7 Most Frustrating Things Pastors Deal With

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Because leadership deals with people, there will always be frustrations.

I recently received this question.

Ron—What do you think are some of the most frustrating things that pastors experience?

Great question. I’m sure, like most jobs, there are frustrating things that happen while doing the best you know to do.

Leadership deals with people. Different people.

There can always be frustrations dealing with people different from us. Even people who love each other can be frustrated by each other.

But the question was “most frustrating.” I had to think about that question.

I should first mention that I love the local church. (I shouldn’t have to mention it, but I do.) I believe the church is the hope for the world. I am a proponent of the local, Bible-believing church. We are filled with imperfect people, but our mission is God-inspired, God-given and to be God-glorifying.

Here’s my reply:

1. People who abuse power or position.

It always bothers me, but even more so when it happens in the church. That includes, of course, the pastor.

Ultimately, we are to follow Christ, but sometimes we can let positions and power get in the way of humility and obedience.

Ron Edmondson Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping church grow vocationally for over 10 years.

More from Ron Edmondson or visit Ron at http://www.ronedmondson.com/

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  • MWL111

    The mission of all Christians should bring good things of the church into the world, If we are true Christians, we should not bring bad things of the world into the church.
    Ask ourselves a question, Are we a true follower of Christ?

    • Pastor B. Gaye Suomie

      yes thats very great, we need to do just that bring good things to save the world not bad things from the world to dump the church God bless you for that.
      you know the mind is the devils workshop right, therefore
      we need to be careful and very very careful indee stye strong

  • Jess Wayne

    For me, as a pastor myself, one of the frustrating thing we deal is unimplemented plans. After so much study, dileberation with the key people and stake holders, and the amount of time you invested to pray for a project and then the untinkable happens…slowly but surely…nothing happens.

  • TJ Lambert

    Good article. Add gossip to the list!

  • Karl Henderson

    For me, I hate being criticised and seeing those giving a real effort being criticised.
    Normally, the targets are the hardest working and most caring, whie the shooters are the opposite.
    Nothing new here tho…

  • Brian K Ives

    Lack of excellence, you can be excellent at any stage and any size.

  • PastorMickey

    Lack of commitment of the “leadership” of the church. Kind of goes along with Brian’s comment on lack of excellence.

  • aliceinwonder

    Our now former pastor (he has been rotated) was the greedy one. He was part time for two parishes, taught at a community college and was collecting his pension. He used me to fill in the gaps at our parish because he was too busy to be there. I’m a volunteer and I am on SSDI (below poverty level). Our parish is in terrible trouble because we did not have a pastor to truly shepherd our church. This pastor has received many awards in his lifetime and boasts of them often. Now that he has been rotated, we have no pastor at all. There aren’t any. Thirteen parishes in our district alone are without pastors now. With this pastor gone now and no leadership at all, the people with the $$ are the ones making the decisions. That leaves me out. This article helped me put a lot into perspective however. My applause goes out to you for it.

    Christianity is in so much trouble in this country for a multitude of reasons. When we lose unity for any reason, it cripples everyone and everything involved.

    • George

      You might want to ask yourself – seriously and deeply – why there are so few pastors, and why there is not one at your church. If pastoring your church, and the others in your area, is such a great gig, why aren’t there hundreds of pastors vying for the opportunity?

      • aliceinwonder

        We now have a seminary student who is doing a superior job. However we simply cannot get young families interested in coming to church. Our parish is dying. But folks have to work 2 and 3 jobs to get by today plus sports are now more important than God. Many games/practices on Sunday mornings. How do we battle that??
        But back to your original question, few are going into seminary these days. They have no guarantee of a parish or benefits. Quite tragic.

        • George

          Does your congregation pay a living wage? What denomination are you – and does the denomination expect churches to pay a decent wage, or are pastors kept on starvation wages? If a pastor has been through seminary, after under-grad, he easily has $100k in his education. He cannot live on $25k per year.

