I remember in seminary someone once asking the question:
Can you be a pastor and not be a people person?
Obviously, it is physically possible to be a pastor and not be a people person. I've met a lot of pastors that didn't seem all that interested in people. But I don't think that's really the question.
Can you do the work of a pastor and not be a people person?
Personally, I'd have to say no.
I'm not talking about a person's personality or being Mr. Gregarious. I'm talking about trying to be a pastor and not having a vital interest in people.
To me, that's what it means to be a people person…it's not about a sense of humor, a lively personality, fundamentally it's about being interested in and caring about people.
Can you do the work of a pastor without that?
I don't think so.
You can go throw the motions, you can perhaps preach some good sermons, but can you pastor? I'm not even sure how you can live out the Christian life. After all, the command to love has to have something to do with being interested in people.
I would never try to be a pastor without being interested in God. And if as a pastor I find my interest in God growing dull, I get on my knees and cry out to God to change my heart.
If I'm trying to pastor without being interested in the people I pastor, I think I should almost just as concerned. And if as I look out at my congregation, as I talk to them individually, I'm not interested in them as a person, if I don't care deeply about them…there's no way I'm going to chalk it up to personality. I'm going to get on my knees and cry out to God to change my heart.