I love the fact that the community of this blog is growing with pastors, church staff and laity. The latter category, laity or church members, has been very receptive to many of my posts and suggestions. A church member from Virginia recently told me at a conference where I was speaking, "I read your posts because I learn things I would have never known from the perspective of the pastor." The lady who said that is now the leader of the intercessory prayer ministry of the church, a ministry that includes specific intercession for her pastor.
It is in that spirit that I offer these seven sentences. My purpose is simply to convey information you might not have considered otherwise. Many pastors hear these sentences frequently, even though the church member may think his or her comment is both novel and helpful.
- "I heard a podcast pastor preach on the same text. Let me tell you how he dealt with it." The pastor often receives this statement as, "Let me tell you how good preaching actually sounds."
- "We believe we should pay the pastor as low as possible to keep him humble." Of course, that church member rarely wants to practice the same humility.
- "Our church is big enough. We don't need any more new members." Perhaps the church should place a sign outside saying. "Closed for business. No longer practicing the Great Commission."
- "I wish I had your schedule." Translation: "It must be nice to work only one day a week." Sigh.
- "I love you pastor but ..." The pastor knows the purpose of that statement is not one of love, but everything that follows the "but."
- "People are saying ..." This sentence is the ultimate cop-out statement. It is a cowardly statement. The church member attempts to hide behind the anonymity of "people" when the member usually is the real source of the statement.
- "I was here before you came here. I will still be here after you leave." This statement is ultimately a threat. "Don't make any changes that I don't approve. I am in charge. Don't even try to lead."
Sometimes these statements are said with malice. Other times they are said out of ignorance. But almost all times, they are painful to the pastor.
Be a source of love and encouragement for your pastor. Please avoid these seven and similar sentences.
Thom S. Rainer is the president of LifeWay Christian Resources.
This article originally appeared at thomrainer.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.
NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.
The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.