If you pastor long enough, you will discover some things in the church that make you sad. I would be the first to say that there is a ton that encourages me about having a job at the center of the local church. But unfortunately, you see patterns in the local church that are not just discouraging, but actually make me sad.
- When people do not go talk face to face to work out issues. The Biblical model is go and talk to each other. It bums me out when people have junk between them and they will not sit down and talk.
- When people leave the church over the 4%. You have a person who believes in the mission of the church. The individual supports the teaching and doctrine of the church. The family or individual has several years of great experiences at the church. But over the course of time, even though 96% of what has gone on and is going on is good, the person chooses to focus on the 4%. The 4% (and some times even less) is what drives the person to leave.
- When professing Christians do not forgive one another. People screw up. Leaders, volunteers, pastors, parents, students and so on get it wrong. And some times we get it really wrong. But at the core of the gospel and the Christian faith is forgiveness. It just hurts my heart when believers can not forgive other believers.
- When one or even two bad experiences lead a person or individual to not get involved. A person goes to a small group and either the visit or several visits go bad and the person says that is it small groups are dumb, I will never get in one. I got burned serving in this ministry, so I am out. If you get involved, problems will arise, do not let those turn you into a spectator.
- When people make judgments about a situation without all the facts. Leaders, parents, friends and volunteers can be seen as unfair or silly or wrong and flat out crucified by others, yet the facts of what really went down are not known. It is a sad thing in the church for people to go, I do not trust that person now because of how I think they handled that situation.
- When personal agendas take precedent over the mission to reach people for Jesus. Any ministry is meant to serve the overall mission of reaching the lost and training the saved, not to be the focal point of a church. We do not say that our individual silo matters more, but we pout and kick and scream when our “baby” does not get the attention we think it deserves.
So very true. Life is too short so forgive and forget.
So true Keith … In just 7 short years I have personally experienced all 6 of these multiple times … It would be easy to become discouraged if we focused on the people … however, keeping our eyes fix on the Author of our salvation and the Founder of the church is quite encouraging!