It's been a very long time since I last wrote. I have never been much of a writer but have over the years enjoyed writing here on occasion to flesh out my own thoughts, challenge myself, and hopefully encourage others.
This morning, I have some general thoughts about critics and the big C Church. Critics need to step up, encourage their senior pastors/leaders, and help - not criticize and expect that one person (or even a staff) can or should do everything.
The Bible is pretty clear that we each have roles to play, "The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ....This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad." -I Corinthians 12:12,25-26.
I have read pastor blogs about this subject, seen the ministry statistics (that we should all be devastated by (over 1500 pastors leave ministry each MONTH), and have witnessed numerous instances of it. Criticism can take its toll on any of us in our day-to-day lives and careers. Stack that on top of all the other pressures of ministry and it's a recipe for disaster.
Sure, there is a time and a place for suggestions and hopefully all pastors/leaders are interested in constructive feedback. As members of the body, we all need to be mindful of the time and the place where we choose to share our thoughts and be sensitive to how our words might effect our leaders. We need to make sure that our suggestions are suggestions and not us telling the pastor/leader what they need to do and we need to be willing to help if we present a suggestion. Most importantly, we should spend significant time in prayer and make sure our thoughts are not merely selfish desires but that they are genuinely intended to build up the work of the ministry.
Many of us expect church leaders to shoulder all of the burden of ministry and expect the work of the church to be wrapped up in a nice package - clean, easy, positive. Ministry is messy and hard and requires the entire body. Pray for, encourage, support, and help your pastors and ministry leaders. Pray for your church, ministries, and the big C Church and then know that ultimately God is in control and he has allowed your leader to be in the position that he/she is in.