Last Update 5th October, 2016.
Pastors and church leaders, what is it you’d love to say to your congregation but just can’t?
At what moments do you find yourself biting your tongue?
If you had a free platform and could get anything off your chest, what would you say?
I thought a while about this one and here’s 7 ‘pastoral secrets’ I came up with…
1. This Pedestal Is Too High
“I can’t live up to it.”
“Honestly I’m no better than anyone else. I have never believed I’m better than anyone else.
And I promise you, if you got to know me, you’d quickly realise I didn’t belong on that pedestal either.
I’m not in ministry because I’m perfect or have everything figured out.
I never planned on being in the ministry, I just felt called into it, in fact I tried to resist the call but people kept confirming what I feeling – that God was calling me to serve the local church – so I obeyed.”
One of my favourite things about God is that He uses broken, flawed people.
The Bible is full of people who made mistakes and yet God uses them anyway.
Peter always put his foot in it, Paul had his critics, David made some catastrophic errors and Noah had personal issues.
But reading their story gives me hope for my story.
And…you know what? It gives me hope for your story and for the church.
God doesn’t use perfect people. His grace flows best through broken people.
God belongs on the pedestal. So why don’t we keep Him there and keep ourselves below it?”
2. Please Don’t Complain Just Before Worship
“Right when church is getting ready to start is NEVER the right time to bring something up.
I’ve been up all night seeking God for a Word to give you this morning, the worship team’s just had a fallout and we’re a Sunday school teacher down.
I know there’s an issue in this certain area but right now I’m about to stand up and serve God’s Word to the church.”
Nothing will ruin a sermon quicker than a complainer. Put your need aside for now for the benefit of the whole church body who deserves the best the pastor can give.
3. I Wish You Were Here
“I’ve been preaching a series on relationships that if practiced would save your marriage, improve your relationship with your kids and talking about putting your personal finances in order, but you weren’t there.
You weren’t there because the weather was too cold, it was raining, it was snowing. Then the weather was sunny and you couldn’t make it because you decided to take your kids to the park.
When you do come, you will want me to listen to your complaints about your spouse, your marriage, your children and your personal finances, about your spouse...”
4. Don’t Call Me at Home Unless It’s An Emergency
“If it is an emergency, please call, but if it will wait until tomorrow, let it.”
Pastor’s marriages and family lives are greatly impacted when they can’t eat together, have a movie night, go on holiday or spend any family time at all without the phone constantly ringing or people knocking at the door.
5. Sorry, I Can’t Talk Long on a Sunday Morning
“There’s only one of me!”
Your pastor needs to speak to as many people as possible as they enter and exit church.
On any given Sunday morning, your pastor needs to try and make personal contact with potentially hundreds of people.
If you need more than 10 seconds of your pastor’s time, let it wait for another time.
6. I Don’t Always Know What to Do
“This may come as a surprise to you but I don’t have all the answers. Honestly, I don’t always know what to do…
I’m doing my best to surround myself with the best people who have strengths and giftings in different areas, we’re stronger together than any one of us alone.
I’m sure as we pursue Christ as best we can, we’ll figure out where He is in the middle of all this.”
There’s something in all of us that wants our leaders to know what’s next but don’t forget they’re still working things out, they may not have an answer for you right away.
Sometimes leaders do things you don’t understand.
No one understood why Jesus was going to the cross and a lot of people left him because they were offended about all His talk of blood and flesh.
But God was in all of it.
7. If you Come Up With an Idea – Own It
“The small things count: instead of walking past litter on the floor to tell your pastor about it, if you notice it, please take ownership and pick it up.
Your actions will not go unnoticed and I really do appreciate it.”
Believe it or not, I’ve had people visit our church for the first time and immediately after the service tell our team what songs we should be singing, how we could do evangelism better!
Please don’t come to church with ideas that someone should do this or that unless you are willing to become to get stuck in. How many food critics have their own restaurants? How many film critics have released a blockbuster?
It’s easy to criticise from the sidelines. Instead of complaining, please just get in on the action and let’s work together.
How About You?
All churches want emotionally healthy pastors with strong marriages, great families and relentless passion for ministry. Congregations who follow these seven simple steps go a long way to insure themselves just that!
If you’re a pastor, is there an 8th secret you want to get off your chest?
If you attend a church, is there anything you would want to know or that you would add? Share your comments below.