          • aliceinwonder

            UMC. You have now hit the nail on the head. The insane costs of college through federal govt loans (that you will never get paid off) is why we have no one going into seminary. Our p/t pastor makes $15k yr with NO benefits. His wife is the bread winner and provides the insurance for the family.

          • George

            Yes, and yes. The UMC, as a denomination, is in huge trouble – and for obvious reasons. It’s time to be creative, to lower expectations of being some growing mega-church, and focus on being healthy.

          • aliceinwonder

            While they do have funds to help move pastors when they do a rotation, it is not enough to cover all expenses. The whole thing is a catch 22. We are thankful to have someone new and energetic to truly shepherd our parish, but once he is ordained the UMC will likely move him and we will once again be in search of someone to take our parish. Retired pastors are being requested to p/t minster churches with no takers. Retired pastors don’t have the energy to become involved in youth projects like they wish they could and younger families see the lack of youth organization within the wall of the church which makes it even less desirable to join. I know I sure don’t have the answers here……

          • George

            Leave your denomination. Either that are simply operate outside their “pastoral rotation system.”

          • aliceinwonder

            Our pastor says he is a Christian who is presently employed by the Methodist faith. Smart man.

          • George

            I like that. Honestly though, I’m thinking more along the lines of a man who loves the Lord and loves people, and who CAN stay if he wants to – rather than being moved away.

          • aliceinwonder

            Oh he does love the Lord. And he is a good teacher, pastor, mentor. If the UMC fails us (especially if they yield to homosexuality) he will move on…as will I.

  • Sarah Jane

    For me it is the people who do not respect the pastor (or the time he puts in preparing). They either talk during the sermon or worse; they wander around during the sermon. it is so distracting for the pastor and everyone else.

    • Jen Smith

      I’m not a pastor, but these are pet peeves for me. I expect minor disruptions at times and sometimes it’s unavoidable (for ex, a child who is mentally disabled may cry out). Mostly though, there can be too much disregard in a service for the pastor (and others doing announcements, etc).

  • RetiredAirman

    I love all of these – and agree wholeheartedly. Add to this “Conspiracy Theorists” who spend more time running around finding fault with Masons or Mason Jars rather than read their own Bibles and do what Jesus said. Or the fanatical “End Time Prophecy Zealots” who attack you for not preaching their version of end time events each Sunday. Or the “Chicken Littles” who never come to Church but when anything happens in their lives they fall to pieces, and the pastor must spend time holding their hands. What blesses me, though, is the believers who are faithful, willing to come on a regular basis and support the mission of Christ. These genuine believers make it worth while and bless my heart.

  • Janie

    .too much power abuse by pastors and their sidekick Executive Pastors…staff members under their authority know the TRUTH but can’t reveal for fear of their jobs…Elders boards are Pastor pleasers and only know what he tells them…TRAGIC!!!!

  • Pastor K. Dixon

    Hearer but not doers!

  • arellano

    Our former pastor became dictator in the church, he became insensitive in other members specially those poor members. that’s why we left the church we take it anymore he always talks about money.

  • Horace

    @ Alice in Wonder…. I read your comments . I’ll ask you to pray and wait on the Lord, He knows all. I’m a pastor here in Ky.. Several Church’es in my District was without Pastor’s.
    Now G od has blessed this district with four new pastor’s with myself being one, He knows our need and he knows who loves him and those that love money…..Keep your faith and everything will be alright….Amen.

  • #fisherofmen

    Really hate rebellion and apathy in the local congro. And folks who seem to think the authority of the Church is something we never should exercise…alllowing them to do whatever they want, whenever they feel like it, with no thought to the mission of the Church.

    Really bugs me when we get the inevitable parishioner who thinks they are far smarter and more connected to God than leadership, then use the local parish as some kind of home shopping network for people to populate their own plans.

    And then there’s the clergy killers, who, when they disagree or rebel, (usually the same thing) make their mission in life not only to destroy the local leader, but the parish as well.

    Satan loves these guys.

