My dad was an evangelical pastor for most of my childhood. Watching him lead a church made me acutely aware of the ways church members could be wonderful servants or horrible distractions for the pastor. As a Catholic, I’ve found that the principles are the same.

If you really want to make your pastor miserable, here are five easy steps:

Step 1: Complain

Did he leave the lights on? Was his sermon too long or too short? Let him know, frequently. Is the music not up to par, a door unlocked, the Knights of Columbus breakfast not announced, a call not returned? Send a mountain of e-mails! Even better, make them anonymous. Remember, he’s always at your church to be your personal servant and meet all of your needs.

Step 2: Gossip

If he isn’t listening to your wants, let others know about his failures (the less significant the better.) Was he late to confession, not interested in your ministry idea? Let others know through “prayer requests.” Turn the church against him—you’ll be better off with no pastor at all, right?

Step 3: Hoard your time, talent, and treasure

Whatever you do, don’t give 10% of your income to the church. Don’t even give 3%. Throw in a buck every couple weeks. This way, the church will have a small budget and you’ll be able to complain about the ministries you can’t do. Don’t volunteer, either. Just be a critic. It’s what Pope Francis would do.

Step 4: Forget he is a person

He does not have a family, does not get stressed, does not have doubts, does not have hobbies—he is a Christian machine. Keep that perspective in your dialogue with him.

Step 5: Neglect praying for him

Spend your time doing #1-4 and you’ll certainly have no time or desire to pray for him.


That’s it! 5 simple steps. If you diligently follow the instructions detailed above, you will not only succeed in making your pastor miserable, but also discourage others from ever taking his place.

Originally posted on Ignitum Today

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