Are pastors “supermen?” From accumulated evidence, the answer probably is a “Yes!” Certainly from and within the perspective of many of their members, considering the diverse problems they invariably bring to them for salvation – physiologically, psychologically (mental health), and spiritually. Except for the latter (hopefully there is a certain level of giftedness, a pastoral heart, coupled with training, in the exercise of this responsibility), the expertise required from our pastors to resolve some of these, sometimes intractable, issues are enormous, and I commiserate with them if they attempt to play god in areas outside their specialty focus.
It helps for us to understand that we are all constrained as humans by our limited skill sets and training, whatever they may be, and it behooves us in our responsibility to our church members, and patients or clients, to direct them to other specialists who may be more adept to attempt to resolve problems and thereby minister health. Having seen some bizarre diagnoses with even more extreme treatment strategies, the amount of energy and time spent undoing someone’s handiwork can be exasperating. Professionals are not above making mistakes either.
Treatment experimentation by well-intentioned non-practitioners is irresponsible, and may result in irreparable harm physiologically, psychologically, and spiritually. Good intentions cannot be the basis for any form of treatment in the Christian community; it is dishonest at the very least. Furthermore, unbridled pastoral multitasking will only result in incessant burnout sooner than later, and it takes up too much resources and time for the pastor to focus on what really matters in ministry. We all need God’s wisdom in the discharge of our responsibilities. Irrespective of calling and profession!
Ed Cyzewski’s article gives a thought provoking pastoral perspective to this very critical issue.
Read the entire article here: