I’m embarrassed to say that this post did not take long for me to write. I am curious to see if you agree with these, and interested to hear some of your own.
1. Church announcements
Pastors get frustrated when we get last minute announcement requests. Pre-service videos also count as announcements, so they need to be previewed and considered when planning a weekend service. Work closely with your worship leader to intentionally start a worship service well.
2. Walking out during the invitation
I have never understood how greeters and teachers think getting a head start to their ministry post is worth distracting people who are on the verge of making eternal decisions. A lesser crime, but no less distracting, is walking in late from the front in the middle of a worship set. My best response has been a direct appeal to these leaders, as opposed to calling them out from the stage.
3. Long meetings
All meetings are over after 90 minutes, regardless of whether there are still bodies in the room. Morale and focus begins to fade after the first hour, so be efficient with your time. Pastor, if you want to lead or attend meetings that end at a reasonable time, work it out with the chairperson beforehand in private. Stay consistent until this becomes a normal part of your church culture.
4. Cheesy preacherisms
This one is directed toward us. People tire easily of conference clones. Here are a few examples to prime your pump:
“God is good, all the time…Let’s keep the main thing the main thing…That’s a good place for an amen…Where God guides, God provides.”
Ready to say “Uncle”?
Make sure you know the difference between a courtesy laugh (or a-men) and the real thing. Just because it worked at student camp doesn’t mean it transfers to a multi-generational crowd.
5. Pastor Search Committees
It is ironic that this team represents the sharpest people in the pews because they often come across as dysfunctional dreamers. Whether search teams have been trained or not, they will generally do whatever they want—when they want—while pastoral candidates are left scratching their heads. I don’t even have a suggestion for this peeve, other than keep scratching your heads.
6. Weekend texts
Email assumes the recipient will check it when they are available. Texts, on the other hand, presume you are always available. If you are always available for your members, you have blown up any biblical boundaries God clearly created for you and your family. Manage your home and church better by learning when to turn off or mute your phone.
7. Social media snipers
A good shepherd goes where his people are, as well as the unchurched. Your encouraging voice needs to be heard outside of the church as well as inside. Some pastors avoid social media altogether because of a few rogue abusers. Instead, unfollow or block those morons. Social media and technology are not the problem—sin is. Jesus was a friend of sinners, and so should we.
Even the ones in our pews.
Photo by Fu Yong Hua on Unsplash