5 Guaranteed Ways to Leave Church Unsatisfied

5 Guaranteed Ways to Leave Church Unsatisfied


1. Don’t participate, merely consume.

If I had to say the one thing holding the American church back today, it would be a consumeristic culture.

We’ve come to expect that the latest technology comes standard in our cars. Our movie theaters should have wide rows with extra padded seats that lean way back.

Unfortunately, we think our church should be no different. Just like the movie theater, we come when the production starts, sit in our seats, are entertained and think we should leave satisfied when it’s over.

When I was a pastor, those most unsatisfied in our body were those who just showed up on Sundays (sometimes). There was little to no participation in small groups, service projects, or teaching and serving within the church.

Obviously, there are those in most churches who are seekers, or young in the faith that just need to be taken care of for a season, but that should be a temporary state.

2. Criticize your leadership.

I once heard about a couple who didn’t like their pastor because he told stories about his family in the pulpit before beginning his sermons.

Quirky? Yeah, kinda.

Unbiblical, sinful, illegal, harmful?! Definitely not.

We’ve really got understand the difference.

It’s also not fair to compare your pastor to the celebrity pastor on the other side of the country, whose book we just read, and now believe that every church everywhere should be run like that celebrity pastor’s church.

Remember that celebrity pastor is in a completely different context. He doesn’t know your church, and he also doesn’t come to your home when you have a tragedy, or celebrate with you when you have a baby or other joyous life event.

We’re hard on our pastors. Their job is a very public job. One that’s performed in front of an audience (by ‘performed’ and ‘audience,’ I just mean that the duties of the job are undertaken in front of a crowd of people).

We would do well to remember that our pastors/church leaders are human beings like us, full of quirks and wrestling with sin and struggles just like we do. Instead of seeing our pastors with targets on their backs, we should see them with love and compassion, and as people who have dedicated their time to serve the body.

If you have a legitimate concern, approach your leader about it, and don’t talk about them behind their back. Be kind, be loving.

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Shane Blackshear
Shane Blackshear lives with his wife Kate and their new baby in Austin, TX. Shane blogs about faith and the church at shaneblackshear.com and hosts a podcast called Seminary Dropout in which he interviews Christian authors, leaders and thinkers.