Speaking to pastor

If I see that my pastor is negligent in his duties every day of the week besides Sunday (always letting phone calls go to his voicemail, not calling/visiting shut-ins monthly, not having hymns and texts chosen well in advance of the service, not reviewing forms given to him to complete, not showing up for church cleaning or decorating days), do I have the right to tell him he ought to do more for our congregation? I am a single woman, and our elders and congregation president are hesitant to discuss this problem with him. I’ve prayed for him to change, but nothing has changed.

Certainly, if you have concerns about your pastor’s ministry, do speak to him. Such a conversation will enable you to pass along your observations and receive your pastor’s explanations. If conversations like this with your pastor do not bring about resolution, then there is opportunity to speak to church leaders such as the ones you mentioned. They would then need to speak to your pastor.

Because your concerns appear to be about faithfulness, let me pass along these thoughts. While God has high standards and requirements for those who would serve him in the public ministry (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9), faithfulness is all-important (1 Corinthians 4:2). Pastors are to be faithful in their ministries and faithful in all areas of life—including their personal and family life. Congregations help their pastors when they encourage their pastors to be faithful and assist them in growing in their faithfulness.

One way of providing encouragement and assistance is through a “care committee for called workers.” I do not know if your congregation has such a committee. If you want more information, you and your congregation’s leaders can find resources here. A care committee for called workers provides a forum for regular communication between called workers and congregational representatives so that concerns such as the ones you listed can be addressed and resolved.

Continue praying for your pastor. One of our hymns contains a nice prayer for pastors and congregations. “Keep pastors faithful, strong, and true, Not working for themselves but you. Endow them with the grace they need, The lambs to serve, the sheep to feed, The precious flock to lead and guide—The Shepherd thus is glorified. May all your people faithful be And treat your pastors rev’rently And with them work and for them pray, Rememb’ring what the Scriptures say: Receive the prophet of the Lord and gain the prophet’s own reward.” (Christian Worship 548:2-3) God’s blessings to you and your congregation.