I identified the
#1 — or at least the #2 way to damage your pulpit ministry.
I was wrong . . . . Please accept my apology!
After reading this article . . . .
“The Ministry of Absence”
. . . . I now realize that this is the
#1 – or at least the #2 way to accomplish that goal!
This article is absolutely shocking! If you want to lose your pulpit ministry, this will help you well along to reaching that goal!
Do this . . . . (quote)
The phone call came in well past my normal office hours. My children were already in bed, and the house was quiet. I didn’t recognize the number, but pastors know from experience that late-night calls should almost always be taken. The voice on the other line was urgent. A distraught mother had discovered that her teenage daughter had become sexually active with her boyfriend.”
“Will you come over and meet with us?” she asked. “In the morning,” I replied, “I can meet you tomorrow morning.” Dissatisfied, the mother doubled-down on her request, reiterating the severity of her daughter’s revelation and the imperativeness of my presence. “I need you to come tonight,” she pressed. “If you would still like to meet tomorrow, please give me a call,” I responded, and politely ended the call.
and after you do that . . . .
. . . . tell people from the pulpit that you . . . .
- love them
- desire a ministry in their lives
- believe in community
- are willing to show the love of Jesus through sacrifice
- understand the real-life situations which God’s people face and which you seek to address through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God
“Will you come over and meet with us?” she asked. “In the morning,” I replied, “I can meet you tomorrow morning.” — REALLY!
It is absolutely amazing that men in the ministry can justify, excuse, rationalize, and explain away the need to be there for people!
Or try this approach! . . . . .(quote)
“I remember being contacted late one night with the news that one of my ministry leaders had attempted suicide. Friends and family members were heading to the hospital, but I declined. The next afternoon, I sat in a padded cell with my friend and talked with him about the bandages wrapped around his wrists and forearms. A long night in the solitude of the psychiatric ward had given him opportunities to sit in the presence of God alone to ask questions that only Jesus could answer for him.”
The more I read, the more astonished I was! It is this kind of article which fuels fair criticism about the church’s pastoral ministry!
How about this . . . .
“First, I am always present when it is an emergency. Not necessarily a perceived emergency to the person.”
I would like to point out that no matter what you think, it is an emergency to them!
It is as much of an emergency as when one of your teenage children has broken up with their first love! No matter what you think, their world has fallen apart. As a dad or mom, show the same absence when your children face such emergencies — which may seem minor to you! Take the same approach to your spouse and children! Then, stand by and watch the bitterness of your wife and child(ren) toward the ministry galvanize (And then be surprised and confused that you PKid grows up angry and bitter)!
A shocking article!
And shocking that it was even endorsed by it being even published!
I well imagine that there will be a lot of back-peddling and nuanced explanations of what has been said in and throughout this article. Nevertheless, the tone, the words and the examples used to clarify the author’s intent are all very clear!
2 thoughts on “I Was Wrong — I Apologize!”
A common complaint. Larger churches tend to have multiple staff and delegate this ministry to one pastoral staff member.
I think that this has a distancing effect on the individual members and embitters them.
When this happens, the organism has devolved into a merely spiritual organization. It attracts to the pulpit ministry and tends to build social cliques.
Are our churches too big to serve in the personal fashion or are we too enamored with growth to bother with individuals?
Or, am I of the mark?
Right on! And at the end, in times of crisis God’s people desire the pastor…the lead pastor who preaches to them over the years…to be there..and typically..not a staff member delegated or hired for visitation…thanks