The Impulsive Pastor

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Some pastors are impulsive. Some pastors mistake impulse for the Holy Spirit. Both can get you in trouble.

Impulse is defined as, ‘a sudden strong and unreflective urge or desire to act.’ Did you notice the word unreflective?

The longer you have been in the ministry, the more experience you have, the more training and education you’ve received…the greater chance that you will be impulsive. The reason for this is our years of experience and training provide us with quick answers. It’s the old, ‘been there, done that’, I know exactly what needs to be done, way of thinking. The tricky thing is, sometimes you’re right, and sometimes you’re wrong.

The more urgent a situation seems the greater chance that you will be impulsive. Part of pastoring is putting out fires. If my house is on fire I’m not going to sit there and reflect what I should do. No…I’m gonna grab the hose and start putting out the fire. Sometimes you need to grab the hose, but many times you need to wait and assess the situation. You can think you have fire but be mistaken. Rushing without reflecting can be like trying to put out a fire with gasoline rather than water.

Because impulse can feel like the promptings of the Holy Spirit it’s easy to mistake impulse for the Holy Spirit. Never underestimate your ability to convince yourself, and sometimes others, that you are being led by the Spirit when you’re not.

Be cautious about any idea or action that feels impulsive.

The rule is, reflective in more effective.

Have someone on your team that is not afraid to tell you, assuming that you will ask them, when they think you are being impulsive.

And, never underestimate your ability to convince yourself, and sometimes others, that you are being led by the Spirit when you’re not.