  • Penney

    When you look at these reasons, I think that Pastors forget that the church they are in charge of leading, needs to be lead. The questions I ask are….
    1) Does the Pastor care for the flock? Personally with visitation(as needed), spiritually with the word & reaching out to the unsaved?
    2) Is there a vision for the church and are all those put into leadership in agreement to carry out that vision.
    3) When the motive to stay becomes a matter of pride and ununified leaders causing strife in the church. losing members not reaching out.
    I am currently in church # 3 the only reason I’m staying is because the church members are the ones fighting for #’s2 &3. When leadership is asked about these things or the membership starts their own outreach because the pastors won’t it becomes a “you didn’t ask my permission or things are done the way I want.
    The only way to change the 3 part time staff who can’t be at the church 8 hours a day between them is to vote them out. How fair is that to the members? Do we leave a church we feel God has great plans for because of Pastors who care more about themselves? We are down to less than 30 people in our church including pastors, their wives and the children in the church. When anything is said, It’s the members fault. He’s been teaching on the book of John for 18 months and we are just now finishing chapter 14. Again has been asked to preach something else but, again here comes Mr. Pride.
    So, my point, remember to equip the flock with power and knowledge for the week ahead. A phone call or visit when a member is going through a difficult time goes a long way. When you have a Sunday visiter, DON’T send them a survey after they come 2 consecutive Sunday(” that way you know they are serious about church”), reach out Monday with a sincere “glad to have you , do you need anything letter or a phone call just to say thank you, it was great to meet you.
    I realize being the Shepherd of a flock isn’t an easy task. But , when we forget that the purpose is to show Gods glory, share His love and save the unsaved, I think it’s time to quit or re-evaluate your current calling.

    • Pastor CSL

      I’m ashamed to say that in my earlier years of lay ministry that when someone suggested prayer as a solution that I felt that that was a simplistic answer to a multi-faceted problem. But now after my years as a pastor, I’ve seen the miraculous occur when a group of sincere believers earnestly pray, and I know that prayer does move mountains in ways we could never imagine. Assemble a small group of folks who are truly burdened for the church, and pray for God to change things in the way He sees fit. Don’t pray for specific outcomes, but pray for God to make your church a light for Him. And especially pray for your pastor. Pray for him before services every week and during the week. Pray for him to be a mighty leader for God. I only wish that I had done this 30 years ago when faced with a difficult church situation as a lay leader. Souls may have been lost because I and the other leaders tried to problem solve more than we prayed. Praise God that He is a merciful God! He continued to use us despite our failings. Courage in the Lord!

  • PJ

    I dislike inconsistency doing a good thing on Sunday of even though the week and fail to remain faithful to it..like checking on weaker members or even in prayer time with the Pastor or those in charge of worship… I have ask the ushers to open with pray-time before services.. Doing it when i ask is not faithful the faithfulness of it is when we do it without being reminded or told…

  • Add thismone

    My #1 frustration isn’t listed. – People who say they will do something & then don’t show, don’t call & don’t think it matters. I think I’d faint if on

    any Sunday everyone who had a responsibility actually showed up did it.

    • Jose Hernandez

      You know that’s right..
      Someone call 911

  • Kingdomtrainer

    How about this frustration; people who actually attend church because they want to know God, not just to see how they can run the church better than the pastor!

  • Hank

    It get’s hard. Sadly these are all true. I have to cry out to God often to renew my spirit so that I do not become cynical and jaded with the American church. All hope is not lost, but it gets difficult sometimes.

    • Pastor CSL

      Always remember that Judas was one of the inner circle of disciples. Christ gave him the same duties and abilities as the other disciples while knowing that his heart wasn’t right. I believe that Christ allowed this in part to show us that while there was a Judas, there was also a Peter who WOULD repent, and to never lose hope when we encounter the “people problems” in ministry. Courage in the Lord! Claim the promises of Isaiah 43:1-2 that Christ walks through the hard times with us. Praise God!

  • Pat

    When ppl think it ALWAYS has to be the way they’ve done it in the past!!!

