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Michael Crawford
Professor Olivia Rines
UWRT 1101-002
24 April 2015
Charlotte Area Pastors
The primary role or duty of a pastor is to preach and proclaim the Word of God in order
that those who hear will be lead to a personal relationship with the Lord. This is done by
spending time studying specific scripture references and praying and asking for the right words
to deliver to the audience for that week. The role that a pastor has is one that many times can be
seen as walking a fine line. There has to be a balance between being able to say something that
will cause at least one to hear without saying something directly to or about any one individual.
Pastors have to share the word that they have prepared while ensuring that those who hear it will
be open to receive what is being said.
Charlotte area pastors are mindful of the community in which they are located while
keeping in mind that there is an ultimate goal no matter what the word is that has been prepared.
Charlotte pastors feel a great deal of pressure from their community and from groups and
organizations that want endorsements from those who have opposed them most. The community
applies pressure to the pastors by stating that they will provide finances to the ministry in support
of what the pastor would like to do. The finances always come with strings attached to them,
which cause the pastors to have to decide which matters more to them, where they stand or what
they want to accomplish. The pastors ultimate goal is to preach or declare the spoken Word of
1 Pastor Ann is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was
2 Pastor Bob is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was

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God in order to help those that hear it decide to either make change their life or remain steadfast
in where they are. As the pastor prepares what they are going to talk about each week, they have
to be mindful of what is currently happening in and around their particular community.
Pastors have to be able to share with those that listen what the Word of God says and
many times do this in a way that will not offend the listener. This is one of the areas that for
Charlotte area pastors seems to be a constant struggle. The struggle for the pastors is having to
decide between which audience they are tailoring their spoken word for. Charlotte pastors are
mindful of the change in the social climate of the country and their community, but they are also
utilizing social media to be able to spread the message that they have. Pastor Ann1 stated that
many times she will use group text messages, Facebook and other social media sites to spread
announcements about what is happening with the church. Pastor Bob2 stated that he may use text
messages some, but he utilizes church bulletins and announcements from the pulpit more than
modern technology.
Pastors in the Charlotte area are also feeling an impact due to the changing climate of
what is acceptable today. Pastor Ann1 and Pastor Bob2 both stated that no matter what the
pressure may be from the local community, they will not change or compromise on where they
stand. Pastor Bob2 stated that he knows of local politicians that said early in their career that they
would not support alternative lifestyles, and he listens to them now and they are saying
publically that they stand totally behind it. Pastor Bob2 said No matter what pressure I may face,
whether from the community or from the congregation, my stand remains firm. Pastor Ann1
stated that no matter what pressure may come through local leaders, groups, family and even
from the church members, that her stand is firm and will not be altered. This is becoming a
1 Pastor Ann is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was
2 Pastor Bob is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was

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challenge for some pastors as it causes a conflict of where they stand versus what they say in the
message. Some pastors are very clear on where they stand regarding certain issues and will not
compromise. This is what is meant by those pastors who are aware of the pressure but will not
Pastors have to be mindful of those that they want to reach and those that they are
reaching. People have been known to hear things in an entirely different context from which it
was actually said. Pastor Ann1 commented that she has seen the membership fluctuate simply due
to a misunderstanding. She said that she made a comment while preaching and before the end of
the day someone who was not even at the service contacted her and told her that they were
offended by the comment that was made and that they were leaving the church. I asked Pastor
Ann1 if this type of thing happens often and she said that it probably happens much more often
than most people are aware of. Pastors may say something that hits close to home for someone
and that person feels like the pastor was targeting them with the message.
Charlotte area pastors that were observed and interviewed have expressed the fact that no
matter what is said from the pulpit during a sermon that they are not trying to single out any
specific individual. As the pastors prepare what they are going to preach that week, they also ask
for wisdom to ensure that the words that they speak will go into the hearts of those in the
audience. The pastors that were observed made comments that no matter what they say, that there
is always going to be at least one that will take what was said and twist it around. The Charlotte
area pastors have united in the fact that not everyone will agree or accept everything that is
preached, but they will not allow that to cause them to deviate in what they are doing.

1 Pastor Ann is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was
2 Pastor Bob is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was

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This question was asked to both of the interviewees: What type of relationship do you
have with the area pastors in your local community? The answer was somewhat surprising but
was basically the same from both participants. The answer that was given simply was that they
have a casual relationship with the surrounding local pastors. This answer was a little surprising
as the role of a pastor should all be the same. There is some division between pastors, especially
from denominations. The participants that were interviewed said that they try their best to have
open relationship with all the pastors in their communities. They understand that they need each
other to truly make a difference in the community.
The pastors that participated in the research and even the area churches that were visited
for the most part seem to be striving for the same common goals. Each local pastor that was
observed and those who participated in the interviews have at least three other leaders that work
very close with them. These leaders or ministers as they are often called have been trained and
spent time working with the pastor. Many of these ministers have spent at least three to five years
with their pastor and have been through both formal and informal training. These ministers are
used in many cases to carry out the service if the pastor is not going to be there, and at times
even when the pastor is there just so the pastor can take a break.
The two participants that were interviewed were both asked what they would like to do or
see happen in their local communities. The answers that each of them gave were somewhat
similar. Pastor Bob2 stated To be able to reach to young the people. To have or build a youth
center or a recreational center. He feels that one of the issues of getting the youth and young
adults involved in the church is that the church needs something that the youth will relate to.
Pastor Bob was then asked what would be needed for him to be able to accomplish this. He
1 Pastor Ann is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was
2 Pastor Bob is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was

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stated that he would need a steady stream of finances but more than that committed people to get
it off the ground and keep it moving forward. Pastor Ann1 stated To have a resource center that
those who need help finding a job, developing their resume, getting the assistance that is needed.
To have a computer lab and the resources in place for anyone who needs to get or complete their
GED or help with school. Pastor Ann wants to have a more personal relationship with those in
the local community and to be an avenue for them (the local community) to achieve what they
have started. Pastor Ann stated that in the local community where she is located there is a large
number of people that have never completed their education, but many have expressed an
interest in wanting to.
Charlotte area pastors ultimate goal is to preach or proclaim the word of God to those that will
listen. There are some issues that these pastors are faced with today that even a couple of years
ago was not such a major issue. The pastors involved in the research have expressed where they
stand on some of these issues and how they will allow the change to impact what they do. The
communities that the area pastors are located does play some role in how they fulfill the overall
goal, but the pastors are determined no matter what pressure they may face to complete the
mission that they have. Those that are connected to the pastors, the leader or ministers, help each
pastor to achieve the goal of preaching the Word of God without compromise. The ministers are
also used to ensure that the local congregations are always informed of announcements relating
to the church. Charlotte area pastors utilize the social media to help them and tap into local
resources within each of their communities.

1 Pastor Ann is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was
2 Pastor Bob is a fictional name in place of the actual participant that was