You’ve heard the saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”? Do you have any squeaky wheels in your church? I know I have in mine. There have been times when I didn’t want to give the squeaky wheel grease but instead the boot! In a larger church the senior pastor has more buffers (associates) between he and the squeakers than the pastor of a smaller church. Someone once said that ignorance is bliss, but if you pastor a smaller church you’re not ignorant about anything that goes on in your church. It all reaches your desk. All the complaints, all the great ideas, all the squeaky wheels.
Over the years I have pastored in five different churches. In each church there has been someone who felt (and felt a need to tell me) that my church was “drifting aimlessly on the ocean”, “totally out of touch with the needs of people”, “going to hell in a hand basket.” And you know…sometimes I would believe them. Until I had enough sense to stop and take an inventory of what was going on in the church that was good, that was working, that was bearing fruit. There’s always something you can find that is good. Part of leading a church is remembering that it is never completely broken, and it’s never completely fixed.
There will always be those squeaky wheels that feel everything is wrong in your church. That’s never a true assessment. And don’t forget, if someone says “There’s a lot of people that feel the same way I do”, he’s usually referring to himself, his spouse, and maybe one other person.
While it’s true that a church always has things it needs to work on (never totally fixed), it’s also true that there are good things going on as well (never totally broken). Don’t let the complainers suck the joy and objectivity out of you. Draw up a list of what is good, what is working, who is being blessed, and what your church does well. Remember, it’s never completely fixed and it’s never, never completely broken.
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