I love Pastors!
After reading this blog, some might question that, but let me share a couple of things to reinforce the statement above.
Since 2007, I have been given the privilege to help mentor and train pastors from other churches. And since 2013, I have done this more intentionally and “officially”, and currently, this ministry of equipping pastors has taken up a fourth of my working time.
I meet twice a month with Pastors from different churches for training and mentoring, and I regularly travel elsewhere, even to the provinces, to do the same. Each time I and my team do so, we always cover our own travel and accommodation (unless our hosts insists otherwise), and the mentoring itself is always FREE.
I say that not to boast, but simply as a statement of fact. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t love pastors and the Body of Christ.
Now let’s go to the gist of this article.
Recently Perry Noble, a famous megachurch pastor from South Carolina, was removed from his position as Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church due to “alcohol abuse.” Critics of the Church Growth Movement were quick to pounce on Perry’s own statement, which read in part:
“…in my obsession to do everything possible to reach 100,000 and beyond – it has come at a personal cost in my own life and created a strain on my marriage. In my opinion, the bible does not prohibit the use of alcohol, but it does prohibit drunkenness and intoxication. I never had a problem drinking alcohol socially, but in the past year or so I have allowed myself to slide into, in my opinion, the overuse of alcohol. This was a spiritual and moral mistake on my part as I began to depend on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others.”
So there you have it! In short, the pursuit of a large Church causes the downfall of a pastor!
Some well-known Christian publications even linked the firing of Pastor Perry to the “fall” of other known megachurch pastors like Darrin Patrick and Tullian Tchividjian.
If only it were as simple as that.
I am not condoning what these pastors did or did not do. I am also in no way throwing stones at them. We are all broken healers at best, and if it were not solely for the grace of God, God knows where we will all end up.
I am just saying that again, it’s not as simple as that. There are always two sides to a coin. Pride, ego, and worldly ambitions are obviously sin, so is the other extreme, laziness.
Let me go back for a while to my mentoring with pastors. I have personally met hundreds of pastors face to face in this ministry. The vast majority of those I’ve mentored pastor churches of below 100; some below 50; and even some below 30 in attendance.
I do not question their character nor their calling, but I do question their work ethic!
Here’s the truth. And this will hurt. A lot of pastors of small churches are lazy!
- Some pastors do not even read their Bibles daily.
- Some pastors spend more time on Facebook or television rather than on discipleship.
- Some pastors won’t attend mentoring or conferences, unless it’s for free, and some don’t attend even if it’s free!
- Every pastor prays, but not all have a consistent Prayer Life!
- Many pastors don’t even have a goal or vision for their churches!
I want to reiterate NOT ALL small church pastors are part of my characterization above. Some pastors work and pray very hard, and what they lack is simply proper training, equipping, encouragement, or a workable church system. They are NOT who I am talking about here.
Most Pastors don’t have an earthly boss to report to. Yes, some have Elders or Boards whom they give a monthly or quarterly report to, but NOT someone who watches over their DAILY SCHEDULES and ACTIVITIES. And that contributes to the laziness of the minister.
If change were to happen, it must start in the heart of the pastor!
If revival is to happen in our churches, it must start with the Pastor, especially the Senior Minister! May God help us and have mercy on us all.