Some pastors are naturally approachable. They have a certain charisma that draws people. Other pastors draw in people like an open casket viewing. People approach but with nervous hesitation. Most of us are somewhere in between these two extremes.
Five Strategies for Being a More Approachable Pastor on Sunday Morning
Your approachability as a pastor is not limited to Sunday mornings, but it’s a key time when people will develop perceptions about you. I’ve heard one comment over and over from people who meet me for the first time after I preach: “You’re way taller than I expected!” I don’t know what it is about the stage or pulpit, but apparently people don’t pick up on my six-foot-two-and-three-quarters-frame. (The three-quarters is important because that makes me the same height as my little brother.)
There are several theories about how follower perceptions—whether correct or not—affect the realities in which leaders operate. The cliché is true. Perception is reality. Good pastors know this. They understand preaching alone, doctrine alone, vision alone is not enough. Some of the most naïve advice out there is “Just preach the Word.” It’s tantamount to telling a teacher “Just teach good lessons.” Some of the worst teachers are the ones who are only there to dump knowledge. There is a relational aspect to leading. People have to trust you, believe you, and yes, like you. Obviously, not everyone will like you, but a segment of those you lead should!
Approachability is only one facet of leadership, but it’s an important part of being a pastor. Your weekend worship experiences are a concentrated time, meaning you have the most people on campus for a short duration. It’s your chance to interact with your congregation and for others to see you interacting. Not everyone will talk to you, but many will see you talking and assume you can be approached.
If you are a lead pastor, there will be many wrong perceptions about you. It’s impossible to stop. People will formulate ideas about who you are, often pulling from ideals and experiences—good or bad—with previous pastors. These perceptions will be corrected over time as you interact with people and as church members communicate with other church members about your true personality. I certainly haven’t mastered the art, but I make an intentional effort on Sundays. Here are some things to consider.
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Source: Church Leaders