Tuesday, September 24, 2013

understanding mega-church pastors

I just wrapped up another day of hanging with 15 pastors of churches who average more than 5,000 in attendance and I have learned a lot...and it feels like I should share some of it. Now, I really have to be careful with my comments here because the group of guys I have been hanging with the past couple of days are committed to being a safe place of ministry and support to one another. So..you won't get names or specific stories from me...just some observations that really warm my heart and hopefully will cause you to pray for your pastor no matter what the size of your church. With that in mind, here are some insights... Mega church pastors are less impressed with themselves than you think. Pastors of large churches get a lot of accolades and credit for their growing churches, but you need to know that they know who they are better than anyone else. They have no grand illusions about who they are. They are simply grateful to God for what he has given them. I'm blessed by the humility I have witnessed. Mega church pastors are want to learn and do not believe they have all the answers for how churches should be led. We all sit at each others feet for instruction. Mega church pastors are equally excited and scared about growing numbers of people who attend their church. It's true that sometimes the numbers can be seen as a measure of success and yes, we are tempted to feel good when we grow and not as good when we don't. But along with that excitement comes a huge weight of responsibility. We all answer to people but the strong realization of stewarding what God has given is the drive. "to whom much is given, much is required" is an all too present Bible reminder. Mega church pastors really do believe that Jesus, and only Jesus changes lives and do not wish for anyone to remain outside of faith. We are about sharing the good news. Mega church pastors really do want people to grow and not just sit in the pews (or theater seats, or stackable chairs). People may think we are okay with a shallow congregation, but we spend most of our time discussing how we can lead people deeper in their faith. Mega church pastors are real people with real issues. We have family issues that range from rebellious children to serious spouse and personal health issues. We have friends that have hurt our feelings. We have financial concerns and daily family routines. Our kids are getting married, going through high school, and seeking God's will for their lives. We deal with criticism and we often feel as though there is no one we can really talk to. God sometimes feels distant to us and we often are left to navigate spiritual challenges on our own. Mega church pastors are more often than not introverts (not my case and not a scientific fact, just my observation) Mega church pastors are strong, but not invincible. Tears come to our eyes as we face challenges. Well, I'll stop there. Hear me well on this. I and my colleagues feel extremely grateful for what we get to do. And this is not an attempt to secure anyone's sympathy. Just some observations that you can take or leave. I hope you'll take them and pray for them concerning all the pastors you know today!

1 comment:

Nancy said...

This blog entry makes it evident to me that you are willing to listen to that still small voice. I cannot imagine the pressure of shepherding a large church (mega). Too many fall prey to the temptation of self and perfection and adoration from their congregation. Stay humble, my friend. There is power in that.

I love and appreciate your heart after God.