Thanks to a nice article by my friend, Deacon Godsey, you have an opportunity to peek into a pastor's heart to see what it feels like when people leave the church. I would have to say it's also the way my church elders feel too.
WHAT A PASTOR GOES THROUGH WHEN PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR CHURCH…
Pastor, Vintage Church
Over the last 6+ years of serving as a Lead Pastor
in a local church I like to think I’ve grown as a pastor, preacher,
teacher and leader. I’ve expanded my skill set, broadened the pool of
voices that speak into my life, and deepened my theological education.
Unfortunately, one of the things I often feel like I’ve done most
effectively is develop the “spiritual gift of ecclesiastical
repulsion,” or “the ability to cause people to leave your church at an
alarmingly consistent rate” (#NonTraditionalSpiritualGifts.)
I emphasize the word feel here because, while I logically know this isn’t completely accurate, the emotional side of the equation makes it extremely difficult to stay in a place of reason over emotion.
As a pastor, when someone leaves the church you try not to take it
personally or have it affect you on an emotional level, but unless you
wall yourself off and become spiritually bitter and relationally
isolated, that strategy just isn’t feasible over the long haul. I can’t
speak for all pastors, of course, but the truth of the matter is – for
me – whenever someone leaves the church it does feel personal, whether I (or my wife) want it to or not, and this gets compounded over time.
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