episode of the Healthy Church Staff Podcast, I peel back the curtain on ministerial 'jerkiness.' Far from a session of finger-pointing, we delve into the complex reasons why pastors and church staff might struggle with behaviors that impact their relationships with colleagues and congregations. Understanding the pressures of leadership, from stress and exhaustion to self-neglect, is just the beginning.

This candid conversation offers a toolkit for anyone wrestling with prickly dynamics on their ministry team. We discuss how self-awareness and effective communication are the foundations for transformation. Learn how to confront fears, document experiences thoughtfully, and foster empathy within your church leadership. If tough conversations with your pastor or fellow staff members have you searching for divine intervention, this episode equips you with strategies to address the situation, including when to seek mediation and the power of emotional intelligence in creating a healthier, more respectful environment. Join us as we navigate these choppy waters, aiming for a place of understanding and growth.

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Speaker 1:

Have you ever met a pastor that you just walk away from him and think what a jerk. We're going to talk about that today here on the Healthy Church Staff Podcast. My name is Todd Rhodes. I'm one of the co-founders over at chemistrystaffingcom and jerkiness it's not.

Speaker 1:

Pastors can be jerks sometimes. I think we all have a little bit of jerkistic tendency in us and if you've been in ministry longer than five minutes, when I say, have you ever met a pastor or known a pastor? That's a jerk. Probably somebody comes to your mind. Maybe they're rude, maybe they're impatient towards staff, maybe they've been rude or impatient towards you, maybe they have unrealistic expectations or demands. Jerks a lot of times are just constantly criticizing people. Pastors would never, ever do that, particularly the staff. Sometimes they give less than constructive feedback. Maybe you feel like they just treat you with just a total lack of empathy. They show no respect or consideration. A lot of times jerks are really self unaware. That how you say that Self unaware, unaware, self aware. You know what I'm talking about. They just they have no idea how people see them.

Speaker 1:

There's a lot of things that can cause kind of the jerky tendencies in all of us to come out Stress, exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, a spiritual blight where you just are in a dark place spiritually. Maybe you've just been neglecting yourself. Care, all this can lead to bad behavior and kind of jerkish tendencies in even the best staff member and pastor. One of the things I think you really need to think, and I really need to think of when I'm confronted with someone who I feel is a jerk, is I need to make sure that I've got the log out of my own eye before I take the spec out of somebody else's. If you're a driven leader, maybe you're high expectations, maybe you have unrealistic demands, but sometimes those things can lead to jerkistic tendencies in others, but also in us. You have to know the difference. You have to be self aware enough to know what I just did. That was a jerk move. I need to not do that.

Speaker 1:

But how do we get there and how do we deal with it? That's what I really want to talk about today. A lot of it begins with, kind of the building block is understanding what lies beneath these jerk tendencies. That's really crucial Factors that can lead a pastor, or really anybody, to be a jerk. The stress we've mentioned emotional exhaustion, neglecting personal well-being they get the best of us, particularly when we're tired and stressed. Recovery is a stressful proposition and a lot of times it brings out less than our best. So how do we deal with it? How do we deal with it?

Speaker 1:

First of all, if there's somebody that you're dealing with maybe it's your pastor, maybe it's another staff member that just really rubs you the wrong way and just is really a jerk, I would encourage you just to confront your fears and start to document some of these things, not because you're going to take a list of them and say here I've got the top 10 reasons you've been a jerk the past week. Not for that, but just documenting them. Getting out a legal pad and writing down your feelings will give you some clarity. But also, when you write those things down, it'll also a lot of times give you some emotional intelligence so that you can own if you have anything to contribute here. You can try to understand all of perspectives, all the perspectives, and even put yourself in that person's shoes. How would you be acting if you were them? Maybe there's something going on in their life that's causing them to act like this. But as far as long term situations, you have to recognize your own emotions. And if you no-transcript man, I get it. I've been there. This is hard, but you're going to hear me say this a lot on this podcast.

Speaker 1:

But communication is key. You just have to communicate. Nobody likes to communicate, particularly when it's a tough conversation, but you need to have the talk. If you've had the talk and you need to seek some mediation, by all means, if conflicts persist, don't hesitate to seek a mediator or someone that can help to bring the two of you together. Sometimes it doesn't really bother you. The person's just kind of jerky or whatever. Other times, and according to your personality, it can just absolutely sideline you. Somebody else's behavior can just, long term, cause you a bunch of problems. So if you're that person, if you're that person that just has a hard time dealing with somebody that is a jerk and your personality, just they don't match. They just rub you the wrong way.

Speaker 1:

Here's some things I think you can do for some long term, short term and long term. But set some clear boundaries. Make sure that you're in a good spot emotionally, as much as you can depend on that, and try to establish open communication with that person. But if there's if you can't get past this and if this goes on. If this goes on too long where you just this jerk is just really bothering you, it might be time to move on. Sometimes that's an okay option as well.

Speaker 1:

But to wrap it up here, pastors are guides, they're shepherds, they're called by God, but they're not saints. All of us can falter and all of us display human failings and all of us need to be forgiven and all of us need patience. As much as you can extend forgiveness, extend patience, approach those offenses with grace and hopefully seek out healing with that individual. If and the bottom line is you can only do what you can do, right, I believe we said on another podcast, as much as it is up to you, try and live in peace. That's an important thing to do and sometimes personality conflicts or jerk tendencies can force your hand and can be the sign that, hey, maybe this isn't the place you're going to be long term. That's okay, but you need to live a piece. As much as you can Extend forgiveness, extend patience and make sure going back to what I first started with make sure you get the log out of your own eye before you get the spec out of your jerkistic pastor's eyes or jerkistic staff members' eyes. Okay, that's my admonition for you today. We all have people that we have hard time getting along with. I hope that this is helpful with you today as you approach that person.

Speaker 1:

This is the Healthy Church Staff Podcast. I'm Todd Rhodes. Thanks for joining us. Join us again tomorrow. We're here every weekday, monday through Friday, for a quick jolt of something that I hope will be helpful to you in your ministry.