  • jc

    Those who say someone isn’t living by the scriptures and yet make that an excuse to not live that way themselves…happens too often. Sadly, this is too prevelant in marriage….for example…ephesians 5:25-27…men love, but women don’t respect….i know it is the husbands responsibility but more emphasis should be put towards the wifes role in a biblical marriage.

    • Lauren Baer

      As a wife, I agree. The concept of unconditional respect blew my mind. I had a solid understanding and much teaching on unconditional love — God’s, in particular. But unconditional respect is a foreign concept to Americans. “Earning” love is ridiculous, yet many wives (and I myself still slip into this) expect men to earn respect. Equally ridiculous.

      My ability to edify, bless, and help sanctify my husband starts with unconditional respect. When that is going well for us, I can bring to the table any concerns I have no matter how difficult or painful or silly because I have helped make it easy for him to listen. Wives can be a great hinderance to their husbands without even realizing it. Be on guard.

      Prov 31:12 She brings [her husband] good and not harm all the days of her life.

  • Gerri

    I love the Lord and His Word…it has taught me so much about loving my husband and respecting him as well. Also it’s important to me to love our children and to be the example as a Mother within our home, our community and in the church. This process has taken years for me to cultivate but praise God for His faithfulness. Personally, what frustrates me the most are churches that are too closely associated with mission boards, Bible colleges and particularly other churches within that network. We’ve experienced it personally as we served as missionaries overseas..our children also suffered at certain Bible colleges that were not fond of our mission board–this was painful and so unchristian. When we changed our mission board for very good reasons, there were churches that dropped us because they didn’t agree with the policies of our new mission board…if you support a missionary or pastor, do because of that person’s ministry work. There were other churches that dropped us because we were fans of the King James Only group..ridiculous.

    Unfortunately, missionaries need support–not criticism from their supporters. We are supposed to be on the same team serving the Lord.

  • Sharon Auyang

    What frustrate me most about my church is that during our church monthly prayer meeting, we can hardly spot the presence of our Elders.
    Do not know if they are ignorant or forgotten the calling and role of a spiritual leader?!
    If I were the Pastor, I would appoint Elder post from among the regular and fervent prayers from the prayer meeting.

    Sharon Auyang

    • pmlmll

      You are fortunate to even have prayer meetings! Our church stopped them two years ago. When I asked the prayer coordinator who is responsible for the prayer ministry, she told me it was discontinued because only one or two would come!! Sometimes I feel our church has people with titles but no substance! Since when do we stop prayer meetings when the One who we call on, is always there?

  • Paul Don Howard

    Sunday Zombies! Those who come in and show no expression or emotion until after services.

    • Karl Henderson

      I wonder if some Sunday Zomby-ism is caused by the meeting being run in a very sub standard manner.
      If the service is incredibly boring, culturally weird and unhelpful, even the faithful attendees will just ‘endure’ until the pain is over.
      Of course, I do hear what you are saying as sometimes some people just won’t connect with God or each other no matter what you do.

  • Vincent Aja

    Sharon Auyand has the upper hand on this issue, there is nothing worst and so frustrating to the Holy Spirit( I did not say to any leader, I`m saying here to the Holy Spirt.) than when in a Church or congregation the leaders were packed with those with the secular minds. Yes, we do say that when someone confesses Christ Jesus as the Savior the person is saved. But here we have the leaders in the Churches who would never participate in any of the Church weekly programs/activities except when there are business meetings. Yet when a pastor wants something better for his congregation, they begin to weigh how much benefits every dollar spent for the Kingdom business would have returned IF the money was invested in the stock market. And as they maintained their different opinions with this secular minds the Body of Christ will continue to dry up spiritually out of frustration.

  • Geoff Warder

    Lack of communication. We cant have all the richness of church family that God intends if we dont talk about whats going on.

  • Amarachi Sunday

    For me, working with somebody who never believed in me, is most frustrating. Just like Thomas to Jesus. For the members and the society, I take them as my core responsibility and assignment as a leader. So I take it as a challenge. Enemy inside is more frustrating than enemy outside.

