Loved ones, I’ve served in ministry since I came back to my home church in 2006. I became an ordained minister in 2011, and have served in various roles ever since. I’ve seen a lot of complaints, controversies (many of which were not controversies, but someone’s toes were stepped on), and various issues surrounding members of a congregation and church leadership, and the most common thread is that people heap expectations of Jesus on to those who serve him. I want to start by saying this: Church leaders serve Jesus, but we are not Jesus.
We’re not omniscient, or omnipotent, we’re not all knowing and powerful, so we can’t possibly know every need the members of the church may have. As the church grows and has more needs, we don’t always check up on people we haven’t seen, like we intend to. Our first ministries are our families. As issues with them arise, those take priority, so that we have a united mind when serving you. So please don’t be disappointed with elders, deacons, preachers, Sunday School teachers, and anyone else who serves Christ if they don’t meet your needs. It might be true that we should know better, and often times, I speak from personal experience here, we fully intend to call on someone we haven’t seen in a while and see how they are doing, but the demands of our ministries, and life in general, draw our attention away.
We are not Jesus, but we do our best to serve you on his behalf. We don’t want to accept worship, we don’t want to be placed on pedestals, we want to be seen as fellow servants, along side you, doing ministry in the capacity we’ve been appointed to serve in. Be kind. Submit. Tell us face to face, or on the phone what your troubles or concerns are, not by channels of gossip and secrecy. Help us serve Christ and His Church by making us aware of needs that aren’t being met, so we can raise you up to serve along side us. Let us seek Christ together, and together, seek to hear “well done good and faithful servant.”
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.