When you’re a pastor

When you’re a pastor,
someone is there to say something discouraging to you.
And about you.
Someone is there to question everything you say and do.
Yes, everything.
Someone will have their more-than-fair share of critiques of you.
And opinions

When you’re a pastor,
some people give you credit that only belongs to God.
Some lie to you.
Some people will fake you out and use you for what they want.
Some bail on you.
You never know how honest you can be with someone else,
second guessing.

When you’re a pastor,
people will love you like you are one of the family.
They will bless you.
People don’t always understand everything you carry.
They pray for you.
They want to help your family any way that they can.
And they do so.

When you’re a pastor,
you realize something important about what you do.
You’re just like them.
You do your job for the same reason they try to do theirs.
For God’s glory.
People realize the complexity of what you face.
They face it, too.

When you’re a pastor,
others bless your life.

Who do you think you are?

I often hear from people who feel a bit inadequate to either share their faith or teach others what they know about Christ.

The phrase they use is, “Who am I to try to teach them?”

That’s a humble approach to take.  Yes, who are you to speak on behalf of the Creator of the world?  Who are you to attempt to connect someone’s life with the the Almighty?  Who are you to be so bold to make declarations about the Lord of lords, King of kings?

You don’t know everything.  You’re probably barely trying to figure your life out as it is.

Who are you?

I know who.

You’re the person God put in someone’s day, that’s who you are.  Whether you’re a friend, a church member, co-worker or random guy standing in the grocery line, if you sense God nudging you, then you’re the person God chose for that moment.

Stay blessed…john

How to handle complaints

Complaints. I’ve had a few.

Leaders will get the complaints of the people they lead.  It’s only a matter of time.  In ministry they can sneak into a committee meeting, Bible study or, my favorite, right before a worship service.  Phone calls, emails, anonymous letters and even social media messages can come from anyone at anytime.

You’d do well by deciding beforehand how you will handle complaints.

I’ve learned to filter them.  Some complaints represent genuine issues.  Most others do not.  You have to make that distinction.  I use a few factors to make up my mind; of course, this is more of an art than a science.

  • Listen to the tone of voice people use, if applicable.  Are they ticked off or hurt?
  • How long has this complaint been brewing?  In other words, is this a thought someone has reflected upon or do they just want to give me a piece of their mind?
  • Has anyone else been told about this?  Is it that important?
  • What do they want you to do?  Is this someone blowing off steam? Is this person worried that what’s happening right now may have a negative impact on the church’s ability to reach the world for Jesus?

If you feel a complaint warrants attention, by all means, take time to address the situation.

But please, dear church leader, do not react to every complaint you receive.  Don’t change something you’re doing because someone complained about it.  Don’t change your mind because someone didn’t like what you were doing.

Church leaders cannot spend their time reacting to every complaint. Their role is to lead the church into mission, not to appease the church into complacency.

Stay blessed…john