By Thom Rainer
The telephone call happened just this past week. But it was representative of dozens of similar calls and emails I receive in the course of a year. The pastor was deeply frustrated. He was considering leaving his church, but was also dealing with the reality that the congregation may push him out as well.
He is a faithful pastor. He is doing all he can to lead his church to become a Great Commission congregation. But many members in the church believe their congregation has changed too much too quickly. They no longer recognize the church they loved.
The pastor was waiting for me to respond. Even more, he was desperate for some type of hope. He was tired of dissension, tired of criticisms, and tired of hurting. What I shared with him was not a magical formula for fixing the change resistant church. To the contrary, my comments were so basic that he likely felt disappointed.
But I have heard from thousands of pastors in over two decades of research on American churches. And I have served as pastor of four churches myself. The four principles I offered are therefore not theoretical. Nor are they limited to pastors of change resistant churches. In many ways they are principles for leadership in all churches.
Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!