Thom Rainer surveyed pastors across the nation with this question, "What do you love to hear from your church members?" He said the responses were amazingly similar. He came out with 10 specific areas that were all spot on. I would like to share some that mean the most to me.
1. "I pray for you every day." With the spiritual warfare pastors go through this statement ranks at the top of my list. I am grateful for how many at Faith state this to me. I AM CERTAIN that I am still pastoring at our church after 7 years because of the faithful prayers from our members that have rescued and preserved me.
2. "I want you to know specifically how God spoke to me through your sermon." The key word here is "specifically." My heart is blessed when people say a sermon spoke to them. I am filled with joy when people state a specific meaning or application God showed them in His Word.
3. "I am ready and willing to take on that ministry task." It brings great joy when members realize that ministry is to be done by members of the church. I have had several people respond to my request to serve recently with, "absolutely, where and when do I begin?" Isn't that awesome?
4. "I see my role as one who will confront bullies and the perpetual critics in the church." Bullies and critics are wired for conflict. But God's people are often convinced that they should avoid conflict. This allows just a handful to disrupt entire Sunday School classes and can even create great chaos, division and factions in an entire church. Pastors long for members to speak up to the critics, rebuking them for creating the divisiveness that God hates in His church.
5. "I will be in church with no excuses unless providentially hindered." Statistics show that church leaders used to be in church 3 nights a week. Now the average church leader attends only 3 morning services per month. Thus, church attendance has automatically dropped considerably just from leaders not prioritizing getting back home on Saturday evenings so they can be in worship with their church Sunday morning. Attendance makes a difference, especially among all leaders in Sunday School, worship and Wednesday evenings.
These are all noble statements. I have met many people who personify these positive attributes and have been blessed to serve in only 3 churches in 33 years of ministry. God is so good! I thank Him for you!