  • B right

    Pew Pastors

  • val

    What frustrates me is people who has done certain ministries before and are just sitting doing nothing now and trying to tell you what you should do, without getting involved. Mind you, I welcome good advice, but if my “plate is full”, I think they should take on some responsibility, at least get involved.

  • Mario

    What frustrates me is that most if not all of the pastors, do not understand fully the NT scriptures, and if you dare to point that out to them they take offence.
    Most pastor have abandoned the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and replaced Him with the bible college teachings: thus if the bible college is wrong, its error is multiplied by the numbers of the graduating pastors going on to preach. For example there are pastors that believe totally on grace, so, you do not have to do anything. There are pastors that believe in grace and the law. They should learn the difference of faith between Cain and Abel; Issac and Ishmael, Esau and Jacob, or the different attitude of Paul, before and after his conversion.

    • George

      This is little more than acknowledging that you expect every pastor to agree with you and your beliefs. But could it be that you are the one who is wrong?

      • Mario

        We all should have the mind of Christ, So, if our thinking doesn’t agree we could be both wrong: In 1John 3:9-10 we partially read “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil ore obvious.” Now you could be still a pupil in the classroom of God, there you errors are forgiven; if that is the case you should not be upfront teaching other pupils. If one is not totally deceived, his conscience will let him know were he truly belongs.

        • George

          I’m sorry, but this response really doesn’t make any sense.

          Let me ask you a straightforward question: How many pastors have you found yourself at odds with?

          • Mario

            I found it strange that pastors do not fully accept 1 John 3:9-10; for they say we always be sinners; there is no escape. Thus I believe those pastors unintentionally are making Christ’s sacrifice nothing more than a glorification of hypocrisy. We know, or should know better, for John has a warning for us in 1 John 3:6-7, “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, let no one DECEIVE you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” The true gospel has freed us from the slavery of sin, we are free to live a holy life.

          • George

            I will ask you again. How many pastors have you found yourself at odds with?

          • Mario

            All of them.
            I understand, it is very hard to go against the general convention. Just for argument sake, let me ask you one question: we are talking about understanding the NT right! How will you explain in a few words this verse of 1 Corinthians 1:28 “And the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are.” Brother, I believe you need His wisdom to solve the above riddle. I hope to find encouragement and a like-minded in you brother.

          • George

            Haha – thank you!

            You have butted heads with, and argued with, every single pastor you’ve ever had. “All of them.”

            I think we have identified the problem.

          • Mario

            Yes George, Jesus and Paul were in the same situation, Jesus they crucified, and Paul they persecuted from city to city. Who are they? They were the religious authority of the day. Please explain to me your understanding of 1Corinthians 1:28 above and proof me wrong.

          • George

            I’ll refer you to Titus 3:9-11, especially verse 10.

            This conversation is over.

          • Mario

            Thanks for taking the time to share with me.

    • confessor

      Mario, sounds like you may have a misunderstanding of law and gospel. The law condemns, I.e. be as God is holy. I’m unable to as as God no matter how I try. So I am condemned. The Gospel comes by grace in the person of Jesus Christ who fulfilled the law on my behalf and have to me his righteousness. Law convicts and condemns gospel fulfills and forgives. And yes this is all of grace so that no man can boast

      • Mario

        Yes, I am also saved by His grace, and by His grace I grow in Christ: despite my error I do not loose sight of the fast approaching graduation day, were I can say confidently and without arrogance 1John 3:6-7, “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” Now you tell me; am I been arrogant or boasting for obeying Him?

    • http://www.turnaroundpastor.com/ Bud Brown

      Mario, yes, I’m sure you’d be very frustrated with me. I would have a hard time listening to you because the lack of humility comes through louder than your words.

      • Mario

        False Humility is dangerous when it is used to justify lack of knowledge, most pastors use humility to endear themselves to the congregation. How can you believe a pastor that confesses, “he doesn’t know:” his confession should be seen as a warning coming from the Holy Spirit to the congregation, not to believe all that this man says. We also are brothers in Christ (You could be Esau and I could be Jacob) the question is do you know the difference?

