How to classify people if the church
I asked Pastor Blue if I could post to the blog. I help pastor with the administration of the blog.
If you keep track of Pastor Blue’s posts you can see he takes time to deal with objections. Many times the people who he is dealing with seem genuinely interested in gaining understanding, sometimes not so much. Those of us who know Pastor Blue know how patiently he will work us through our misunderstandings, misperceptions and blind spots concerning Doctrine. Thinking about these “mentoring sessions” both online and in person, I asked Pastor Blue to do this. Now to the interview:
Pastor Blue, over the years you have dealt with many types of people. Although some people resist being typed or classified, I expect that you can give us some insights into what type of people you’ve dealt with and the characteristics of the conversations. I remember other preachers classifying people as “honest seekers” and the like. Some conversations are worthwhile and some useless. Could you give us insights in these different types of people, the characteristics of their conversation, and maybe how to know if they are worth our time? Can you show us how you classify people in the church?
Scott, like all problems, some are identified immediately, while other take some time to figure out. This is also true of people. However, when you have been in the problem solving business for a while, it becomes easier to spot it.
If I were to classify people, I think they fall into three groups. I call them the VIP, VTP, VDP. When I speak of these, it is only in the context of people within a church, with whom the pastor must deal. Every church will have within it a group who are very important to the ministries (…The VIP). These are those we choose as assistant pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers, etc. The pastor needs wisdom and patience to identify these people. A church cannot function without these called “VIP.”
Then there are the people who are very teachable (…The VTP). They are eager to learn the Scriptures, and how to serve the Lord. They are your next generation of VIP. Again, the pastor must watch for this crowd and spend his time training and nurturing them. They will display an ability to get along with people, an aptitude for learning, and strength of character.
Finally, there are those we are called to pastor who are very draining (…The VDP). They would like to have counseling sessions with the pastor after every service. The pastor must avoid the belief he can help these people. They do not want their problem solved, that would remove their excuse for counseling.
Then there are those who have a grievance about someone else, and they want you to deal with it. Don’t do it! They want the pastor’s finger prints on their murder weapon. When someone complains about another, NEVER give YOUR opinion about that person. Your comments will get back to the other party, and now you have another family to deal with.
Most complaints should be ignored. But, there are some that must be addressed. The pastor may need to seek outside advice on some issues. Remember, all three of these groups are in every church, and the pastor is the pastor of each of them. He must learn the difference, and learn the best way to deal with them. Jesus could not keep all His flock, neither can any pastor.
Lois McBride says
A lot more to pastoring than teaching Bible concepts. I was so blessed to have sat under the teachings and the wisdom of Pastor Blue for all those years.