I’m still a bit haunted by this quote (via Jim Kitchens) from Dr. Bill Drummond:
Four friends of mine have all recently decided to leave their church positions without a new call – unless it’s the call to rest and that’s certainly a valid one. And while all their reasons are different and I’m not going to hypothesize what’s made them exhausted, one of the most energy-sucking experiences in professional ministry – especially today – involves working with stuck congregations. It’s not just energy-sucking. It’s dangerous. It will kill.
100% of the congregations that are struggling right now are stuck. And it’s as painful to watch as it is to experience.
Your church is stuck if . . .
- Leaders have had the same conversation/debate for months now and no decisions are ever made. The issue might be as simple as “we need to replace a window” or as complicated as “we need to call a pastor.”
- Leaders do what they’ve been asked to do (like “bring in new members” or “expand outreach”) and suddenly distracting little melodramas pop up. I call them Satanic S#*@storms. The most common example is the person whose power has been diminished who spreads rumors about the pastor.
- Nobody is brave enough to stand up to the bully.
- The bully knows it.
- The leaders are not faithful disciples (and they don’t really want to be.)
Because we are tired, those little melodramas, those faithless conversations, those allergies to conflict make leaving Church overwhelmingly attractive. Clergy and church members alike realize that life is too short to argue about chancel flowers.
I believe that all the little churches Dr. Drummond is talking about are stuck in unhealthy, unrealistic, unfaithful cultures. And it will kill them sooner or later.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Stay tuned.