Recently I’ve talked to a couple of people who (for various reasons) are finding their churches unfulfilling. They were hard conversations to have, and partly for this reason: by the time someone gets as far as expressing that kind of opinion, they are already emotionally discouraged, perhaps physically tired too, and bursting with specific frustrations they want to express.
But in the light of all that, it was a great tonic to see this article from Leadership Journal today. Entitled “Why people get so mad at pastors”, it is written to help and guide pastors. But it gives everyone a window on church life; a re-evaluation that says….Hang on, why do we get disappointed anyway? Is it because our expectations have not been met? And should we actually have had those expectations anyway?
It’s well worth a read.
It reminds me of Paul David Tripp’s book on marriage, with its piercing title What did you expect?
And it reminds me of one of Tripp’s other books, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, which I read recently, and the vision it presents of a mature church, where all believers help other people by pointing them to Jesus, the Word of God.
May we all grow in that direction – with realistic expectations of church life, the rediscovery of the ‘lament’ when things get rough…and the habit of pointing each other to Jesus.