        • http://www.turnaroundpastor.com/ Bud Brown

          Thank you for proving my point.

          • Mario

            You are welcome.

    • Kelly Keith Dunn

      Mario, I really would like to know how YOU Know “most if not all of the pastors do not understand fully the NT scriptures…” Can YOU understand how that statement can be dismissed as arrogant and an over generalization.

      • Mario

        Yes, but how can you tell someone that his interpretation is wrong, without telling him that. I have used every possible way to get them to understand. Let me ask you one question: In Mark 4:24-25, we read “Jesus was saying to them; ‘Take care what you listen to. By your standard it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you beside. For whoever has, to him shall more be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”‘ Brother you need the mind of Christ to solve the above riddle. I hope you prove me wrong, for if you do I will be no longer alone in this world.

        • Guest

          Romans 14:1 — As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

          2 Timothy 2:14 — Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

          • Mario

            Words in themselves do not mean much, they become alive only in a sentence: like; I had a three course meal, or I am doing a university course, or i went to the golf course. Quarrel not me: if they at the present time cannot receive my message, I know that I have planted the seed, the Lord is what makes tings grow.

        • Kelly Keith Dunn

          Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. — 1 Timothy 6:1-6

          • Mario

            By His grace, the riddle of Mark 4:24-25 is reveled if the pastor is in tune with Jesus. We all know that Jesus was always talking about matters of the heart. By His grace I know and believe; “Jesus was saying to them; ‘Take care what you listen to. By your standard OF GODLINESS it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you beside. For whoever has, to him shall more be given; and whoever does not have, even what GOOD he has shall be taken away from him.”‘ In other words Jesus is telling us to listen to the Holy gospel, and not to men interpretation of the gospel. Blessings to you my brother.

          • Phil

            Mario, I agree with you, but what makes you think that your interpretation is better than the pastor? It may well be, but there is a reason why pastors go to bible college and semenary and spend years learning theology and biblical interpretation and biblical language and a whole bunch of other stuff that people who do not submit to the discipline of study don’t get. Yes, there are a lot of people in positions who abuse their power or their authroity to push their own agenda and who really don’t understand the New Testament, and I would even go so far as to say they don’t understand the Gospel, but if the pastor of the church you go to is one of them, then vote with your feet – find someone who does understand and who you can support. But don’t just presume he or she is wrong because you don’t agree. Maybe he understands something you don’t understand and maybe, just maybe, he is right and you are wrong. Maybe it’s worth talking to your pastor before you assume he is wrong… Most of us pastors are genuine and would love to talk theology and bible with members of our congregations. All I am saying is make sure you get your Biblical interpretation straight before you decide the qualified person is wrong, then make your decision. Oh, and check out the heresy of Montanism because by the sounds of it, either the pastor you are talking about (or possibly you) have fallen for it.

          • Mario

            “Montanism” I had to look it up what it meant. No, or at list I think that I am not in that. But I will let you to be my judge. By His grace I was given to understand in a special way 1Corinthians 7:32-38. You can compare those meaningful verses with any bible.
            “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;
            33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided.
            34 And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
            35 And this I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure SOME BELIEVERS FOR AN undivided devotion to the Lord.
            36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly towards his CELIBACY, if he should be of full age, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let HIM marry.
            37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own BODY, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own BODY CHASTE,
            he will do well.
            38 So then both he who gives his own BODY in marriage does well, BUT he who does
            not give HIMSELF in marriage will do better.”

            As you can see, the last four verses 35-38, with the inserted Italics are the obvious words, which enable us to understand the connection and the true intended meaning of the previous verses of 32-34. Thus if any person, male or female, is willingly
            prepared and able to freely undertake the sacrifice of celibacy as their sacrifice of worship, that sacrifice is acceptable to God, this is confirmed in Matthew 19:10-12: “The disciples said to Him, ‘If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.’ But He said to them, ‘Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been
            given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this let him accept it.’”

          • Mario

            Please Phil say something, “be my judge,” What I wrote did not come from me, I cannot boast, for what I know was given to me by His grace. I was also appointed for the defense of the gospel; but to date I consider myself a failure because as far as I know I haven’t converted anyone.

