Monday, August 15, 2016


Over the past several decades of working and serving in churches as a music and worship director, discussion inevitably creeps in regarding how difficult the job of being a music director in a church must be since there is a constant flow of criticism in many churches regarding music styles, forms and functions.

Sadly, this criticism is not reserved only for the music leaders. 

All of those in church service leadership are targets for criticism.  The Senior Pastor, the Associate Pastor, The Youth Director, The Missions Pastor - - even the sound techs, the custodians, the ladies who set up the tables for the women's tea - - everyone is open to receiving criticism from members of the congregation.

This always leads to someone saying, "Wow, I would NOT want YOUR job!"

There is a moment of awkward laughter and the acknowledgement that the job of "pastor" - at any particular level or calling - is difficult! 

Of COURSE following the call to continue the work Jesus set out to accomplish is difficult.  Look what happened to Him for fulfilling the call His Father placed on His life?  He was killed.  And what did He do to warrant murder?  He loved. He cared. He served. He healed. He accepted. 

And then He died on a cross.

So, yes, ministry is difficult.

But here is the huge "blind-eye" problem - - We look at those who killed Jesus and anger rises up inside of us.  We say, "How could they have treated Him like that when all he was doing was trying to love them?  Those horrible people!!"

Tell me - do you own a mirror? 

Yeah, I meant for that to sting. 

We who are constantly critical towards those God has called to help lead us towards living lives that align with the model of Jesus are really no better than those scoundrels who attacked Jesus. 

See, friends, the problem is NOT with your leaders. (Yes, sometimes it is.  Sometimes the leaders are completely off-the-wall and saying or doing things that are completely outside of what the Bible teaches.) - - but MOST of the time, your pastors, your ministers, your directors, your leaders are simply doing what God has called them to do in the ways He has gifted and wired them to do it. 

A few things to remember about your church leaders:
1) They are doing what GOD has called them to do. 
2) They are doing what they do - BECAUSE THEY LOVE YOU.
3) They are humans who will make mistakes.
4) They are NOT your hired help - they are God's servants called to shepherd your church.

Acts 2:42 reminds us that the early church was "devoted to" their leaders.  Look up that word "devotion" and see if it matches the way you view your church leaders.

As one of those servants, I want to somewhat selfishly ask and challenge you to please consider very strongly your perpetual need to be critical of your pastoral leaders.  If your case is valid, then do what the Bible says and take it to your church board of elders or other leadership.  Do not gossip among the saints about how poorly your church staff is doing their job.  That only causes division. 

And if your case is not valid (and you will know deep down in your heart whether or not this is true) then just close your mouth and find ways to support your pastoral and other staff leadership.

God did not place you in your church to be a nay-sayer.  You are not "called" to complain.  You are not "better" than your church staff or pastors.  You are one member of the body - a member who is just as important as all the other members - who are called to love one another - including your pastors and staff.

In the end - yeah, you probably don't want our job.  But you certainly can help make this thankless job far more fulfilling by actively supporting the efforts of those who lead your church. 

One of my favorite movie quotes is from the film, "A League of Their Own."  In the film, Tom Hanks plays washed up manager Jimmy Dugan.  One of his female ballplayers is complaining about how difficult it is to play baseball.  Dugan says, "Of course baseball is hard.  It's supposed to be hard.  If it were easy, anyone could do it."


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