I remember the day I toured the facility of my previous church. They had just built a new extension, and this young idealistic preacher saw a dream. He saw what the church could become. He saw the possibilities of ministry.
I remember walking though sanctuary looking at the 70’s era paneling and thinking that if I removed the paneling the church would be one step closer to my dream.
I remember looking over the worship style and programs and thinking that they could easily be changed.
As I began to know the church and implement changes I was met with resistance. The church did not change as quickly as I thought it should.
As the resistance mounted in the church, my heart was hardened to my opponents. Every time I saw them I unknowingly ground my teeth. Deep in my heart I asked, “Why don’t these people love Jesus?”, “Don’t they want to see this church grow?” and stated “These people just don’t want young adults in their church.”
My greatest ministry failure (so far) was not leading the church to change, but it was my heart’s condition about the changes.
My greatest ministry failure is that I loved my dream for the church more than I loved the church (people) itself.
As I led, I was more concerned with building my dreams than loving my people. My dreams were not driven out of a love for the church, they were driven out of a well intentioned desire for success.
I cared more about the church building and church show than I did for the church body.
That was my greatest ministry failure.
In church it is important to thoughtfully and skillfully put together a worship time for every person. It is important for the church to continually update its building so that It doesn’t become stuck in a bygone era. It is important for a church to have a dream to chase after. With all of that said, If you do not love the church all of the other things will be in vain. If you do not genuinely care for the membership, you are just spinning your wheels.
When any person, whether pastor or member, cares more about their dream than they do their church, they will inevitably hurt their church. Been there done that.
Let me go out on a limb here and say that a prerequisite for leading a church must be that you love the church for who it is first.
God has been good to send me to Memorial Baptist Church. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that I love Memorial Baptist Church. I know that I will make many mistakes as the pastor here, but I am confident that every decision I make will be rooted in a love for this body.