          • Mario

            By the way, in 2010 I have published a book; “The Way God Told It” available at “Amazon” It is a paper back at present they almost are giving it away.

    • RJ

      What frustrates me are pastors who think that they alone have the full knowledge of God’s mind, and, even when they stand against the rest of the church throughout all history, they are right and everyone else is wrong.

      • Mario

        When you know something, and you know it did not come from your fleshly mind; you cannot afford to compromise the knowledge given to you. That is what a Christian should do when facing opposition, even if it costs you friendships. The correct idea is to examine on what base that knowledge rests. Unfortunately they oppose the revelation on long established creed.

    • Webster Rogers

      Amen

  • Janine Ramjit Williams

    For me, religious Christians who warm church benches and show no growth and maturity over the years can be very frustrating although they are given the tools, counsel and teaching to take their walk with God to another level.

  • http://www.turnaroundpastor.com/ Bud Brown

    8. People who don’t “get it.”

    If I had a dime for every time someone comments on a sermon by saying, “How come I haven’t heard this before?” and, when I have them show me the text in their Bible it’s underlined or highlighted or has notes in the margin – well, that’d be a lot of dimes.

    The biblical illiteracy of Christians who’ve been decades in churches is deeply troubling to me.

    • RJ

      In the “Don’t get it” category, I love the people who think it’s the pastor’s job to get people to church. I do my part for evangelism, but if I’m the only one bringing people into the church it’s going to be a mighty slow growth curve.

  • deandeguara

    #8.5 When people sign up, but don’t show up. Follow thru for many followers is a challenge!

  • Thomas C Dietz

    The biggist frustration for me is that I have a powerful love of people, a god given ability to engage people of any position or backround, the spritual gift of exhortation, and no platform to preach/teach/guide/exhort/encourage. I’m a wanna be pastor who is struggling to make ends meet with a wife and three kids (2 at home), so going to seminary is out of the question. I threw my hat into the ring by being a small group (in home bible study) leader. However, since our church has about 1000 reqular attenders from a 30 mile radious, and we have about 20 small groups spead over that area, do the math. If you know the percentage of people who do anything more than sit in a seat on Sundays, you’ll see we’re pushing the edge of the active participation rate. In fact, I didn’t catch a single guest in my rental for the entire 9 weeks. Boy are my kids tired of being guinea pigs, (snicker)

  • Thomas C Dietz

    Oh, another one… We do an astounding number of things for the community and the church that are driven by the love of Christ for all people. But these are almost entirely a “do something” event where the person with the gift of service is ideally suited and don’t lend themselves to copious evanelism or preaching.

  • Thomas C Dietz

    I qualify this by saying that I’m not a church leader, yet…and I only speak from my experience, but almost any leader who is tuned into his congregation will find this is true. It is extremely frustrating to want to give of yourself, but not be given any opportunity.
    There is a certain group of people in church that are the brain trust, the inner circle, the ones that make things happen. And that may work great for the Pastor, but where does that leave the “others”? You know, the people who want to be involved, or don’t even KNOW that they prefer to be involved, but don’t get the ear of the Pastor? A congregation that is empowered to make decisions changes the paradigm completely. When the people in the pews feel like they are no different then the folks that get paid to oversee them, the entire Church (big C, here) benefits and it starts right there in your own church. Let the regular attendees plan extracurricular church functions, maybe organize and execute an evangelism outreach program, or give them permission to be local missionaries and you will the kingom of heaven growing in everwidening circles as it is described in Acts 6:7.

    • George

      What you describe is NOT the structure or paradigm of the church I’m happy to be a member of. We are a “smallish” older church that has found new life, because we’ve rediscovered our purpose – and that purpose is to be very intentional about ministering in our neighborhood, rather than just trying to relocate in hopes of becoming a suburban mega-church. We have all kinds of “lay people” leading all kinds of things. Our pastor is far more like the guy with the reigns trying to harness a 40-horse team, rather than a bottleneck. His job has become “keeping us headed in the right direction” rather than trying to get people moving.

