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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Your Complaints Will Not Help Your Pastor

I know you thought you complained in private. You thought the people with whom you spoke felt the same way as you but they told what you said. It got back to the pastor. It discouraged him because he thought you were his friend. He thought you would help. Your complaints to others are not helping.

Your complaints will not make him do a better job. He is probably doing the best job within the resources he has. You have not walked in his shoes. You do not know all the factors which keep him from doing things your way. You do not have his knowledge nor does he have yours. Why should he think like you? He is taking the resources within himself- his education, personality, life experiences, talents and gifts- and doing the best he can.

Your complaints will not improve his stature in anyone's eyes. Part of leadership is believing the leader can take you where you want to go. Complaints will result in less, not more, leadership ability. He will have a harder time leading people when there are those who complain. God left His people in the wilderness for forty years because of their unwillingness to do what He wanted. They failed to follow Him because of ten complainers. Do you want to be one of those?

Your complaints will not make your pastor a better preacher. They will make him question himself. They will cause him to drag himself up to the pulpit on Sunday morning. He will question his calling. He will question whether anything he says has any value. He will have a hard time believing that his messages will make any difference. He have a hard time preparing his messages. They will likely become worse because the fire in his heart has been put out.

What should you do if your pastor is struggling?

First, don't talk behind his back. It always gets back to him.

Second, take him to lunch and ask him how he thinks things are going. Ask if you can help.

Third, commit to him (and keep this commitment as a vow to God) your prayers. Call him occasionally to get updates and pray with him as well as for him.

Fourth, pray for his family. Nothing is going right for the pastor when there are problems in his family. He may not be able to share any of the struggles he is having at home. He doesn't have to for you to pray for his family.

Fifth, send him encouraging notes. You will be amazed how he will open up with you about his struggles when he knows he can trust you as one who will help rather than hurt him.

Sixth, defend him. He is not perfect. He will never be perfect while he is your pastor. He needs people who will admit his struggles but also point out his strengths. There had to be a reason the church thought he would be a good pastor. Accentuate those things when you speak of him.

Seventh, don't be surprised when all you have done gets back to him. Both the negative and the positive things always get back to the pastor.

There are two possible results if you will be on the positive rather than the negative side of him. Things will improve around the church and the church will grow or the church will grow and another larger church will want him to be their pastor. However, he will be foolish to take a larger church (without truly considering the call of God) knowing he has people like you supporting him where he is right now.

Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)
17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

  Note: I could not have written this blog at one time.  Thalia Lynn Baptist Church is the most wonderful church you will ever find. They are so incredibly wonderful that I cannot really express it.  However, I also know what it is to be criticized, castigated, complained about and cast out. Many pastors are in this boat. I met with a young man a couple of months ago whose church was treating him this way. I wrote this article for his members and those who believe they need to stir others up so they can get rid of their pastor. This is ungodly.

At first, I thought I would challenge the readers of this blog to send it to the complainers in their churches but I realized that was as underhanded as what the complainers are doing. Instead, I challenge you to send it to your pastor's supporters. (Make sure that you note this at the top of your email so they won't get the wrong idea.) Then, those who didn't get the blog might just get the message why they didn't get it forwarded to them. Just an idea.

You pastor needs support. Please give it to him.

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