Every week when a pastor preaches, they talk about the sin that binds the people in their church, the idols they battle, the lies they easily fall into and the truth of Jesus that frees them and destroys sin and death.
Pastors by and large, struggle to apply this same medicine to their own sin.
Much of the identity and idols that pastor’s fall into reside in what happens on a Sunday morning at church. High attendance, strong giving, loud singing and it was a good day. A pastor will float through Sunday night, post about all that God did on twitter and wake up ready to charge hell on Monday morning.
Low attendance, a down week in giving, few laughs and no one sings and the pastor will go home, look at twitter and get jealous of the megachurch down the road and wake up Monday morning ready to resign and get another job.
The difference between the two examples?
The heart of the pastor.
When we started Revolution, I rode this roller coaster (and still do many weeks if I’m not careful). I was so concerned about these metrics of our church: how many people came, what did people give. Some of that is a necessity because when you are a church plant, there are weeks that if no one gives you may close down. It got so bad at one point that I would help with the offering count so I would know how much was given right after church and then I could go home knowing if it would be a good night or a bad one.
This feels silly to write, but it is the ride many pastors go on each weekend.
Here are a couple of things I’ve done to protect my heart:
- Stay off social media until Monday. Twitter and Facebook are great, but on Sunday it is pastor after pastor talking about the triumph of the day. I get it and love to celebrate it, but it can create a resentful spirit if you aren’t careful. Like all temptations, if you don’t engage, you are able to fight it. Also, many pastors want to see how many people tweeted their stuff, if anyone said anything about church and this can easily stroke a pastors ego.
- Find out the attendance and giving on Monday. If you find a lot of identity in what the attendance and giving was, wait until Monday to find out what they were. Yes, these are helpful metrics to the health of your church (along with how many people serve, are in community, become Christians and invite someone), but it doesn’t make a difference in the life of your church if you find them out on Sunday or Monday. It only matters to a pastor who finds identity in them.