      It’s pretty exciting!

  • mn121

    When members put unrealistic expectations on your spouse and kids…

    • Mario

      As a pastor you are above the rest, as a teacher you are up the front and the congregation are your pupils, they look at you to show them the way not only by words, but mostly by example: living a holy faithful life. Read 1Timothy 3:2-5; the Lord never said was going to be easy. Blessings; take courage for the Lord is with you.

      • RJ

        I’ve seen people put expectations on my kids that went beyond 1Tim 3:2-5. To expect a three-year-old to sit perfectly quiet for an hour is unrealistic. To expect that my children will enjoy the company of every other child in the parish, no matter how the other children treat them is unrealistic. I tell my children to always be kind, but I will not require them to spend a lot of time with children who are not kind to them. To expect my family to be at every single service is unrealistic when there are three services on a Sunday. To expect my wife to find the perfect balance between modesty in dress with dressing stylishly on the budget I am able to provide is unrealistic. I just tell her modesty in the real criteria. All of these expectations have been put on my family. None of them are 1 Tim 3:2-5 issues.

        Unrealistic expectations are things that no one would think twice about if another member of the church exhibited the same behavior. It’s realistic to expect the pastor’s family to be a good example. It’s unrealistic to expect them to be a Hallmark greeting card.

        • Mario

          I hear what you say and feel the pain; they have no consideration for you or your family. It seems they have taken, or want to take emotional possession of you and your family; cruelty is only under the surface. You need to take back what is yours: the freedom to live your life in Christ as you see fit. Stand up to them with Christ love. May the peace of our Lord be with you.

        • http://www.alliance-ruthetnoemie.org/ ANNIE EVE

          Thanks you for sharing, I can feel your pain, your anger and your desapointment. I’d like to tell you that your situation will be easy to fix but it’s not. You need to make a shift in your vision, a radical change in your perception.
          I feel you are trapped in control and you and your family is exhausted.
          First, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom
          In this situation, you must ask yourself : who am I serving ? Who has called me to serve ? If you are not only in a postion but if you serve YOUR LORD, you must repent because you are allowing people to judge you, to drive you, to curse you, to exept things from you you can’t give them.
          You can be a model in purity and in faith. it means that you have to achieve your sanctification for youself, depending on God’s grace to do it and you have to trust God more than anything.
          To serve the church, you don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to please everybody. Do you know that 20 % of your people will be against you whatever you say or do…. it’s good to remember. If you have been called by God in this position of leadership, you know what to do. you know how to behave.
          You must repent allowing people to control your private life or control your children. You must also forgive the people who put pressure on you; And then start to break the chains.
          Ask the Lord to reinforce your identity in Christ and start behaving in a natural way. YOU are what you are by the grace of your savior and Lord. Your children as long as they are not christian are your children, not the church”s. You have plain autority on their life. Yes you will be criticize. But if people do that in public, gossiping and destroying your family, you need to confront them, not just to be “saved” but also for their own sake.
          2 Corinthiens is very relevant concerning response to critics.
          Stop beeing a victim. “They” have their part of responsability but by allowing them to control your choices, you put “these people” before the Lord. Following the master is very difficult and sometime people will reject your but you can be whole in Christ, receiving his Grace and love.
          Don’t fear. if your heart is pure you will pass the test. if you have control people in the past or if your father or mother was controlled or a controlling person, ask the Lord to break the power of Control on your life by repentance and forgiveness.
          The cross is powerful to gain the victory in such situation.
          With love – your sister in France

  • JInezita

    There is non of the 7 that I have not continuously repeat. It is very disappointing see no changes in church member that Sunday thru Sunday, year thru year with no growth and no commitment to God and there church. It is very easy to pin point to the pastor, but not all the time is the pastor.

  • john anyebe

    Thanks Ron, It becomes more frustrating when co-leaders in the church present an uncooperative attitude, by forming a clique in leadership thereby bringing division in the church i.e aim for Paul and aim for Apollos

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