Your Opinion Please

James Taylor

Active Member
What Do You Think About Your Pastor Calling You On The Phone Just Minutes Before Service To Find Out Why Youre Not There,
And-or Requiring You To Call In If Your Not Going To Be Present.
Would This Be Normal Or Is It Just A Little Too Much.
Your Vote Please.
 

Rebekah Staggs

Active Member
Staff member
I think it would depend on if you're suppose to be part of the service. If you're playing music, or teaching, or singing, or helping, or something along those lines that you committed to and are expected to be there... people are counting on you...then I can see informing people you won't be able to make it/checking to see what is up so you can get someone else to fill that position. (I'm thinking like Sunday School or something along those lines.)

Now if you didn't make a commitment to do something I think it would be a tad much.
 

Brother Mike

Active Member
I think JaeByrd summed it up nicely.

God bless
Bro. Mike
 

RevTim

Beta Tester
What Do You Think About Your Pastor Calling You On The Phone Just Minutes Before Service To Find Out Why Youre Not There,
And-or Requiring You To Call In If Your Not Going To Be Present.
Would This Be Normal Or Is It Just A Little Too Much.
Your Vote Please.
Obviously I have a biased opinion on all of this... and I suppose the length of my response only reinforces the fact that I am a pastor (cf: Phil. 3:1 & 4:1, esp. the word "finally"! ;) )

As a pastor, I am amazed at the ways people can sabotage me Spiritually on a Sunday morning (sometimes my own children, and sometimes even me!). Some things the pastor needs to know, but they can perhaps wait until after the service, when he might be better able to address the matter / concern and offer help.

When I think about this, I confess I probably did it to my pastor when I was on the other side of the pew! Ah, hindsight...!

Now I suspect this isn't what James had in mind when posting this. But I thought I would mention that because it is the perspective with which I often have to deal with things I am "hit" with -- sometimes only moments before I am supposed to lead the congregation in worshipping the Lord. People often don't realize or even stop to consider the impact what they say or do may have on the pastor. Or at least in my experience, they don't. That's clear from some of the "bombs" I'm given just as I'm walking up to the podium to begin... :eek:

That said, as pastor, I NEED to know if you won't be there IF you have a responsibility in the church that morning (teaching, singing, etc.) -- and depending on the part you were going to play, the sooner I know the better (like teaching a class -- since the pastor is usually ultimately responsible for making sure there is a sub ready, willing and able to fill-in).

If you "have to" miss church, I'd like to know why. If it's serious and a matter that needs prayer -- illness, job complication, car broke down -- by all means calling me before service is good so I can have the whole church pray. (If the car broke down, I might be able to arrange a ride, etc..) If you are missing for something non-essential, I'd still like to know why, but if it can wait until after church, that's okay, too.

Bottom line, as a matter of courtesy and respect, I think it's good for the flock to let the pastor know what's going on in their life (eg: Pastor, sorry we missed this morning, but I forgot to tell you that Junior was getting an award and the banquet was at noon, so...). If you know you're going to be absent in advance, and you can let the pastor know about it (say on Sat.), it is helpful and appreciated.

Hey, no matter why you're going to miss, especially if it's just for one week -- be it vacation, an important function or cermony you are attending, a work-related need, etc. -- most of the time it can be a matter that your pastor can pray for you about, and that will only help to strengthen the bond which I believe should exist between under-shepherd and flock.

And if you miss, and you don't contact your pastor, I think it's good for him to check on you as to why to make sure nothing's seriously wrong which he was not aware of.

BUT I don't think it's good for the Pastor to be calling you just a few min. before service to find this out. It certainly doesn't help him have his head and heart in the right place -- and he shouldn't "require" it of you, especially if it for some one-time non-essential event.

But then again, personally there's a lot of things I think a pastor shouldn't have to require of the flock. I think the Lord already does require a lot the flock often don't do, to the ultimate detriment of their pastor, their church, and their own spiritual well-being.

I would wonder, especially if I do not have an overt responsibility in the church, why a pastor "has to" know why I'm missing right before the service. Is this an issue of insecurity for him? Is it an issue of him trying to exert control he perhaps shouldn't try to exert? If you can determine his motive, you can go a long way to discerning if it's right and good and Biblical or not.

Hope this helps!
 

James Taylor

Active Member
Thanks For The Reply. I Think Its A Little Much Too But My Pastor Dosent Think So. Thanks Pastor Tim For Reflecting From Both Sides Of The Pulpit. We Often Dont Take Into Account How The Pastor Feels. After All What Does Know.
 

Jerry

Beta Tester
What Do You Think About Your Pastor Calling You On The Phone Just Minutes Before Service To Find Out Why Youre Not There,
And-or Requiring You To Call In If Your Not Going To Be Present.
Would This Be Normal Or Is It Just A Little Too Much.
Your Vote Please.
Personally, I think it's way over the line for a pastor to be calling people before the service. I guess I can see it if the person has a big responsibility and is not yet on the premises, but that would be an exception. From where I sit, as a lay-pastor, I would wonder, doesn't he have anything better to do that close to the service starting? I know I would.

