Monday, May 23, 2011

A Pastoral Accountability

From a Previous Blog:
Consider having an outsider or several outsiders on a panel or board for your church. Use people who are considered influential in the community. These people are not given a vote on church business, but they are “outside” voices who can guide your church on the direction that it is being put on. They are a great gauge as to how the church is perceived in your community and/or town.
Too many times churches are run by families or clic’s that a family has put together. They tell the pastor what to do, how to do and when to do. Only a select few are ever given a voice, and if committee members have to be rotated, the same ones are rotated around the committee’s to keep anyone new from coming in and having a say. The church that I grew up in was like that. One family ran the show. They had a few other families in with them, and if a pastor didn’t go along with their “suggestions”, that pastor was quickly replaced.
Granted, there were some that needed replacing quickly. One in particular who never should have been a pastor. He would have been of more service teaching in a school or seminary. One pastor stood up to the “clic” and family and lasted quite a long time before finally being shoved out the door. He accomplished a lot of good, attendance almost doubled, and the church became an example of what a church should be.
Finally, the “patriarch” is now dead, and the church has tried to recover. Unfortunately, the damage is done. It took a year for a pastor to even agree to come to the church, the reputation was so bad with how the previous pastors were treated.
The rest of this is for pastors:
Do you want a church like that? Stop the madness now. Do you know how the community perceives your church?
One clue I’ll give you is that if people are moving into your community, and yet no one is coming to your church, someone is seeing something that maybe you aren’t.
One way to combat this is to put a board together that will counsel you and keep you focused. They will have no say in the workings of the church. Rather, they are your eyes and ears. Make them keep you in check. Make yourself accountable to them for your actions and deeds. Listen to what they say about your church, whether you agree with them or not. Don’t ridicule them either. Take note, investigate, and if it isn’t true, find out why the community thinks that it is. See what can be done to correct the perception.
Ask other religious leaders of your community and people of community leadership to be on your board. These are the people who hear the voices of the people around them.
Do not let them brow beat you either. Neither let them brag about their churches. This isn’t about them. This is about you. When you hold yourself accountable to the community, sooner or later, the church members will hold themselves accountable too. Perceptions will change, people will want to come and see why your church is different, and you can help lead people to God and increase their spiritual walk.

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