Shelbyville Daily Union

May 14, 2012

Ask the Pastor

Chase Smith, pastor Fellowship Baptist Church, Shelbyville

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — What should I expect from my pastor?


Sometimes, people in the community have questions about things they hear pastors say.  Recently, a woman asked me about something a local pastor said at a funeral.  She wanted to know why he said what he did, if it was biblical, and what he should have said. I have no interest in belittling another man of the Lord, so I answered her vaguely, explaining that not having been there I did not know the actual context in which it was stated. People expect a lot from a pastor, and sometimes their expectations are unbiblical and unnecessary.

So what should you expect from your pastor? First and foremost your pastor should be biblically based. This concept is widespread and seen in a variety of ways, such as in his preaching and teaching, guarding the truth of the scriptures, and confronting sin. Everything that your pastor says in a Bible study or from the pulpit needs to have scripture to back it up.  If he doesn’t, it should not have been said. As men of the faith who have been given authority over a congregation of believers, we should not say anything that involves our opinions from the pulpit or classroom. We are allowed to have opinions, but people come to church to hear the Word of God, not the word of the pastor.

Your pastor needs to be teaching the Bible at all times, including conversations regarding living the Christian lifestyle. If your pastor hears of a believer sinning or misusing scripture, it is his job to teach what the bible says on that issue. A pastor that knowingly lets his congregation sin and misunderstand scripture, is one that should not be in the position he has.

There are other duties that a pastor has such as praying for his people, setting an example for others to follow, caring for the sick and widows, comfort the grieving, encouraging the fainthearted, and training up leaders in the church.

As a Christian and a member of the church, it is your job to make sure your pastor is biblical; don’t just take his word for it. After he talks, ask him questions; get the scripture that he is speaking from and challenge him if necessary (Acts 17:10-12).

This last part is to pastors. If you are not a pastor, give this article to your pastor to read. You may have strong opinions about a subject or a really good story that you want to share from the pulpit, but the people need the Word of the Lord, not a word from you. People are hurting in a way that only can be healed from God’s Word. I plead with you; speak the truth from the Bible and the Bible only. 

Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit