As a pastor of a local church for over 25 years, I had my share of buildups and letdowns. Sometimes I recall the discouraging times more.
I know that I was not supposed to get down because of people and circumstances, but it happens.
I also know that the people who discouraged me did not always mean to do so. But it happened.
The purpose of this post is to let you in on a few things to avoid (unless you want to discourage your pastor).
If you are bent on discouraging him or her, here are five surefire ways of doing so:
1. Be a no-show at Sunday service.
Vacation, kid’s sports, sleeping in … pretty much any excuse for not going to church serves as a way to frustrate a pastor.
Of course, there are legitimate reasons for missing church. But the general lack of commitment to the church by members is a major source of discouragement for most pastors.
Here is why: Nonattendance is a statement that whatever we chose over church is simply more important to us at that time; that is discouraging to a pastor, and understandably so.
2. Don’t support the church financially.
Statistics show that an overwhelming majority of church attenders give little (or nothing) to the church.
Although they are limited in what they can say on this topic, pastors get upset about this for a few reasons. There are spiritual implications and consequences. Lack of generosity indicates a lack of gratitude to God. Lack of giving limits the blessings that God will provide for individuals and churches.
It’s no wonder why pastors get discouraged about this issue.
3. Don’t grow as a disciple of Christ.
Good pastors will want to measure the progress of the church members. We preach, teach, pray and counsel with the goal of spiritual maturity for the people.
While we see with physical eyes and spiritual growth is difficult to measure, it is frustrating to perceive people as stagnant and stuck in their relationship with Christ. It’s sometimes enough to make a pastor want to quit.