A few months ago, a new pastor started at my church. After a year of being pastor-less, it was great to welcome him, his wife and four kids who have moved from Perth.
Like I've witnessed at other churches, welcoming the new pastor was an exciting time in our church. But part of me felt wary. I've seen what can happen as the months and years go on. The excitement dwindles. The church expects him to be a multi-talented man with outstanding gifts in preaching, teaching, pastoral care, visits, hospitality, youth group, evangelism....then realises that the pastor is not perfect. They start to compare him to previous pastors. The pastor realises that in order for the church to grow and for God to be glorified, changes must happen...hard changes. The Word of God must be preached even when it ticks people off. When the pastor stops dancing to the congregation's tune, they turn against him.
My prayer for my church is that we won't burden him with our expectations of what we think he should be like, but encourage him to be the man God has called and made him to be. That we won't put in our 'shopping lists' of things we'd like him to do. That we'd stand back and let him and the elders lead us. That we'd trust God by trusting them and submitting willingly to their leadership.