1. “I don’t know.”
2. “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.”
3. “What do you think?”
4. “Sometimes I doubt too.”
5. “I need to take a break.”
6. “I need to spend time with my family.”
7. “I’m not exactly sure what this text means, but I’m going to take a stab at it, present some other views, and then we’ll wrestle with it together.”
8. “We don’t have to agree for you to be welcome here.”
9. “This is Christ’s body, broken for you. This is Christ’s blood, shed for you.”
10. “Let’s pray.”
11. “Let’s eat!”
I’m blessed to have had several such pastors in my life, though I realize such humility isn’t a given. The irony, of course, is that saying these things not only liberates a congregation; it also liberates the pastor. Often, the most meaningful and impactful words a pastor can share are spoken away from the pulpit.
I wrote much more about this a few years ago in a post entitled, “Dear Pastors, Tell Us the Truth.”
So what would you add to this list?
What's something a pastor has said to you that was painful or destructive? What's something a pastor has said to you that encouraged, healed, or inspired?