Rules for Pastors
What your are about to read is birthed in our great love for Christ’s Church. We are the spiritual police, and our Rules for Pastors are motivated by holy zeal to see the body of Christ operating efficiently and effectively, like a powerful, well-oiled machine, no matter what the cost.
- Pastors are Shepherds who must feed and lead the flock. Without Pastors, believers would starve to death spiritually. Pastors must feed their flocks good food. What is good food? It is orthodoxy-approved interpretations of orthodoxy-approved scripture translations and orthodoxy-approved study materials. Without Pastors, believers would spend their lives in an aimless state of spiritual wandering, always confused about what is true, right, and beneficial. If all of the Pastors of this world resigned, there would be no more “body of Christ” in this world. If a member claims to follow Christ, the Shepherd, then that member will eat the good food and agree with what the Pastor says is true, right, and beneficial, because Pastor-Shepherds always provide good food and lead as Christ leads.
- Pastors are the mouthpiece of God. Although Pastors are fallible human beings just like everyone else, during the Sunday morning sermon and other teaching opportunities they possess supernatural wisdom to correctly interpret scripture. Pastors use infallible bible translations and have been appointed by God Himself with authority when it comes to discerning spiritual truth and error. If someone disagrees with sermon or teaching content, meet privately with him/her. (Rule Two does not apply to office hours and private conversations, so admitting error or doubt may be permissible within this context. However, under no circumstance should a Pastor admit error or doubt about orthodox doctrines, for example, eternal conscious separation from God. For more information, read Rules for Teaching Hell.)
- Pastors should use their God-given authority to stamp out rebellion. If someone publicly challenges a pastor’s teaching, he/she is not only challenging the pastor personally, he/she is challenging God. Challenging God or those God has put in authority is rebellion. In addition, anyone who challenges the validity of Rule Two is in rebellion. Refer to the Shunning Rules for instructions on how to proceed. Warning: Do not give troublemakers the opportunity to subject the sermon to the light of scrutiny in front of the congregation. A wolf in sheep’s clothing may be clever enough with words to make it seem as though the sermon actually contains error!
- Pastors should carefully maintain their public personas. Pastors should be an example to the flock, and part of this is publicly admitting to minor faults and foibles so that congregations can relate to them as fallible human beings. But Pastors should NOT publicly admit to more serious issues like ongoing anxiety, persistent temptation, serious anger management problems, seasons of depression, addictions, or any other personal issues that might cause people to question whether Rule Two is valid. (As long as this information remains private, Rule Two still applies.)
- Pastors who do not carefully maintain their public personas don’t get to be Pastors. If, somehow, the private information in Rule Four begins to make its way into the public, the Pastor should then publicly acknowledge the situation and either resign or take a long break from ministry for healing and restoration. This will not only benefit the well-being of the Pastor, but it will preserve the appearance of the validity of Rule Two. Another option is to resign, move to another state, and then immediately resume the role of a Senior Pastor in another church, where no one knows anything about the personal problems.
- Pastors should avoid burnout. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” A Pastor cannot be a fundraiser, provide therapy, be a preacher and teacher, provide custodial services, counsel the bereaved, officiate weddings, organize meetings, pull weeds, plan church social events, run the sound system, and more all by himself. Delegate responsibilities to others who are gifted appropriately. If there aren’t enough volunteers, it may be because your congregation took your sermon on being a minister in the community too seriously. Preach sermons about how people should be more involved in church activities. If there aren’t enough funds, it may be because your congregation took your sermon on giving to the poor too seriously. Preach a sermon about giving to the church. If Sunday morning attendance suffers, just remember that a Pastor’s success as a man of God is judged by the success of the church, and a successful church is well-attended. Perhaps your congregation took your sermon on having relationships outside of the church too seriously. Preach a sermon about not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together.
- Pastors must have a penises. However, a person without a penis may be permitted to speak, lead, or minister to the congregation during segues in worship, on special occasions, or for specific purposes (for example, missions, ministry teams reports, giving a personal testimony, or prayer). There are other ways people without penises can speak, teach, lead, and minister (for example, being an elder, team leader, small group facilitator, women’s pastor, youth minister, or children’s church pastor), but people without penises cannot be pastors in the traditional sense. If someone disagrees with Rule Seven, denominational leaders who have penises (or for non-denominational churches, Senior Pastors) can refer to this set of rules to clarify what the proper role in the church of people without penises is. Understand that Satan wants to bring corruption into the church, and what better way to do this than to convince a rebellious woman to go against the tide of anti-vaginal traditionalism? Anyone who persists in such divisive behavior is subject to church discipline. For more information, see the Shunning Rules.
- Pastors should be overseers. Since Pastors can’t possibly attend all small group meetings, the Pastor needs other overseers to report any spiritually suspicious activity (unorthodox conversation, study materials, etc). However, Pastors usually don’t need to appoint overseers, because every church has at least a handful of spiritual guardians who naturally keep an eye on things without even being asked to do so. These faithful believers are quick to report nonconformists. All Pastors need to do is wait. Inevitably, the faithful will call or show up at the church office for an appointment to discuss their concerns.
- Pastors should provide a spiritual “covering” for the flock. The flock needs protection. The Pastor provides this protection. If the flock is in submission to the Pastor-Shepherd, then the flock is protected. Believers who do not attend church are sheep without a shepherd. All believers need to be accountable to someone who is spiritually superior (not better, just having more authority and spiritual maturity). Even people who have spiritual authority and spiritual maturity need a covering, so if you move up the spiritual hierarchy, it eventually leads all the way up to the Pastor, whose covering is Christ. Without this covering, believers would fall into sin and error. It’s obvious that this method of covering really works, because there is very little sin and error going on within the covering system — and it’s practically unheard of that a Pastor falls into sin and error.
- Pastors should always remember they walk on thin ice. The real authority in the church belongs to us, the spiritual police. No one really knows who we are, because we know how to do what we do with the utmost diplomacy. At any time, you, Pastor, can be dismissed. If Rule Four doesn’t get the best of you, we will. Yes, there are bylaws, but we know how to work around them. We have an arsenal of weapons at our disposal. We know how to quietly gain an audience and cultivate a sense of dissatisfaction. You might resign under the intense pressure we apply. But if you don’t, when the time is right, we’ll cite conflict over leadership styles, failure to communicate with church leaders, dissatisfaction with performance, or other reasons why it would be best to find another Pastor. If for some reason this fails, we always have the perfect backup plan — when disagreements arise between those we have influenced and those who would defend you, there will be power struggles and tension. Consequently, power struggles and tension are the evidence we need, that is, the “lack of unity” to prove that the church is unhealthy under your leadership. Always know your place — under our authority. As long as you don’t have any revolutionary ideas, as long as you keep doing church the way we’ve always done church, your position here in our church is secure.