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8 Things I Wish My Members Knew...

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8 Things I Wish My Members Knew...

My church members are some of the most loving and supportive people I know. They share a passion for making a difference for God’s kingdom. On occasion , there seems to be a disconnect from where I am leading, to how my congregation responds. This is natural. However, sometimes I wish I could openly share some things I wish they would know…

8 Things I wish my members knew….

  1. I want to train and empower the leaders to do ministry. As the role of minister has evolved, many in the church assume it is the role of the pastor to do all of the work. Many pastors have succumbed to this idea. I wish my members would come to realize that the role of ministry belongs to the hands of the congregation. The role of the pastor is to train and empower members to do shared ministry.

  2. I already know what isn’t going well - It seems like Saturday can be a day to complain about everything that isn’t going well in the church. It is like an invisible sign has been posted on my chest that reads, “Complaint Department.” I want to spend the Sabbath encouraging one another.[1] Guess what? I am quite aware of the challenges facing our church. Let’s use our time at building God’s church rather than tearing it down. I’d rather hear a praise report, or suggestion on how we can grow God’s kingdom, than listen to another gripe.

  3. My Family is Important to Me. There aren’t many professions in this world in which you bring your children and spouse to work with you. Sabbath mornings can be a delicate dance of ministering to your members while attending the needs of your family. Please keep that in mind when you call me in the evening. I may already have a family commitment scheduled and may not drop my immediate plans for the church. 

  4. I get nervous and self-conscious when I preach. Public speaking is an art form. There is tremendous pressure in getting it right each week. Even after eighteen years of ministry, I still get nervous when preaching. It takes a huge emotional and physical toll on the body. I pray every week that my message will be articulate and memorable.

  5. They would welcome visitors. Sabbath morning is a reunion of sorts. It is a time to catch up with friends and family who you haven’t seen each other since the previous week. Is there a way we could agree that the first ten minutes after church belongs to greeting and welcoming new faces. Most visitors are the first to leave after church. They are likely feeling intimidated and vulnerable. Let’s not leave this important role of hospitality to our greeters. Rather, every single member can be serve intentionally in how we welcome the outsider.

  6. I will accept criticism but also need affirmation. I once had a church member who had the gift of writing nasty emails. He felt powerful behind his computer. One day I invited him to meet with me. On the table before us was a stack of paper. He recognized them as all of the printed letters he had written me. “Dan, there should be two piles,” I explained to him. “One with your complaints, and the other with your compliments. What is missing?” I tried to lovingly explain to him that if he was ever going to get his point across, he needed to find ways to affirm me. Our emotions are like a bank account. If you keep withdrawing from that account with negative actions and letters, you will quickly deplete that account, and begin running in debt. If you want to see a change, you must also deposit a credit.

  7. The hey days are ahead of us. People often tell me about the ‘good ole’ days. You know, back when the church was full, the church school was so crowded, and everyone appeared to be so happy and full of life. I have come to realize that most people’s heydays are when they were young with children. Life was full for them, and now, they are grieving for those days as empty nesters. How can we reclaim those days? Can we thank God for those special days, but ask him for a renewed experience. Great days are not in the past; God has something special planned for our future. How can we prepare and anticipate for those new days?

  8. I really love the church. Being a pastor is a very tough occupation. You are pulled in many directions. Despite the crazy schedule that can be emotionally taxing, I wouldn’t trade it. The reason I don’t quit is because I see God’s divine hand in my ministry. I hope you feel the same thing.

See Romans 1:12