I’ve been on the road more frequently than normal. While I certainly miss my family and the familiar surroundings of home, I also know that travel means I’ll get to interact with pastors and church leaders on a personal and professional level in the the places they do ministry. This is normally very encouraging for me. However, I am sometimes frustrated by what I learn, especially when it involves people who have been become disillusioned about the church for some reason.
This is a sad reality which is more frequent that it should be. I realize churches are led by human beings and thus they will never be perfect. On the other hand, I hear a few common themes which have no place in any church......and they absolutely kill people's sense of community. Here they are:
- The church doesn't really care about me. This is the result of the church not being purposeful about getting the know the people God has entrusted to them. They are trying harder to be interesting instead of interested!
- They don't practice what they preach or do what they say. The church talks a lot about grace and forgiveness, but the leaders are often not extending it very well to others. Back office politics and undermining behavior is common in the stories I have heard.
- They stink at communications. This one is a little harsh, but it’s true. I have heard some unbelievably offensive examples like pastors interviewing for jobs, thinking they were going to get an offer and NEVER hearing back from the church. Another example is about a gal who really wanted to serve on the Worship team but could never get a call back from the Worship Pastor. And the one that seems to be the most painful for those I have spoken with is the propensity that church people have for being nice but not being willing to be honest. Not calling people back is immature, but conflict avoidance actually hurts people. Even if it is bad news that needs to be shared...share it!! There is nothing more helpful than feedback about an opportunity lost.
So, what do you think? What would you add to the list?