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Monday, November 1, 2010

Words of Wisdom

I got back from West Virginia last night LATE and have been going all day. In fact, I should be working now. I follow another church planter wife names Jennifer. I love her blog. I love to read what she says. She has wisdom and experience. I read her blog today and wanted to repost in mine.

Relational Pain #3

Vince just posted this on his blog from another pastor. It goes perfectly with the idea of relational pain, people leaving your church, friendships ending, etc.

As Francis Chan so eloquently put it recently, you’d be hard pressed to read in the book of Acts about a guy who got upset about service times or music style and deciding to leave a church. It’s true…people really do leave churches for silly reasons. I recently heard about someone who left our church because we focused too much on reaching the unchurched. Pretty amazing, since that’s exactly why Jesus came to earth. Sometimes, a Christian leaves a church for a good reason – perhaps to be a part of a new work or perhaps because they move. Let me offer some tips and comments on leaving a church and dealing with the fact that people leave your church.
If you’re leaving a church, talk to the pastor or a leader about your reasons. Don’t just disappear. My friend Kyle recently talked to me about why he was leaving our church to help out a church plant. I appreciated the fact that he wanted me to hear it from him before I heard it from somewhere else. He was kind and gracious, and I was able to bless him and will continue to pray for him.
If you’re planting a church, don’t try and steal people from other churches. Ed Young calls this pirating, and I’d tend to agree. If you’re trying to talk up what you’re doing and how your church can offer more opportunities than the church they are currently attending, you’re doing a disservice to the Kingdom.
If people come to your church from another church, make sure they left well. Make sure they have the conversations they need to have and that they left on good terms. In the early days of Oak Leaf Church, there are a few people I would not let step into leadership because they hadn’t talked to their previous pastor.
If people badmouth their previous church to you, they will badmouth you to their next church.
As a pastor, it’s tough not to take it personally when someone leaves your church. I compare it to someone not liking your kid.
I promise you that the kids ministry is going to do something that upsets you, or the pastor is going to say something that you don’t totally agree with. If you’re involvement there is shaky enough to be threatened by those things, then check your heart and see why you’re there in the first place.
7 times out of 10, leaving a church because the teaching isn’t deep enough is a sign of your own personal shallowness and has nothing to do with what the church is doing or teaching. Christians are supposed to learn how to feed themselves.
Many times, when people say they “had a bad experience,” what they mean is “they tried to pastor me, hold me accountable, actually help me grow, or expected me to honor my commitments and I didn’t want that.” Not all the times, but many times.
Leading a church is tough. Christians, pray for your church and for all of the pastors. You have NO IDEA what they go through. They deal with their own stuff, but they also worry and deal with the stuff of hundreds of people. On top of that, they know they are being judged more harshly by God. (James 3:1)
Hope this helps!

1 comment:

Odie Langley said...

I have seen all of the leavings mentioned and how sad it is. Also I realize how hard it can be for pastors to deal with all the drama that goes on in a church. Our daily prayers always need to include the pastors and their family because the need is go great. Thanks for sharing.
Odie