If You Think Evangelism Is Easy, I’m Guessing You’re Not Doing It

APOSTLE PAUL: I am in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.

OTHER PASTORS: Took me four minutes and I got that guy saved and solved all his problems.
@FailingPastor

 

 

Pretty tired of reading books where the author saves people in between getting off the plane and getting to baggage claim.

Can’t take it anymore.

I’m not downing their evangelistic efforts. I have much respect for people who can strike up conversations with people about anything, let alone the Gospel.

Some plant, some water. I get it. No problem.

The problem I have is assuming that once your blessed 4 minutes with that person is over, they are done now. Totally saved beyond a shadow of a doubt. Everywhere they go people are getting saved in record time.

How do they know this?

Once you get your baggage and get in the taxi, do you see this person again? How do you know they are saved, simply because they said the thing you told them to say?

The Great Commission, which is often trotted out in support of this quick and easy method of evangelism, actually sounds quite hard and drawn out. We’re to make disciples and teach them to do everything Christ commanded.

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Pastors: You Will Be Judged About Everything; Here’s How to Handle It

I did not enter the ministry for money or power or respect. I did it for the constant criticism of everything I do and say.
@FailingPastor

 

 

There are several pastors in my family. I saw these older men in my family get pummeled by the ministry. I did not enter the ministry without an idea of what was going to occur. Growing up in that environment did cause me to hate church.

When I attended college I stopped going to church. I read my Bible and I attended a Christian college and got a degree in Biblical Studies, so it’s not like I became an atheist or anything. I just needed a break from church.

There was a point in my second year of college where I knew I was going to be a pastor. This greatly depressed me at first, but then it made sense. I know what the church is. I know what people do in churches. I have knowledge that could be put to good use.

I discussed this pastoral idea with one of the guys in my family who was a pastor. He said. “Don’t do it. It’ll break your heart.”

He was deeply saddened by my decision. But he also said, “But I understand. If you have to do it; you have to do it.”

Unfortunately, I did have to.

The stuff I saw happen to those guys began happening to me. The same stupid problems and struggles I watched them endure became mine to endure. I knew what to expect, and wow, did the church deliver on those expectations.

I’ve been criticized for the clothes I wear, the car I bought, the house and neighborhood I live in, where I send my kids to school, saying “shut up” in a sermon, arguing a call in church softball, not arguing a call in church softball, being too legalistic, not being legalistic enough, not knowing grace, making too much of grace, every doctrinal opinion I’ve ever expressed has rubbed someone the wrong way. I was even once criticized for being seen riding my bike.

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Top 7 Crazy People In Church Today

That feeling when you see your church’s noted Crazy Person talking to a visitor.
@FailingPastor

 

 

There are several brands of crazy. Every church has crazy people, and I’m not one of those who say, “Everyone in my church is crazy.” Not everyone is. If everyone were crazy, then crazy wouldn’t mean anything. There are some legit crazy people out there.

You know who I’m talking about too.

There’s Crazy Politics Person, no matter what anyone is talking about, the president will be tied into it and hyper-opinionated views of politics will spew forth. If you don’t vote like they do, people will die. Fear and turmoil mark their existence. They don’t have time to set their affections on things above; they are busy saving society by voting once every two years.

There is Crazy Crazy Person who just can’t help it, they are straight crazy. Who knows what they’ll talk about: doing peyote, hitchhiking misadventures, best deals at Dollar General, how to buy elderberries off the internet, angels singing to them in the shower, I mean, you just don’t know. Because: Crazy.

There is Crazy Doctrine Person, typically male. They are absolutely sure that their doctrine is the most advanced, well-thought out doctrine ever invented. They nudge right over the line in claiming inspiration for their doctrine. They know they have it right, and “you, dear pastor, although you try, are still short of seeing what I know. Someday, maybe someday, if the Spirit is good to you, you might achieve my level. Until then I shall correct your doctrine to everyone who has ever heard you speak.”

There is Crazy End Times Person who thinks every burp from their dog is in the Book of Daniel. “The End Is Near” is the only message they have and they know exactly how near, how it will get the rest of the way here, and who will primarily be responsible for the downfall of all things (The Russians and the Catholic Church, in case you’re wondering. And Lady Gaga).

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You Might Want to Think Twice Before Using Your Pastor as a Job Reference

CRANKY CHURCH MEMBER: Can I use you as a job reference?

