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Who I amReside in St. Louis Missouri currently, Lived in California & Colorado.Husband.Father.Pastor.Football Enthusiast.Teacher.Learner.Dreamer.Reader.Friend. [thoughts & comments blogged here are my reflections living life trusting Jesus as God]

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Church Attendance: Leader Perspective part 2

     There is a bigger & deeper issue with the question of "If People don't go to church does it mean they don't care about their faith"  that ministry leaders need to wrestle with.  A question or conversation topic that many leaders don't like to discuss.
The question/topic of;
"Is what we provide as a faith community worth it to those who show up?"
     Ministry leaders, myself included, need to realize that not everything we do meets the need of everyone.  Therefore not everyone will always return or fully commit to the ministry we lead.  This is a tough concept & a humbling concept.  We cannot meet everyone's needs & sometimes when we try to meet people's needs we miss the mark.
     As a pastor this truth actually hurts me.  It hurts that I cannot disciple everyone in the fashion they need it most.  It hurts that how I communicate doesn't connect with everyone.  It hurts that my convictions & ideas about ministry can actually turn people away because it isn't their convictions.  Some people don't come to 'your' church because of your leadership style.  It hurts that my efforts may be in vain because they aren't lined up right cause of my own 'knuckleheadedness' [yep it's a word now!]
My thoughts:
1--It isn't "your" church/ministry to begin with.  It is Christ's church.  He just happened to let you give some direct leadership to it for a little while.  So don't get territorial & don't get defensive.  Stay kingdom minded & if people are still showing up then love those who are present.
2--If your convictions & ideas are Kingdom based, Jesus focussed & driven by desiring to see people be led by the Holy Spirit to become a NEW CREATION then run with it.  Don't argue with critiques, argue with Jesus.  But if Jesus confirms in your heart & soul what you should do, then do it.  But carry out the actions knowing you have to give an account to Christ for what you are doing.
3--Don't forget you are a pastor first.  Shepherd people.  Learn from them as they learn from you.  Take constructive criticism and allow God to grow you through you.  But don't let the criticism define you.
4--In student ministry teenagers & young adults are fickle.  It doesn't mean they are throwing out their faith.  Give them room to voice their 'dislikes', their own ideas, desires & even doubts.  Create a "button" for it if you need!  Let them be heard & listen to them when they talk, God will speak through them to you.  
Remember you are not the LEGIT MASTER of all things ministry related no matter how long you've been in this gig.  Allow fresh eyes to speak about their observations and don't dismiss it because they are "just teens".
     Church/student ministry/faith community [whatever you wanna call it], should be fun & a joyful part of peoples lives.  Don't be the leader whose pride or ego stands in the way of Jesus bringing redemption to those He has entrusted to you.

1 comment:

brian c. berry said...

Love the ministry "doubt it button". I thinkit's so critical to the faith development of young adults especially. Just got the main session mp3's from catwest. Can't wait to listen and process.