There are many people that I come across who talk about how they wish the pastor would be more intentional at practicing what they preach. Perhaps they had an experience with a pastor and the pastor was a jerk to them. How can someone preach love on Sunday and be a jerk on Monday?
Isn't that hypocritical?
People have also expressed to me that they appreciate that I am a "real" person and not a 'holier than thou' sort of preacher. Words like authentic and real and human are thrown around and these words of affirmation make me feel good. They make me feel like I am really connecting with people and thus building trust and, in turn, spreading love. But there is an edge to all this "realness" and "authenticity": the pastor can be "real" and "authentic" but in very controlled ways.
Pastors can rarely call out the BS they see without doing more damage.
Pastors cannot flip people off or tell them just how wrong they were.
Pastors cannot tell someone that they are sort of crazy or imbalanced or out of line or inappropriate or acting a fool.
Pastors cannot let their hair down, cut loose or in any other way loose control.
Many of my clergy friends feel that people are okay with clergy being human, just as long as clergy are not human around them.
Many of my friends feel like people give permission to (and would expect) pastors to express the range of human emotions but just not with church people.
This may not be just a clergy thing. Do you find yourself in a lot in life where you are expected to be happy, carefree and "put together" all the time? Are we willing to let each other really be human?