Thursday, March 29, 2007

What We Don't Need From New Wave Pastors

Andy McAdams, over at The Mayberry Driven Church has written a great article on where the church is today, focusing on the smaller church in this culture. "The Condition of the Church In America" is worth a read, a clip, and many prayers. I can see Andy's heart for the church in it. Though the statistics are sobering, and the challenge is great, knowing that there are people who get what the life of a small church is about really helps.

Contrast that with the writings of some of the young, successful, and hip new wave pastors lately about their fellow workers for Christ.

I’m sorry I will never understand guys who do this because it is a job, because they are stuck, because they are to big of chumps to get a “real” job. I pray I never become the fat, cynical pastor who has “been around the block.” I will never understand how people who God has called burn out and are always sending resumes out looking for the next great thing. We have the greatest calling in the world and the large majority of pastors I talked to are to freaking busy whining about how hard they have that it is no wonder they aren’t making an impact for the kingdom of God. If that offends you I could care less.

If I have another church planter or pastor call me or email me telling me how hard it is I am simply going to kick the crap out of them. YES, it is hard. What the crap did you think you were signing up for? You are on the frontlines of the battle between good and evil. Did you think it was going to be a cake walk? What fantasy are you living in? When you are making an impact for God, the devil is going to come after you with everything you have.

I am so sick of excuse making pastors. I am talking about the ones who always think everyone else has it better then them and they can’t accomplish what they want to because someone else got “the breaks.” Shut up and do something for God.

You know, I'm not hearing much whining at all among my friends who pastor smaller churches. What I hear most often is an acknowledgment of just how tough the task is and how they are driven on depend more on God.

When we talk, we deal in reality to be sure.

That doesn't make us whiners, or burnt out, or looking for our next gig.

Frankly, the ministry isn't Ultimate Fight Club, so if the new wave would drop the "I'll punch them in the throat", "kick the crap out of them" bravado, they'd seem more Christ-like. At least.

What we need isn't opposition. What we need is support. What we need is your prayers.

Someone said the other day that what happens is we get blind - blind to our faults, but only blind in one eye, because those of others are plainly visible.

Well, I admit I am blind in one eye. Would it be too much to hope that the new wave would admit that they are too?


  1. Anonymous6:37 AM

    Thanks for the kind words David. Yes I have a love and burden for the small church and the pastors that serve them. I’ve served and assisted churches of all sizes, but small to medium churches seem to have a unique kind of need, so I try to be more available to them.

    I think that the “new wave” of pastors that you speak about often come out of their training and thinking that because they graduated from seminary and got ordained that they are now in demand and should be able to collect those big salaries and preach to hundreds of people that will flock to hear their fine sermons. After all they have read all the books, have notebooks full of notes from all their classes and so therefore should have all the answers…or at least most of them. Well…GET REAL!

    As I look at my children’s generation and their children, I realize they are missing out on a valuable lesson, a lesson that caused me to stay in ministry for 33 years and married for 40. (I’m really not that old, honest. Ah…would you believe I got married at 15? Didn’t think so). A lesson that no matter how difficult things got, how little money we had or when people would gossip and do all the things to their pastor that “fine church people do”, we stuck it out.

    The lesson I refer to is, “struggling”. Yes, that’s right “struggle”. We don’t know how to do that today and that’s why “the new wave” you speak about David makes the often excuses you mention”. It’s easier to say that things are the way they are because of something or someone else. An entire generation was raised being taught blame shifting and it’s my generation’s fault for letting it happen.

    But when we struggle we grow. We get tougher and are even more prepared for this battle called, “The Pastorate”. And if you don’t believe it’s a battle then don’t enter it, because church people, the world, the flesh and the Devil will eat you alive. Actually it’s not just a battle it’s a war with many battles and when you struggle though it, believe it or not you are better prepared.

    I remember in Bible College my wife and I sitting down to a meal and praying for food that wasn’t on the table because the cupboard was empty, yet God wonderfully supplied every time. Like many other pastors I worked part time during my first two churches because they couldn’t afford to pay me a full salary. I was called there of God, so why not? I didn’t complain about it, I worked hard to change it. At times the exhaustion was overwhelming, but we struggled through it until those churches could raise our income and along the way we saw lives changed and people coming to Jesus. We lost a house to a fire, a child to a cerebral hemorrhage, another child that I almost lost to the world, we went through staff disloyalty and also buried my own brother and if I had the time, the story could go on and on.

    Am I bragging about what warrior’s for Christ my wife and I are? No not at all. Our story is probably mild compared to many in pastoral ministry. All I’m trying to say it, “tough it out…stay strong…be willing to struggle and learn from it all. Don’t make excuses, admit when your wrongs and learn from it all while you love the people that God has given to you with a passion that can only come from the One that called you into the ministry in the first place.


  2. a lil more grace and love is almost certainly what we all need - increasing the challenge for me is not so much are we right but our we good..?