I ran across this some time ago but felt some of you might relate today. Be encouraged. Don’t let the “joy-suckers” get to you. -dave
Every church has people who just suck the air out of your ministry. H.B. London from Focus on the Family calls them “joy suckers.” In my counseling of pastors, I meet a lot of guys who aren’t content with the ministry God has given them. If only my church was bigger, or we just had a couple of additional families, or we had better music, or whatever. Let me share with you a story about not getting pulled down by the “if only’s” of pastoral ministry.
When I pastored a church of about 200 a number of years ago, I had a young lady who was a member of our church come to talk to me about our music in worship. She had been away at college and was back after graduating. As we met, she shared with me how out of date our worship services were. She had attended a very dynamic campus church and felt we needed guitars, drums, etc. I told her I was open to having more contemporary music, and asked if she would be willing to help since she played the guitar. She declined, “O pastor, I don’t have time to help, I just wanted to tell you how I feel.” So there you have it, we have a church with worship from the stone age.
A week later, I had a new guy in his mid-twenties come to see me. He came to our church after attending a Phil Keaggy concert. During our meeting, he asked a few questions about our doctrine, and then started to comment on our worship. I’m thinking, “Here we go, another person who thinks our worship is from the dark ages.” He then begins to tell me how great our worship is. He was excited that we not only sang hymns, but we used praise choruses, and even used a guitar from time to time.
When I got home, I asked my wife, “Honey, I’m not sure if I am attending the most un-cool, or the coolest church in town!”
So brothers in ministry, don’t let the joy suckers, complainers, and church hoppers get you down. Don’t think you aren’t an important part of the kingdom if you aren’t leading a mega-church. And remember, you can always refer the joy suckers to me!
Dr. Paul Randolph, Insight Christian Counseling