Last Sunday, Pete Wilson from Nashville megachurch, Cross Point Church, resigned from his position as lead pastor. After leading Cross Point Church for 14 years, Wilson told his congregation on Sunday that he’s been “leading on empty.”
No specific details were given, but in his announcement Wilson says, “And now, more than ever before – I really need your prayers and I need your support. We’ve said that this is a church where it’s okay to not be okay, and I’m not okay. I’m tired. And I’m broken and I just need some rest.”
Because Pete Wilson was a megachurch pastor and author, I’d heard of his name before but never heard or read anything from him. This is by no means a critical analysis of Wilson, Cross Point Church, or his resignation.
This is a brief reflection on how we view church leaders.
Because our church culture has adopted the “celebrity-ness” from our culture, many Christians look to church leaders with the wrong view.
Here are some things to remember about church leaders (whether they pastor a 10 or 10,000-person church):
- They are human, just like you. They eat, sleep, laugh, cry, get sick, struggle with temptation, etc. For some reason we think that church leaders are robotic – that nothing “human” should affect them. Well, it’s just not true.
- They need prayer. Similar to the first point, church leaders aren’t less susceptible to sin than you are. Pray that God would strengthen them in the gospel every day.
- They are doing a great work. Many Christians have lost respect for church leaders. The truth is, if a church leader is following God’s will, then their responsibility to care for and lead the church is massive. Contrary to what you may think, pastors don’t just go out for “lunch meetings,” read casually in their office, and play golf. Pastors help discipline, teach, and care for God’s flock – that’s heavy.
- They’re not celebrities, so don’t treat them like one. Can you imagine what Paul would say if people wanted to get a sculptures done with him? Or his signature? He’d look at them as if they were mad! Pastors are pastors – not stars. Church leaders who have large followings have to daily fight the temptation to not accept praise and glory for themselves. Whenever you treat them like a celebrity, you’re adding more pressure to their fight.