The Pastoring Parade
I just reviewed the list of people from the New Members meeting in April of 2012. (almost a year ago)
Here is what I determined from that list:
- 12 families making up 19 people are still active
- 5 families making up 13 people are no longer here (unknown reason)
- 3 families making up 6 people have moved out of the area
Rick Warren says that pastoring a church is like pastoring a parade. There is a constant moving of people and you are saying, “hello, how are you, goodbye, hello, how are you, goodbye, hello, how are you, goodbye”.
Andy Stanley said, “Everyone leaves your church..at one point or another.” They either move, quit, or die.
Knowing how to pastor people in the flow of life is often challenging. We get personally attached to those who make big time investment. We wish that others would connect more. There are times when it seems like everyone is joining the church and then times when it all seems stale. Thankfully, we have never had a mass exodus or ‘split’. I say ‘thankfully’ because of the emotional pain and logistical nightmare that incurs on us as humans. I am not sure the real damage of this ‘church failure’ to the kingdom. It is quite possible that some mega churches do just as much harm to the message of the gospel. But, I digress…
To keep on loving people, preaching the gospel, correcting, encouraging and fulfilling the commission is exhaustive when looking through the fleshly eyes. We are tempted to believe that our next technique will solve the parade. It won’t. Jesus preached to a parade just as we do. We do our best and learn all we can, however, at the end of the day we need to be focused on Jesus Christ. (period)
When pastoring with a real, personal relationship with God and always centering on the gospel, we are able to:
- Remember what is important
- Reassess priorities
- Not be as concerned with comparisons to other churches or leaders.
- Celebrate everyday victories. (1 baptism, 1 new volunteer, 1 etc)