Pastoral Love Languages

A few days ago, Thom Rainer wrote an excellent blog post called, “The Five Love Languages of Pastors.”  I’ve been a paid church staff member for a little more than 6 years, and have been a part of various church ministries since 1998.

I’m going to share some pretty blunt thoughts here. If you see yourself in them, I’m not talking about YOU, but “you”. Why? Because trust me…you were simply one of many…so nothing personal.

With that in mind, here are some of my thoughts, in no certain order:

  • Moving into our home last November, and having people fill our kitchen with food was fan-freaking-tastic. We felt loved.
  • Thumbs up to Starbucks gift cards. Better yet, us having a conversation over a cup. Whomever sent us the 2 pound bag of coffee a few weeks ago from Costco…that was amazingly generous. I think you’ve saved our marriage.
  • Personalized notes are great. I have a little box that I keep them in. When ministry gets frustrating, I take a look inside and read.
  • I have a really tough time setting time boundaries. What this means is that it is within my temperment to schedule a meeting with someone every single night of the week.
  • I’m working on setting time boundaries. What this means is that I will not meet with people every night of the week. And, I will probably not schedule a meeting immediately following our upcoming ETHOS events. I’ll be exhausted and you won’t get my undivided attention, which is fair to neither of us. Respect that.
  • Don’t let our sole communication be via email. I struggle with this, too. Email makes me lazy. We can initiate conversation this way, but let’s converse in person. At Starbucks. Just not every night or after ETHOS.
  • I don’t like standing at the back of the sanctuary as people leave, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries; it feels forced and inauthentic. I’ve actually heard myself say, “Thanks for coming” as though I’ve given a speech at the Rotary Club. So, I stay up front, where I feel like I have more interactive conversation with people.
  • At the same time, my standing at the back , shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries, just might be our only interaction. I’m wondering…how can we make that time more “real”?
  • I’m uncomfortable around some of you. I’m sure that some of you are uncomfortable around me. Probably because we are judging one another based on our lack of interaction, an email, or off-hand comment that was poorly thought-out or because one of us was in a bad mood when we interacted. Can we talk about it?
  • If you come to me with a ministry idea that you’d like to see us do, there’s about a 100% chance I’ll ask for you to be a part of making that happen. Oh, and if I ask “Why” we should do it…I’m not questioning you personally. Rather, I’m seeking to understand so that I can buy in to your vision of it.
  • What’s more, if I ask you “Why”, I’m looking for something more substantive than, “We’ve done it before.” While Starbucks is my primary love language, “Vision” is a pretty close second.
  • If I don’t respond to an email immediately, wait a sec. Often, the emails received have some really, really big questions in them and I want to respond thoughtfully in a way that will continue conversation. Sometimes, I receive emails on my day off, and, because I struggle with boundaries, sometimes I’ll respond, and other times I won’t. Did I mention that I struggle with this?
  • If you really, really need to get me, call my mobile number. It’s on 24 hours a day because I struggle with boundaries.

I’ll post a follow up tomorrow with a few other things, because I’m way over my goal of 450 words.

Add to the conversation, but let’s keep it honest and humble.



Filed under General Church

2 responses to “Pastoral Love Languages

  1. Amy

    Very interesting and a great read! 🙂
    Good info. to remember!

  2. Thanks! See today’s post for more insights.

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