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.

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Vince Antonucci

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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