Backseat pastors: it’s not your vision!

Have you ever gone driving with somebody where they are in the passenger seat? As you are moving along you notice them frantically pushing the brakes hoping that you will stop when they think you should. They check the mirror and look out the window to make sure that you are in the clear to move to another lane or make a turn. I am always amazed at how that constant nagging and sporadic freakouts from the passenger make my driving even worse. Then I turn to them and say:

“It’s my car! I am the one driving..not you. You are along for the ride” The least they could do is encourage me or support me, but instead they want to passive aggressively prove that they could do it better, that they know the way better, and that you are doing it wrong.

This also happens in the church all the time. I like to call people like this, backseat pastors. These are the people who constantly say they could do it better. They frantically pull the imaginary emergency break to put a halt to the forward motion of the leadership. They are always checking to make sure that any sharp turns we make are “safe”.

These people are usually not people who are invested into the vision. I have always believed that if you are not invested and are not serving the vision then you don’t get a say in what is being done.

This is crucial. God gave the vision to the church leadership. It is their job to preach the vision, maintain the vision and own the vision. That is not the congregations job. The congregations job is to serve the vision. The backseat pastors create an atmosphere where the leadership is on edge and they are not able to do their job as affectively.

Let me say this. Have you ever met a back seat pastor? Was that disruptive or helpful.

There is a difference between discernment and sabotage. You could have discernment and go to the leadership and say “I don’t think this is what God wants us to be doing” and it is the Holy spirit at work in you. On the flip side, you could be sabotaging the great ministry your church has just because you don’t agree with the leadership.

If you are a Backseat pastor: STOP THAT!

Is the vision going against the word? If it is not and you just don’t like it, be prepared to either support the vision and hold your pastors’ arms up when he can’t or leave the church and go to one you can jump in head first. The third option is you can stay as a backseat pastor and tear apart from the inside out the vision that God has given that church.

Which do you think is the best option? stay and support, leave for a church you are in line with, or stay and boycott? thoughts?






5 responses to “Backseat pastors: it’s not your vision!”

  1. suzanne Avatar

    this is so awesome~! i agree with you 100 percent on this. I frequently have people “tell” me what I should do with the youth and how to do it but when I ask them to help……well lets say they are no where to be found. people! support your leaders….back them up! even if it isn’t your “taste” or how you would do it! if it’s in line with gods word then your opinion is just that. thank you joel for the voice! sorry….i’m done venting for now hahahha

  2. Bill Avatar

    I think the best option is that if they know God has called them to be paet of that body for them to first repent, then stay and support.

    It does no go to try and stay and support if your heart is full of resentment and bitterness. Many lives are destroyed because of the poison dripping off a busy-bodies tounge.

  3. Rich Kirkpatrick Avatar

    Good stuff!

    Love this line… “There is a difference between discernment and sabotage”

  4. Michael Avatar

    I agree, “There is a difference between discernment and sabotage” But there is a difference between a back seat pastor, and someone who feels they’ve heard from God and is sharing this with the one in charge. A back seat pastor can cause a shipwreck; but so can a Pastor who feels “it’s my church. I’m the one driving, you’re just along for the ride” It never should be a pastor’s church..It’s His church! I’ve been under pastors with that mind set in the past.. and I thank God that I’m under a pastor who “knows the vision God has given him, who hears the Lord clearly, and who is not threatened by backseat pastors! [that is if he has any..] He knows God has put him in charge and he’s going for it… I may not always understand all facets of the vision God has given him, but I know how loyal my pastor is to the Lord & the Gospel, and frankly, that’s enough for me to support him. Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts and maybe, like “Suzanne”, vent a little. Good thoughts Joel, my brother, always thought provoking!

  5. Joel Klampert Avatar

    @ michael – oh yes you are so right. I guess in this context what I picture in my brain is pastors should have people that they can go to for direction from the Lord. I completely agree with that. THe backseat pastor mentality can be found in leadership but it is usually found in fickle congregants who are trying to make the church into what fits them best. When you are constantly trying to morph a church into your needs you are not working on the great commission.

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