In every position of leadership I have ever held, there were people who felt the need to “inform” the leader.
When I served in an elected office, people told me things I wouldn’t have otherwise known without the position. Sometimes I needed to know…sometimes I didn’t.
When I was a business owner, there was always at least one employee who made sure I knew the inside scoop of the company talk. Sometimes I needed to know…sometimes I didn’t.
As a pastor, I’ve learned there are plenty of people willing to tell me things I would never hear if I wasn’t the pastor. Sometimes I need to know…sometimes I don’t.
I usually never know if it’s something I should know or not until they tell me. If someone has a legitimate problem with a ministry area, I want to know about it, for example. There are some things, however, that I never feel the need to know.
Here are a few examples:
- Gossip about another person…
- Prayer requests given with a motive of gossip…
- Rumors spread without substantiation…
- Extremely intimate details about a person’s private life…
- Problems happening in another church…
- Secrets one doesn’t have permission to tell…
- Details your spouse isn’t ready for me to hear…
You might be surprised to hear what people try to tell me…because I’m a pastor. Now there are extreme times when abuse or neglect is suspected or occurring to an individual and I may need to hear, but most of the time those are not the intent with the list above. Chances are that if it’s wrong to share with others, it’s wrong to share it with me.
Please understand, I’m not suggesting I don’t care about the struggles of people’s lives, but there is never an excuse to spread gossip or rumors that cause more harm than good to a person or situation. Even though I’m the pastor, there are some things I simply have no need to know.
Pastors, what’s the strangest thing you’ve been told…that you really didn’t need to know?
What else would you add to my list?
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