Free Yourself From Being Responsible “For” People
- something that you should do because it is morally right, legally required, etc.
- the state or fact of being accountable
- having the job or duty of dealing with or taking care of something or someone
The responsibility of a Pastor towards their people is large and varied. A Pastor should:
- Feed the Flock
- Love the Flock
- Lead the Flock
- Keep the Flock together
- Tend the Flock
- Protect the Flock 1
Let’s add some Bible verses to really bring it home:)
“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. ” (James 3:1)
“We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry.” ( 2 Corinthians 6:3)
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
Most Pastors work hard and diligently at leading and shepherding well. However, even when we pour our lives into people they will still make bad decisions. How do we respond to this after we have become so invested? Our response to this disappointment will be based on if we feel we are responsible “to” people or responsible “for” people.
How do you know the difference? Check out these 4 statements and see which side of the aisle you end up on.
When I’m responsible to people, I understand they have choices. When I’m responsible for people, I think I should decide for them.
When I’m responsible to people, I know they must figure out their next steps. When I’m responsible for people, I try to tell them what their next steps are.
When I’m responsible to people, I know they must bear the consequences of their own chosen actions. When I’m responsible for people, I assume the guilt – or worse, the shame – for them.
When I’m responsible to people, I share their journeys, offering encouragement and teaching. When I’m responsible for people, I try to direct their journeys, never allowing them to wrestle, mess up or make a wrong turn.
How did you do? Which side of the aisle did you end up sitting on?
Being responsible “for” people can grow out of a deep desire to lead well and save people from making bad decisions. However, it can also be a self-esteem booster for the Pastor because the desire to be needed can be quite enticing. Even worse the need to be responsible “for” people can just be a control issue.
Being responsible “to” people is the mature attitude we should all strive for. No matter how great a leader you are, ultimately you are not responsible for the decisions of others. Let’s do our part: Acknowledge our responsibility (James 3:1), conduct our lives and ministry well (2 Cor. 6:3), pay attention to our flock (Acts 20:28) and leave the rest to the individual and the Holy Spirit.
Free yourself, become responsible “to” people not “for” people.
(Taken from “Lasting Impressions”by Mark Waltz)