The Burden of Church

I was inspired to post on this topic because I keep reading all of these blogs from pastors called, “I love my church!!” and “I love pastoring!!” and “If I loved my church and loved pastoring any more than I do, my nipples would burst!!” And I think it’s cool that they feel that way, but I often don’t. Yesterday I explained WHY I pastor anyway, but for me it’s not because I get a lot of joy out of it. So from what do I get my joy?

Well, in my opinion, from the right places. As far as I can remember, God never teaches us to get joy from pastoring or from our church. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. If you can, more power to ya. But there are two places (that I can think of) where we’re told where we’re to get our joy. (1) Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (2) Proverbs 5:18, “…rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (I’m not going to mention the fact that the next verse says, “may her breasts satisfy you always.”) (Whoops, just mentioned it).

I don’t acheive this perfectly, but I want my joy to come from my relationship with God and my relationship with my wife. Personally, I don’t look to pastoring or my church for joy. If I do get any joy out of that, that’s just icing on the cake.

So, maybe my “confession” has encouraged you. At least, if you feel like I do, you can know that you’re not alone.

Read more from Vince here.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Leadership >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vince Antonucci

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Burden of Church

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul talked about the “burden” of the church. This week I’ve been confessing that, while I read lots of blogs where pastors rave about how great pastoring is, and how great their church is, I resonate more with Paul and often find it more of a burden than a joy. So why do I do what I do?

Well, first, because I’m called to it. This is what I believe God wants me to do. If He asked me to cheese grater myself to death, I’d do that too. He’s wiser than I am, and loves me more than I do, so I’d be pretty stupid to not do whatever He wants.

Second, because I can’t imagine doing anything else. Seriously, what else could I do that would have even a small proportion of the eternal impact that I get to have doing this? Nothing! There’s lots of things we choose to do, even though they’re not fun – exercising, dieting, studying. The wise choice isn’t always the easy choice.

And, third, because even though it’s incredibly difficult, it’s also the most rewarding thing going. Yes, it’s a burden, but being a part of changing lives is the most gratifying thing life has to offer. Does that make the difficulty worth it? Absolutely!

So I do it for those reasons, but it’s not always a joy for me. In fact, it’s often not a joy. So where do I get my joy?

Read Page 4.

Read more from Vince here.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Leadership >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vince Antonucci

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Burden of Church

After hearing the pastor at the conference admit that he didn’t love pastoring and dreamed about doing something else, I decided to investigate. Just about every time I got to spend one-on-one time with a pastor I really respect I asked them, “Do you enjoy what you do? Is this like … fun … for you?”

I’ve asked about ten pastors that question. One said, “Yeah! Absolutely! This is the greatest!” The other nine said, “No, not so much.” One confided, “I think God made me a pastor to make sure that I go to church. I wonder if I wasn’t a pastor if I’d go at all.” I totally understood what he was saying.

It’s not that any of these guys are complaining or throwing a pity party. Each is just admitting, “This is really tough. So often the work of the church is a real burden.” And I agree.

So why do I do it?

Read Page 3.

Read more from Vince here.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vince Antonucci

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Burden of Church

One thing I’ve noticed in the pastor blogging world is that most rave about how much they love their church, how much they love pastoring, how it’s the greatest thing in the world.

That is not the case for me. I don’t always love my church, I don’t always love pastoring, and I think there are approximately one thousand things I would rather do than this. I’m not confessing that to get your pity, or offers of counseling. I’m admitting it because maybe some people can relate.

A few years ago I was at a conference and a (mega-church) pastor I really admire admitted that he often daydreams about leaving ministry and going back to his high-school job of mowing golf courses. He explained that one day he got up his nerve and confessed that to a pastor he respected. He asked that pastor, “Do you ever do that?” The other pastor said, “No. … For me it’s working at an ice cream stand. No one ever leaves angry from an ice cream stand.”

I was shocked. I thought it was only me. That led me to start doing some research.

Read Page 2

Read more from Vince here.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Leadership >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vince Antonucci

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Why Jesus Would Go to Vegas if He Came to America

Vince Antonucci says Vegas is the place Jesus would go if he came to America.

If you’re looking for a great example of how to love people outside the church and what it means to be mission oriented, you need to meet Vince Antonucci, pastor of Verve in Las Vegas. Their tagline is “Stripping Church. Seeking Life.” These guys have an amazingly clear of how to love people who hate the church!

The title of this blog was almost Vince and Jesus love strippers, pimps, and Nazis because I keep hearing stories about how Verve is overwhelming people with God’s love for them. Not just lost people, but people Christians typically write-off as unreachable or far too intimidating – like say…Nazis.

redemption enacted
One story of redemption that impacts me poignantly is the story of Warren. Warren plays an evil, fire-breathing clown – literally. He is someone who hates God and anyone associated with church. Warren came into contact with Verve because he heard about a new church starting up, and was determined to sabotage it. Vince tells the story so powerfully, as he lays out Warren’s plan to disrupt the services by spewing profanity and violence throughout it.

When Warren showed up, though, what he found going on there in the music, the speaking and the ambiance was so surprising, that he was distracted into hearing the message. Verve is living out their core value of Irreverence TO Reverence with clarity so powerful that it captivated Warren immediately. They state the value as We do anything outside of sin to uncross the arms of unbelieving people to lead them to the cross so Jesus can remove their sin. The service reached an end, and Warren snapped out of his amazement thinking, “*$%@!, its over. I didn’t get around to wrecking it!”

Showing up again the next week, he sent Vince an email saying the service was strangely addictive. But he expressed quite clearly that he HATED Vince and everyone at the church. It wasn’t long before he was driving 45 minutes to come to all three services. After one of them Vince saw him and commented that surely Warren had figured out by now that all three services are identical. Warren’s reply shocked me…

“Man, I know…I just can’t get enough of Jesus.”

Wow! What a powerful and convicting statement from someone who had not even given their life to Christ yet. I want to sincerely say that with as much desperation as Warren. A man who was dedicated to hating God and destroying His church is so thirsty for Jesus that he can’t get enough. Vince and Verve are living out the unique identity and mission God has planted in them with such compelling clarity that they showcase the irresistible grace and beauty of Jesus.

measures of success
I love how they creatively and succinctly express the essence of how they measure success in their church. Let these sink in a little:

God Stalkers
1. Intimacy with God: How have I passionately pursued meaningful time with God?
2. Identity in Christ: How have I allowed God to love me just the way I am, and how have I allowed Him to show me where He loves me too much to leave me that way?
3. Obedience to the Holy Spirit’s direction: How have I been inviting God into all my decisions?

Grace Wholesalers
1. Intimacy with Others: How have I passionately pursued deeper relationships with those closest to me?
2. Authentic Relationships: Have I allowed God and a few friends to see and deal with my hurts and hang-ups this week?
3. Evangelism: Who have I invited to church this week?

Guerrilla Lovers
1. Influence for God: How have I passionately pursued opportunities to ambush a few people with God’s love?
2. Contribution: How have I allowed God to show me where I can generously invest my time, talent, and treasure into His Kingdom?
3. Multiplication: Who am I inviting to serve with me?

What is going on at Verve is a powerful expression of how God’s clear vision and focus expands influence and effectiveness. I encourage you to check out more of what’s going on, and hear the outrageous stories of God’s impact in people’s lives. You can find Verve on the web here.

You can see more of Warren’s amazing story of transformation on YouTube here

What is the unique identity in your church just waiting to be unleashed?

Read more from Tony here.


Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tony Bowick

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.