You won’t hear pastors express these frustrations often, but they are very real.
Indeed, some of these issues hinder their ministries. Here are ten of the most common frustrations, followed by close approximations of quotes I’ve heard from pastors.
- Church members who treat church attendance as a low priority. “We have families who treat soccer attendance as a non-negotiable, but a few drops of rain means they will miss church.”
- Criticisms over minutia. “She sent me an email complaining about my socks. I’m serious. My socks.”
- Concern over financial wellbeing of family. “A prominent member of the church told me they were keeping my pay low to keep me humble. I guarantee you he doesn’t practice the same humility.”
- Expectations to understand the business and leadership side of church life. “I have no idea about some of the financial decisions I’m supposed to lead at the church. Seminary did not prepare me for this.”
- Complaints to or about family members. “A church member complained to me because my wife isn’t in the choir. She’s never been in a choir and has no desire to be in a choir.”
- Inadequate uninterrupted sermon prep time. “Unfortunately, some of the members think my sermon preparation time is free time for them to chat.”
- Losing church members. “I wish I could handle losing church members, but I still take it personally.”
- Concerns over church budget. “Giving has been down for two years straight. We may soon have to cut staff or pay.”
- Declining or plateaued church. “I’ve done everything I know to lead our church to growth to no avail. It’s so frustrating.”
- Designated giving toward personal preferences. “We no longer meet our budget because we have six or seven families designating their giving for their pet projects.”
I have the honor and opportunity to hear from pastors who are otherwise reticent to express these very real frustrations.
Do you have others you would add? What do you think of these ten? Let me hear from you.