I asked my friends on Facebook to give me the top things that drain their ministry. I got a lot of good responses, so I decided to put together a list of the top 10 things that can drain your preacher.
- When, after a sermon, someone from the congregation asks, “May I give you some constructive criticism?”
- When, at a board meeting, a deacon says, “Let me play the Devil’s advocate.”
- EGR’s: Extra Grace Required People.
- Having to see your salary posted on the wall outside your office when you know that every other Elder and Deacon makes twice as much as you do and thinks that you are overpaid.
- When someone approaches you and says, “The Lord told me to tell you…”
- When, after a speaking engagement, someone hands you a check and says, “I hope this is enough.” For the record: This is a no win situation because if the guest speaker looks at his $50 check for delivering 3 sermons, a lesson, and preparing a small group lesson for a weekend church retreat and says, “No, that’s not enough,” you’re liable to immediately judge him as a preacher who is only in it for the money, but if he looks at it and says, “Sure, it’s enough,” you’ve forced him into a situation where he may have to be dishonest to not appear to be greedy. Just pay your guest speaker enough to cover his expenses, to recognize the value of his time with you and the time away from his family, and the amount of work it took to prepare for the event and I’m sure it will be enough.
- When someone walks into your office without knocking or checking with your Administrative Assistant, sits down, and asks, “Preacher, you have a moment to talk?”
- Those people in the church who turn every conversation into a benevolence request.
- When you do a wedding for a young couple and they pay the DJ $1000, the photographer $1500, spend $500 for the cake, $5000 for the reception hall, $1000 on flowers, $2000 on a dress, but—a month after the wedding—send you a $25 gift card to Golden Corral as payment for doing their wedding.
- When someone uses the Prayer Request Card to deliver a harsh and anonymous criticism.
What would you add to the list?
*Disclaimer: None of these reflect the actual experiences of the author of this blog. Any similarity to any church leaders or church members real and alive in this world is purely coincidental…and the result of this blog post being written with an EGR looking through the author’s office door window while knocking and waving a benevolence request form back and forth ensuring that the author of this blog post will be late for his dinner date with his wife to Golden Corral.