Tuesday, April 7, 2015
With the exception of those who have a membership of over a thousand, most pastors are familiar with the painful experience of losing members to other churches. Many people seem to think that a pastor lives on a much higher spiritual level than other Christians that losing members here and there for whatever the reason, does not affect them. They are wrong! Pastors are just as human as any other child of God and things that bother others bother them too. They too can get angry, frustrated, and discouraged. They too can get hurt and offended and feel the sting of rejection. Feelings of fear, doubt, and insecurity are not unusual to them, and like others, they too need to lean on the grace and strength of God to be able to overcome and be victorious. In fact, overcoming these obstacles is even more crucial to ministers because if they don’t, these negative things will eventually manifest themselves in their preaching and teaching.
I was thinking about this situation recently as we passed by a place where a church we attended many years ago once stood. We left it very early in my Christian life to go to the place where I felt my family and I needed to be at the time and in retrospect, I know the move was definitely of God. Leaving your church to go to another is mostly an unwise move, but every once in a while it is within the will of God. As I stated before, although I know now that leaving our first church many years ago was the right move, I now can assume that it hurt our pastor deeply nevertheless.
This was not the reason we left, but one notable feature about that church and others who have died was that there were very few children or teens there. I bet you know of churches who only had adults and older members in their day and are no longer in existence. Many pastors believe, and I can understand their position, that the children are their most important members. In almost every church, the majority of it’s membership is made up of those who started attending as children. That constant confirms the eternal truth that when you “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.” (See Proverbs 22:6) That truth should behoove us to ensure that all the children in our family be introduced to church, God, and the Bible if they haven’t already. Look around, how many children and young people are in your church? The more you see, the more promising your church’s future. Another thing: If you’re church does not have these young members, you need to pray and do your part to bring them in, that is, if you don’t want it to fade away as others have.
Memory verse for the week: (John 15:13) “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”