My $.02.

Jerry
 

LindaR

Member
I've never heard of a pastor calling someone right before worship service to ask why you aren't there or requiring you to call if you aren't going to be present. Unless you had a commitment, I don't think there is any reason for such a call by the pastor.

We do get called by our pastor,his wife, or another church member, but only to find out if we are okay and to find out if there is anything they can do for us. I went to a church years ago that mailed out postcards saying "We missed you" and sometimes we would receive a follow up call to find out why we missed church--which would sort of remind me of the song that the Kingsmen sang "Excuses" and "More Excuses".
 

marty

Beta Tester
What Do You Think About Your Pastor Calling You On The Phone Just Minutes Before Service To Find Out Why Youre Not There,
And-or Requiring You To Call In If Your Not Going To Be Present.
Would This Be Normal Or Is It Just A Little Too Much.
Your Vote Please.
I agree that calling a few minutes before church is too much unless a person has a service committment to the church, otherwise their comings and goings should be their own business.

The only times I would expect such a call from my pastor is if we had a very close personal relationship or if I had told him about a problem I was having that might require his intervention (i.e. car trouble). If I had shared any problem with the pastor, I would expect him to be praying for me already, and if he noticed that I didn't show up for a service, I would expect him to pray for me (he could mention it to me at the next service and ask what happened -- that would be natural). If I unexpectedly needed a ride to church, I could call him, but I would be more likely to call a friend or a taxi as I would know that the pastor would be busy with his church service.

Other than in extenuating circumstances such as those listed above, I feel that the pastor calling before, or even after, church to see why someone is absent is very controlling and isn't healthy for either the pastor or the congregation. It would probably send me to a different church.
 

RevTim

Beta Tester
Other than in extenuating circumstances such as those listed above, I feel that the pastor calling before, or even after, church to see why someone is absent is very controlling and isn't healthy for either the pastor or the congregation. It would probably send me to a different church.
I've known people to leave a church because the pastor didn't call when they missed, and also because the pastor did call when they missed.

In both cases he was doing what he thought was best according to the circumstance and the person to show them the loving care he thought they needed.

There are times when, no matter what you do, as a pastor, you simply can't win.
 

Ashlady

Member
I think it's great that the pastor noticed that one of his sheep was missing.
People do not call people they care nothing about, thus I would be very please to receive this call if I could not attend.
I believe the Pastor as the leader should be aware of his sheep and know when they not in attendance.
It's a small thing...that ONE phone call..... but it means a lot.

God bless Ash.......:)
 

MiltW

Member
Obviously I have a biased opinion on all of this... and I suppose the length of my response only reinforces the fact that I am a pastor (cf: Phil. 3:1 & 4:1, esp. the word "finally"! ;) )

As a pastor, I am amazed at the ways people can sabotage me Spiritually on a Sunday morning (sometimes my own children, and sometimes even me!). Some things the pastor needs to know, but they can perhaps wait until after the service, when he might be better able to address the matter / concern and offer help.
AMEN (is there a "shouting glory" smily?) Brother!
I can relate;) . Isn't it amazing how such things can happen?
But I found the answer, for me anyway. I started having a few of the Saints gather in my office for prayer, just before service began. Soon, everyone knew that Pastor was not available that 5 or so minutes before, and even when things started off kilter, it brought assurance, encouragement and focus for the service and for the sermon.

And back to the topic at hand.
If someone is involved in the service, I indeed hope they would inform me, but if not, to God be the glory. I have seen times when a key person was late or didn't arrive, but the Spirit turned the service around to what someone there needed more than what was pre-planned.

Myself, I might call a board member, or someone I knew had been ill so that I could better pray for them. Then there are those, Brother Tim, who are new in the faith and need to change old habits. A loving reminder might say, I truely care for your welfare.

Milt
 

RevTim

Beta Tester
AMEN (is there a "shouting glory" smily?) Brother!
I can relate;) . Isn't it amazing how such things can happen?
But I found the answer, for me anyway. I started having a few of the Saints gather in my office for prayer, just before service began. Soon, everyone knew that Pastor was not available that 5 or so minutes before, and even when things started off kilter, it brought assurance, encouragement and focus for the service and for the sermon.

And back to the topic at hand.
If someone is involved in the service, I indeed hope they would inform me, but if not, to God be the glory. I have seen times when a key person was late or didn't arrive, but the Spirit turned the service around to what someone there needed more than what was pre-planned.

Myself, I might call a board member, or someone I knew had been ill so that I could better pray for them. Then there are those, Brother Tim, who are new in the faith and need to change old habits. A loving reminder might say, I truely care for your welfare.

Milt
Good thoughts, brother, glad you are participating on the boards.
 
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