Friday, June 30, 2017

The 5 Major Lessons I've Learned Serving as Pastor of the Same Church for 25 Years and Counting . . .

During the course of our twenty-five-year ministry at Emmanuel Enid, I've learned five important things about church ministry. These discoveries have come either through my own painful failures as the pastor or through general church apathy. The latter is often the curse that falls in comfortable church settings. When things go well and people come to your church from other churches, when giving is good, and when the majority of the congregation is happy and satisfied, churches and pastors tend to remain static and promote status quo, regardless if it's the right thing to do in terms of Christ and His calling on us. Comfortability is the mother of complacency in ministry. These twin spirits descend like morning fog on farmers' ponds. Nobody thinks about it or anticipates it. Comfort and complacency just show up. 

We pastors are caught in the tension of providing security for our families while at the same time desiring to be faithful in implementing the teachings of Christ. Our Lord's teachings are often uncomfortable truths in terms of church culture. Injecting discomfort in the midst of a settled and comfortable church congregation is like poking a sleeping bear. We pastors hesitate to awaken a sleeping and comfortable church to their true calling because we fear the response. Truthfully, a pastor comfortable with church comfort is, in reality, a selfish person who himself needs to be awakened. 

So the five major lessons I've learned after 25 years of serving the same church revolve around an awakening to Christ's true call for me and the church I serve. Here we go.

1. Fresh Eyes Are Essential



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