ME: Sure, if you don’t want the job.
@FailingPastor

 

 

I am amazed at some of the people who have asked me to be a job reference for them. Especially the ones where I have to write a paragraph about their character. It’s not just my phone number that no one will ever call; I have to describe who they are.

Now, in some cases, it’s an honor to be asked and I am more than happy to recommend them. These are people who have been friendly, helpful, and faithful. There is nothing bad I could say about them.

Then there are other people. People who complain about stuff, rarely show up, generally cause problems, and often post unbelievable pictures on Facebook about what they do outside of church.

I mean, what exactly do they think I’m going to say?

I’ve told my church in the past that if you use me as a job reference I will tell the truth. I wrote for one person that they rarely show up to anything and I wouldn’t trust them with any kind of real responsibility. I figure a boss should know that and someone has to tell them.

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Grace, Forgiveness, and Jerks Who Leave Churches

PAIN-IN-THE-NECK PEOPLE LEAVING THE CHURCH: I’m sorry we ever came to this church.

ME: Apology accepted.
@FailingPastor

 

 

Of all the people who have left my church, not one of them has ever apologized.

Maybe that shouldn’t surprise me. People who leave churches always do it for high sounding spiritual reasons. Part of the fun of tearing apart the pastor is to make yourself feel spiritually superior, above the lowly ones you are leaving.

But I mean, think about it, is it possible that every single person who has left my church (and there have been many) was innocent? Is it possible that none of them ever did anything wrong to the church? Is it possible that only I made mistakes?

I have apologized to pretty much every person who has left my church and had a civil conversation with me about it, usually after calling them repeatedly or just showing up at their house because they weren’t going to initiate the conversation.

Which is another point: why is it that so many leave without saying anything? Is this a guilt admission that they know they weren’t perfect in the situation?

I don’t know. I probably spend too much time thinking about people who don’t think about me.

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Volunteers and Other Terrible Things

The worst idea in all Church History is having everyone take their chair and put it on the chair rack themselves.
@FailingPastor

 

 

Churches are always looking for volunteers. My church is not.

I have given up on asking for volunteers. The people most wiling to volunteer are frequently also the people least likely to be able to perform the work for which they volunteered. Volunteers are generally people who think they can do the job. The only people who think they can do a job are people who don’t know what the job is.

Cynicism makes up much of this opinion, but experience has informed it as well.

When we needed more volunteers for our kids’ ministry, we would throw out a general appeal. Terrible people ended up filling those roles. We had pregnant unmarried women, people arrested for drugs and drunk driving, and people who hated every minute of being there and merely agreed due to our guilt-ridden pleas.

I eventually cancelled the kids’ ministry due to the terrible level of “leadership” we were providing kids. I was hoping this would reform the leaders. Nope, they just got mad, left the church, and blamed my pathetic leadership.

Church buildings are maintained by volunteer work. I’m amazed more church buildings have not burned to the ground.

Chair carts are all the proof you need. If you tell a group to fold up their chairs and stack them on the cart; the leaned over, stuck together, facing every which direction mass of chairs, kind of on the cart, that will result will make you cry. Half the cart will be taken up by leaned over chairs, which makes others lean their chairs up against the cart rather than on the cart. This defeats the entire purpose of having a cart for chairs, people.

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Pastors and Politics

THEM: Pastors should voice more political opinions.

ME: OK. Most Republicans and Democrats are going to hell. You should tell them the Gospel.
@FailingPastor

 

 

We’ve had some contentious elections in our country lately. People are wound a little tight.

During the last big “most important election of our lives” season, a lady in church told me she was thinking she wouldn’t come back to church if she had to be around people who disagreed with her political views. She then told me that it was my job to tell them how to vote. Yup, it was my fault they were following their parent’s traditional political line.

She did skip church for a few weeks, but when her guys won the election she came back. Several months later she told me how much she loved our church and how she would, and I quote, “never think of leaving it.”

I stay out of politics. The only time politics enter my sermon is when I mention how I stay out of politics, or when the Bible passage at hand tells us to respect government authority, or when an issue that is in the Bible passage I’m dealing with has a modern political angle everyone is fired up about that has to be addressed.

I don’t tell people how to vote. I don’t tell people to vote even. I make no mention of civic duty, nor do I pledge the flag in church or anything. I’m all for the separation of church and state and do my part to keep it real.

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