Temptations of pastors?

Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed has a recent post on the topic. He askes the questions about the most common temptations of pastors (non-sexual). Past readers of McKnight will notice that his blog is now on beliefnet. I’m not sure I like that move, but I’m sure it is because his blog is so successful.

What do you think are the most common temptations of pastors?


Filed under Christianity, Christianity: Leaders and Leadership, pastors and pastoring

5 responses to “Temptations of pastors?

  1. karenestelle

    After being involved on a ministry level in a few different churches (married to a youth pastor) I would have to say I think the biggest temptation would be to become a “people pleaser”. In other words – to be more concerned with the praise of men than the praise of God. It’s huge because these people pay us, so to tell them that we “know better” what they need than they do is a touchy thing. Maybe that brings us to the second temptation – to become defensive and reclusive.

  2. Karen,

    Yes, I would have to agree. Try and try again to please. Fail, move towards withdrawal.

    Well said. Its like having as many bosses as people in the church–all who think their opinion is of utmost importance!


  3. Ron

    I have to quote John Owen from his work on Temptation. Here he seems to be speaking from experience, and his closing of the passage brings me to tears of joy.

    Entering into temptation may be seen in the lesser degrees of it; as, for instance, when the heart begins secretly to like the matter of the temptation, and is content to feed it and increase it by any ways that it may without downright sin. In particular, a man begins to be in repute for piety, wisdom, learning, or the like—he is spoken of much to that purpose; his heart is tickled to hear of it, and his pride and ambition affected with it. If this man now, with all his strength, ply the things from whence his repute, and esteem, and glory among men do spring, with a secret eye to have it increased, he is entering into temptation; which, if he take not heed, will quickly render him a slave of lust. … The things [Jehu] did were good in themselves, but he was entered into temptation, and served his lust in that he did. So is it with many scholars. They find themselves esteemed and favored for their learning. This takes hold of the pride and ambition of their hearts. Hence they set themselves to study with all diligence day and night—a thing good in itself; but they do it that they might satisfy the thoughts and words of men, wherein they delight: and so in all they do they make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof [Rom. 13:14].

    It is true, God oftentimes brings light out of this darkness and turns things to a better issue. After, it may be, a man has studied sundry years, with an eye upon his lusts—his ambition, pride, and vain-glory—rising early and going to bed late, to give them satisfaction, God comes in with his grace, turns the soul to himself, robs those Egyptian lusts [cf. Num. 11:5], and so consecrates that to the use of the tabernacle which was provided for idols.

  4. Carmella

    I hate to begin a potentially incomplete thought- but bear with me…

    I think a Pastor’s greatest temptation could be that he believes too much that he is a sage when it comes to theology, decision making, and wisdom application. I have seen in many churches where things are taught as black-and-white because the leadership feels good about teaching things that way. This creates a ripple effect where the congregation now espouses black-and-white thinking, without fluidity or flexibility.

    Anybody key in on where I’m going with this? thoughts?

  5. Ron,

    Ahh, the temptations of the theologically inclined. Good warning from Owen.

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