9. We struggle with competition and jealousy.
We like to hold ourselves above the petty fray and reiterate, “It’s all about the Kingdom,” but in reality, pastors are a competitive bunch.
As soon as one pastor asks another, “How big is your church?” the game is on if the two churches are within 20 miles of each other (past 20 miles, we lighten up a lot and think each other is pretty cool). Within 20 miles, however, we begin to assess one another’s style, focus, message, sophistication and marketing. We gauge to see if it’s a “Goldilocks Church”—not to deep, not too shallow, but just right (like us).
If you’re too deep, we benchmark you as internally focused. If you’re too shallow, we brand you as consumer-driven. If, however, we conclude that you too are a “Goldilocks Church,” we then figure out how our church is still better than your church.
If you have lame amenities, we critique that you will never grow until you reboot that ’70s sanctuary. If you have awesome amenities, we criticize that you grow only because people are shallow and care more about stuff than Scripture.
Yes, we know it’s not right. We know that it’s ego driven, but we still fall victim to it. We believe our church is the best church ever, and we can’t understand why everyone doesn’t see it.
10. We feel like we failed you more than we helped you.
Most pastors will never be famous. Most churches will never break the 100 mark. Yet we all entered ministry to change the world and reach the masses.
With this, we know it is the expectation of churches that we accomplish this very thing. Every job posting reinforces the idea with the sentence, “We are looking for a man that will take our church to the next level.” Then when the next level isn’t hit in the way anticipated or within the timeline envisioned—we feel like we failed you.
This is especially true in light of the reality that we are our own biggest critics. We came in with expectations higher than anyone in the church. You look to us for direction, and when we feel like we failed to produce, we feel like we failed you.