Fair Criticisms and Future Considerations
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, leads his sheep through imperfect pastors. It takes one to know one. And I know at least one very well—me. This means there is always room for church members to level valid criticisms towards their human leaders. As a matter of fact, this must happen for us to grow together. Fair criticisms are not only welcomed, they are absolutely needed.
The criticisms that I have heard about the North Church pastors fall into two big categories in my mind. First, we don’t care as much as we could for the church. Second, we don’t do as well as we should for the church. The first critique has to do with character while the second has to do with competency. Both are valid.
The North Church pastors want to grow as Jesus’ assistant shepherds. It is too easy to see our work mainly through the lens of processes and productivity. Yet, our work is most importantly about people. We want to do better at caring for each other, our church and our city. You will find us meeting more regularly together as pastors to study the bible, pray, confess our sins to one another and live on mission. We will be meeting individually with those under our charge who lead ministries to provide soul care. We will also be available before and after our gatherings as well as during the rest of the week to get to know you better. You will see us in public places spending time with our friends who don’t yet know Jesus with the goal of introducing them to him.
We also want to grow in our oversight of North Church. We want to be more compassionate and more competent. We want to communicate better. We will be adding more staff and volunteer pastors to our team in the next months who will help us in these areas. We will be reorganizing our team and reassigning individual roles so that the right people are in the right place with the right plans.
You, the members of North Church, also have an opportunity to grow together with us. Here are five practical things you can do. First, get to know the Perfect Pastor, Jesus. The better you know him the more you can help us. Second, care for those within your sphere of influence at North. You don’t have to be ordained to open up your bible and serve those you see in need of care. Actually, we (your pastors) have discovered that you are quite good at this. Keep up the good work! Third, serve in the ministries of North Church. Pastors do the work of equipping deacons and members who do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). Everything becomes more challenging for everyone when someone doesn’t fulfill his or her role. Fourth, let us know what you expect from us. We need to hear from you. And we will be both kind and honest to let you know what we can do and what we can’t. Fifth, pray for us. Pastors, more than anyone, need Jesus.