Complaints You Should Never Take to Your Pastor

The good parson would never post these guidelines… but the little missus sure would! Here are just a few guidelines to follow when you’ve got a bee in your bonnet about something going on at the church and want to chat it up with the Rev. You should never complain to your pastor about…

1. Other people. You may say that you’re only doing so out of godly concern for a brother/sister in Christ, but the exuberance with which you sling hurtful words about your “friend” shows how much you love to gossip. Don’t make the pastor listen to you indulge in this way. If you are REALLY concerned about someone, you will honestly follow Christ’s command to speak privately with them first, then go on from there. You won’t march to the pastor’s office first thing Monday morning to tell him ALL about who’s doing what with whom and why.

2. Problems that you yourself could (but won’t!) be the solution to. That youth program is just falling completely apart, and you sure do know how to fix it. And you want to detail out your intricate and complex plan to the pastor. (Or, eh. Perhaps you just want to tell him to “Fix it, fix it, fix it!”) The only problem is, you aren’t helping out with the youth at all. You’ve never helped with the youth! And you’re likely not ever going to volunteer to, either. But if that pastor would just find SOMEONE to do what you think he/she should do, then it would all work out just fine. Yeah. Better leave the brainstorming up to someone who actually gives enough of a rip to be the solution to the problem, rather than someone who just makes it worse.

3. His appearance. Your pastor has facial hair. Why do you care? Jesus likely had facial hair, too. (And longer hair. Gasp!) Honestly, with the number of hurting people in the world today that you could be spending your energy trying to help, why are you spending any time at all talking to the pastor about his grooming habits? I mean, really. Is this what the evangelical American church has come to?!

4. Things that just don’t matter. Does it matter where the collection is in the Sunday morning service? Does it matter what color carpet will eventually be in the new sanctuary? Does it matter if that lost teenager opts to sit instead of stand with the rest of the congregation during the worship songs? No! No, no, no! It just doesn’t matter! Why are you so wrapped up in the parts of church – the building, the motions, the pomp of it all – that don’t matter, yet you care so very little for the parts of church – evangelism, ministry, discipleship – that have eternal significance?

5. How much you hated the last pastor. Or loved the last pastor. Your current pastor is not a suggestion box. Nor is he a church historian. That’s fine that you had a relationship with the previous pastor and are glad/mad/sad that he’s gone now, but what can your new pastor do with this information? Is this advancing the Gospel at all? Is it in any way at all edifying or uplifting to anyone? If the last pastor could walk on water, great. Give him a call and shower him with your praise. But your new pastor doesn’t need to hear how he falls short of his predecessor. Was your last pastor the devil himself? Fine, whatever. Just keep your opinion to yourself, as your words do nothing to encourage your new pastor… who is likely just wondering how long it will be before HE is a devil in your eyes as well.

And finally, most importantly…

6. What a bad job he’s doing. You likely only see your pastor for three hours a week. You have no idea how many hours he spends in the homes of widows, how many nights he spends at the hospital with the sick, how much time he spends counseling in his office, how many mornings he spends working on sermons, how many afternoons he spends doing administrative tasks that no one else will do, how often he uses his day off to take care of church business, how he ends up doing things like washing and detailing the church van himself, how he’s at every church event, how he’s the sponsor for all of the summer camps, and how very little he sees his own children because someone, anyone, everyone always seems to need him to do so much so often. Don’t you DARE tell him he’s doing a bad job. Instead, no matter what your opinion is of him, be that one person out of a million who just comes into his office to tell him very honestly, “Pastor, I’m praying for you and want to see God do something amazing in our church.” He will fall flat out of his chair and onto the floor in a dead faint, y’all. I promise you!

Just something to think about…

9 thoughts on “Complaints You Should Never Take to Your Pastor

  1. Averyswife says:

    Ooooh I wish I could cut and paste your post and send it to the members of our church! Most of them are elderly individuals VERY set in their ways though. So Pastor MUST wear a suit, can NEVER have facial hair, etc. Gahhhh…


  2. Marla Taviano says:

    Stinks that you have to deal with this stuff.

    This is why certain denominations get a bad rap. Because they deserve it. Petty, petty, petty.

    Church is not a country club. We have a single mission here, folks. SHARE THE GOSPEL.

    I would make a lousy pastor’s wife. Praying for you and Wes to hang tough.


  3. stacey says:

    great advice! But most people “truly” think that it is there jobs to watch out for the poor pastor that just wouldn’t know any better if they didn’t help him out.


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