Challenges Pastors and church leaders face
I thought this article is very true and it is worth sharing. And it goes like this ( I also included additional commentary of my own)….
In my latest non-scientific Twitter survey, I asked the following question of pastors and church staff: What is your biggest challenge in ministry? Here are the top twelve responses with representative quotes. I’ve taken the liberty to expand most of the quotes from their abbreviated form in Twitter.
1. Apathy and internal focus: “I have been in ministry for over twenty years, and I’ve never seen church members more apathetic and internally focused.” Most of the church members will never participate or volunteer in any of the department in church. They’d rather come in late to church and live soon as the service is finished.
2. Staff issues: “I inherited staff from the previous pastor. It’s not a good match, but I don’t have the credibility to do anything about it.” Most of the church staff don’t get paid and hence are not really committed to their roles, as if anything more fun and with better incentive comes along, they wouldn’t hesitate abandoning their duties at church.
3. Leading and keeping volunteers: “It’s a full time job itself.” Volunteers come and go and are usually not committed. Soon as you bring them up to speed and they know what to do and when to do it, they leave.
4. General time constraints. “I end every week wondering why I got so little done.” Sadly, we spend more time dealing with people issues and personalities than actually doing the real work we want to do!
5. Getting buy-in from members: “I spend half my time developing a consensus from members about decisions from the mundane to the critical.” Wow! This is a big one, the less I say about it the better!
6. Generational challenges: “It seems like the older generation is determined to nix any new ideas or excitement from the younger generation.” In most congregations the congregants are multi-generational… And this can be a blessing but it is often the cause of disagreement on the way things should be done!
7. Finances: “You can sum up our challenge in four simple words: We need more money.” The thing is, there are so many nations to reach and there is so much resources we need to do that! Gospel is free but it needs resources to take it to all the nations of this world. Those resources should come from or through the congregants themselves, even though God is the source. However, if you start talking about money in church, the mood changes for the worst.
8. Holding on to traditions: “I wish our members would put as much effort into reaching people for Christ as they do holding on to their traditions.” Traditions and the so called man made protocol is less important than telling people of the world about Christ the Messiah!
9. Criticism. “Some leaders in the church have appointed themselves to be my weekly critics.” Wow! Isn’t amazing how often a brethren criticize a brethren. Most of those who criticize are usually the apathetic (am tempted to say also pathetic!) but they can talk I tell you! They complain about the sermon, the sitting arrangements, toilets, lack of leadership, everything.
10. Leadership development: “We miss too many opportunities in ministry because we don’t have enough leaders ready.”
11. Majoring on minors. “We spent an hour in our last business conference discussing the fonts in our bulletins.”
12. Lack of true friends. “One of the toughest realities for me as pastor was the awareness that I have no true friends in the church.” The truth is, everyone came to church for himself first and then others! Most came to have their issues sorted and prayed for, not to make friends and add value to others!
What is fascinating, if not discouraging, about this survey is that virtually all of the challenges noted by these pastors and staff were internal challenges. It appears that many of our churches are not effective conduits of the gospel because the members spend so much energy concerned about their own needs and preferences.