Authentic

I’ve been wrestling with this issue as a pastor lately. I’m not sure how to articulate what I think or feel here. I think that the best pastors are authentic pastors. However, should I post on twitter that I had a great cigar? Or that I enjoy a beer? Should I post a picture of me smoking a cigar on Facebook? I guess it depends on my role right? As a youth pastor I might need to be more cautious? But does that mean I am not being authentic, I’m censoring myself? When I have students in the car should I skip that LP song that has the F-bomb in it, or let it play? How much of who a Pastor is should he let out? How much of who the Youth Pastor is should he let out? Does it depend on position and church?

How authentic is too authentic for a pastor?

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9 thoughts on “Authentic

  1. So… you what to know if you should be a hypocrite or not?
    I vote “not”. If you like cigars smoke them. If you enjoy a fine beer drink some. In moderation there is nothing “wrong” with either. It would be “wrong” to act one way when you are alone and another way when in public. I would say, “be your true self, it is the only self worth being”.
    If you need to pretend around your church, then you have the wrong kind of church.

    When I was a Christian I smoked cigars with my pastor. He is the only pastor I know who is also a real person. 🙂

    • supermatt28 says:

      I think you mis-understand my question. I don’t plan on pretending to be someone I’m not, I’m asking more of how much of what I do in my ‘private’ life should be let into my public/ministry life. For instance, would it be appropriate to smoke a cigar while hanging out with students, etc?

      Also from your comment I gather you are no longer a Christian? How’s that goin’ for ya?

      • I see… Sorry. 🙂

        In that case I would smoke around them, but if the topic came up I would be honest about it. Only because teens are likely to mimic your behaviour and smoking is illegal for minors.

        As for the not being a Christian thing, I have never felt better about life. 🙂

      • I meant “would not” smoke around them…. Sorry. Typo. 🙂

        Your mom is right.

      • supermatt28 says:

        I figured thats what you meant

  2. susan says:

    I think when you are called to be a youth pastor it as an awesome responsibility much like that of being a parent. You should not be a phony but you should evaluate the task God has given you. Parenthood and I would think that of tending his flock, when done well calls one to lead a life of unselfishness. When the focus is put on the young ones you are called to lead and not your own selfish desires it makes you want to do better and be a better person for them. If you came around the corner to find your 11 and 12 year old Jr. Highers smoking wouldn’t it sadden you?

    • supermatt28 says:

      That is great wisdom mother!

      • susan says:

        Thanks son. Also, I was thinking of the irony of the date. March 23 was the 11th anniversary of the death of my daddy from cancer. As a little boy he started smoking corn silk in his parents field at the ripe age of 9 or so. That led to cigarettes which they gave out freely to the troops and then a life of addiction to tobacco. He suffered from heart disease and spent the last 30 years of his life trying to quit, quitting, smoking a pipe, sneaking, quitting etc… He died way too soon and I know tobacco was a factor. Also, you may be able to smoke a weekly or monthly cigar as an adult but your little charges will most likely pick up a cigarette and we all know how very addictive those are. So this one has to be what’s best for those you are called to minister to and not yourself. Love you son.

      • supermatt28 says:

        I knew that date was close, I just couldn’t remember exactly the date

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