I Spent Way Too Much Time Reading These Pastors’ Comments About What People Got Mad About…
It’s easy to be critical, nit-picky, or petty with silly stuff, but I really think when God’s people are true disciples of Jesus Christ, it stops a lot of that stuff dead in its tracks. Either:
- The carnal grow in grace and silence their flesh, or
- The spiritual accept it in meekness and respond in charity.
Maybe the response of the spiritual is admonition, silence, or some other wise response, but either way, it’s dead in that moment. I believe that’s how we should be.
I read hundreds of comments by pastors about reasons church members got mad, and some of them are downright hysterical:
- American flag in the sanctuary
- No American flag in the sanctuary (same church)
- Pledges to the flag are idolatry
- People are too friendly
- Church is too exciting
- Pastor drank from a water bottle instead of a cup
- Church member got put on a church cleaning rotation (along with all the other church members)
- Didn’t get a VBS shirt. Lengthy chew-out specifically asking for the pastor and his wife to be there.
- Pastor didn’t know the ladies restroom was out of toilet paper
- One deacon got a bigger slice of pie than another deacon
- Offended that children were called baby goats (kids) instead of children
- Pastor didn’t wear a white shirt
- Too much evangelizing. Changing the culture of the church.
- A student ate a banana that a church member had left at church to ripen all week for her fruit salad
- Everyone in the church should have keys
- Stop bringing so many kids
- Easter is pagan
- Christmas is pagan (nativity, carols, trees, decorations)
- Someone got offended that the pastor said the wise men weren’t actually at the nativity
- Didn’t sing “Happy Birthday” enthusiastically enough, nor start soon enough (she had to start it herself)
- Pastor is a male chauvinist because he asked for some ladies to help his wife
- Didn’t line the spoons up correctly in the drawer
- Didn’t look at my side of the auditorium enough while preaching… must be mad at me
- Grandma didn’t force her 5-year-old granddaughter to write these exact words in an apology note: “I’m sorry that my granddaughter hurt you, I’m sorry that I’m raising my children to be criminals and prostitutes and they should be locked in cages with their hands cut off.” This one eventually escalated to the police.
- Pastor’s wife shouldn’t have any pictures of just herself online
- A lady mentioned a prayer request for her cat before service, then picked up a 4-day-old prayer bulletin after service and got mad that her cat wasn’t on that prayer list.
- New building is too far away (from a 15-minute commute to a 17-minute commute)
- You’re taking advantage of us, asking for free labor. You know, you are always asking us to go door to door and to evangelize and stuff.
- “A Mighty Fortress” was written by Martin Luther, who hated Jews, so it’s an evil song!
- You’re not doing anything for the youth (same family skipped the past 15 youth activities)
- Someone criticized my food at the potluck
- No one wanted to drive an hour to my kid’s birthday party
- You didn’t pay for my kid to go bowling (same person)
- Your VBS snacks didn’t match the theme
- You didn’t spank your kids in front of everybody
- You won’t let me leave a space heater running in the nursery all week
- No one ate my health food at the potluck
- Calling Simon Peter “Pete” is disrespectful
- Singing with your mouth close to a microphone is sensual because it’s like you’re singing that close to people’s ears. The pastor, thinking it was a joke, laughed, and the man started praying, “Lord, show this young man how scornful his heart is…”
- Worldly illustrations in preaching (sports)
- Why don’t you have the church constitution and bylaws framed in the foyer?
- You preach too long
- I dropped money in the offering for new hooks. Why haven’t you installed them yet?
- Moved the offering to the end of the service
- Thermostat settings
- When singing “I Surrender All,” it was clear that the pastor didn’t surrender his snacks, because we had donuts in Sunday school.
- New pastor turned the finances of the church around, repaired buildings and caught up late payments for missionaries. Someone said there was something “fishy” about the finances when there’s a new roof, leak repairs, bonds paid off, and missionaries paid early.
- A lady got mad when a pastor replaced a broken recliner she donated (after using it for a year)
- Saying “Amen?” during preaching is like Hitler, because it “trained people to respond.”
- Too much Scripture
- That one family is doing all the volunteering (from someone who never volunteers)
- Memorial Day video wouldn’t play
- Didn’t print baptism certificates soon enough
I have found Calvary Baptist Church to be a gracious place, but if we are not careful, pettiness, sarcasm, passive-aggressiveness, or a critical spirit can all-too-easily creep in.
I preached on the idea of “Always Say Yes” a few weeks ago, and that spirit that loves what God is doing all the time is what is contagious and good for the culture of a place. Maybe not everything is as it should be—that’s a given—but what can you do to improve things?
Be a disciple. That’s a good start.
We have no idea how God will use our prayers, but our church must be a place of prayer. Fervent, meaningful prayer. We must take it seriously and consciously ask God that he intervene in these requests.
- PRAISE! Thank God for the $3k offering we were able to give to Heartland Baptist Bible College last week! Your generosity helped us to be able to make a big dent in their van replacement, as well as be a significant blessing to each member of GloryBound.
- PRAISE! Wow… did you see that new Children’s Wing? They’re in it for Master Clubs tonight, and I was SO excited to watch our church go through and enjoy it. It’s a labor of love because PEOPLE MATTER!
- PRAISE! Those GloryBound guys were a blessing. I enjoyed that singing so much, and I was thankful to God that they were able to minister to us in that way. And the line to buy CDs after the evening service was stretched all the way through the foyer… Amen! Get some godly music in your homes, cars, workplace, and earbuds.
- PRAISE! God is providing for our needs as we ask. While the elevator and carpet are being patched up for now, God is providing in special ways for the new sound board.
- PRAISE! Garan and Anneliese Patrick have made it to Nigeria safely! Pray for them as they begin their new ministry as missionaries.
We purposely store up our projects for the summertime when we have loads of labor, not only from our interns, but from several other volunteers.
- Children’s wing. Last week was devoted to preparations for the children’s wing, and I mentioned on Sunday the many volunteers who spent hours painting, hanging signs, setting up chairs, and more! I love it.
- General cleanup. For things like the yard sale, cleanup takes a while! We are excited to finally wrap that part of the summer up.
- Offices. Someone asked me on Sunday if they could peek in the offices. They’re not done yet, but we installed flooring and moved in the shelves. It’s progress!
- Adopt-a-section. I like the “Adopt-a-highway” model for keeping an area clean. Instead of doing ALL the yardwork, consider adoption one section of the church and making it “yours,” like Maricela has done with the flowers, or the Heymans have done with the parking lot.
- Brickwork and exterior doors. My dad completed some of the final touch-ups on the brickwork outside the office back doors. It’s invisible to most people, but it was a needed repair!
DISCIPLESHIP – SERMON NOTES
Last week we said that the CHURCH is God’s ideal plan for deep discipleship, and a member should not need to go elsewhere to learn the Bible. Although God uses Bible college to do just that, a robust teaching arm must be present in any church. The PLACE of discipleship matters. Although virtual discipleship can be like a vitamin supplement, YouTube can’t be a person’s full meal of discipleship.
We’re praying for a missionary family in Nauru and a church planter in Boulder, CO. Please email the church for more information.