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Don’t say it isn’t. There are too many unchurched believers, burned out pastors, rebellious youth, and empty spots in the pew for me to buy into “easy church”. I have been in many churches and hung out with enough church people ,heard enough complaints and felt and witnessed enough pain to know it just isn’t easy.
There should be less interpersonal problems in church than out. We are all to have the mind of Christ, to be of one mind in our mission, so what gives? Don’t take this wrong, I love Dayspring and our small but growing church family. Being a pastor has turned into one of the greatest experiences of my life, this is not a complaint fest, but there is aways a bit of friction or an issue somewhere. There is aways maintenance and tweaking needed. I spent over a decade as a Vol. Fire Chief, and I find a lot of parallels ,actually a lot more than I would have expected. That said, Dayspring is still the smoothest functioning church group I have been involved with.
Am I jaded? Getting asked to leave a few churches, and being in a soap opera church for a while can leave scars, but from what some of you say and from reading a lot of church blogs, I am far from the only wounded Christian. I have often thought if we hired the billboard next to the church to say.” hurt in your last church, come here to heal” we would pack the place. Still might do that someday. Hanging with preachers has convinced me that trouble abounds. Get some of these guys alone, build some trust and the plastic smile breaks off into a pained grin, and then morphs into a death mask. A lot of these guys are hurting. No wonder Barna says over 1000 preachers leave ministry every month!
All right, maybe some of these guys are their own worst enemy. I have made enough messes myself, but taken as a group, used car salesmen seem happier at their jobs. By the way in a recent poll used car salesmen were called more trust-worthy than pastors. Correlation? I am not a seminarian,[ by choice, by the way]. Some of the most miserable pastors I have met are about one year out of seminary and six to eight months into the pulpit. No offense ,but more classes in humility and a couple less in Higher Biblical Criticism might be a better preparation to serve in a church where the deacons know they will stay and you will move on.
Here is some theory, just theory, please submit your own. Top 10 reasons church is hard. In no order.
- People who are sure of being right about eternity sometimes think they are eternally right.
- People who have been at a chuch for years feel ownership of it, not stewardship.
- Church family blood is a lot thinner than blood family blood.
- If the church pays the preacher, and I put money in the plate, then you work for me and I am your boss, right?
- I am here to serve God and if you get in my way I will hurt you, in His name. [this one works in the pulpit and the pew]
- Why should I examine myself, I’m Saved, Sanctified and Saintly?
- My feelings are the most important thing in the church, God loves me, and would not want my feelings hurt, even if it is necessary for growth.
- Expectations , realistic or not, must be met or disappointment reigns.
- The meter of God’s will is success, God would not back a loser. This success is of course instant and miralulous.
- There are ways to do things, and the best ways are the old ways. the argument , “we have always done it like that” is a trump card. [note to Baptists, that means it wins]
Hard as it is, it is worth it to me. I never grew much outside the church, also, I get paid [kind of] to be there. I understand why it just doesn’t pay a lot of people to be there.
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