This list is really meant to give some insight and be lighthearted. The Pastor helped me out with this list. And yes, they are all true to life, but specific to our life. (And trying to take a picture with The Pastor was beyond ridiculous!)
(1) I really just need you there.
We honestly get that things come up, stuff happens, but we really do need people we can rely on.
(2) We had a late night, too. Or a baby who wouldn’t sleep. Or a kid who woke us up 27 times. And I also currently have a headache. And we still made it here, early.
(3) Yes, this is personal.
When you reject the church that we pour ourselves into, we do take that personally.
(4) This is what I do. Ministry is completely different than running a business. While I appreciate your input and ideas, you have to know that this is what I do.
(5) Yes, in fact, it must be the very best; it is, after all, for Jesus.
In times where people want to cut costs by cutting the quality of things like tea, coffee, paper, sound equipment, etc.
(6) We realize we live in a glass house and we are okay with that. There is no need to snoop, just ask us outright, we’ll answer.
(7) No, I can’t tell you about so-and-so. We may not have secrets of our own, but we do keep other people’s business in confidence. If you want to know the “deal with them” you’ll have to ask them.
(8) It isn’t always about you.
Sometimes, we do things you don’t like. And you have to realize that it isn’t always about you or your needs or your taste.
(9) You’re curious about where they’ve been? Have you called them?
(10) We sacrifice a lot for this. This isn’t just a job or hobby. This is a calling we see as vitally important.
(11) I’m absolutely available to answer your questions, provided you are actually looking for answers.
(12) No, I won’t call your friend at work and tell them why their pastor is wrong. If you would like to defend your faith, I can give you the resources to do so.
(13) Actually, we do practice what we preach.
(14) Pastoring is more than just preaching. What you see on Sunday morning is only a small part of what we do.
(15) We always expect that we’ll have to do it ourselves. It isn’t that we don’t trust you, but we’ve been let down so many times, we’re always prepared to do it all.
(16) We really do want the very best for you and your family.
(17) I really need people to do the work of the ministry, not just come up with ideas. Ideas are great, but we need people to follow through on them.
(18) I have my own vision and my own calling. Don’t expect me to drop everything I am doing for your great idea of a ministry I could do.
(19) No, I cannot do counseling with your [spouse/child/parent/friend/cousin] to tell them you are right and they are wrong.
(20) 3 am is not the time to discuss Ezekiel. Call me at 3 am if it is an emergency. But calling me at 3 am to discuss Old Testament prophets is never a good idea.
(21) We are not all millionaires like televangelists. Most pastors work for far less than their equivalent degrees would earn them elsewhere. We aren’t in this for the money, but for the ministry.
(22) No, my kid can’t do the activity that has Sunday responsibilities.
(23) No, we can’t come to the family reunion on Sunday or a big church holiday like Christmas Eve or Easter.
(24) I really wish you’d stop reading books written by heretics. Need a good book recommendation? Ask me, I have more than a few to recommend.
(25) Ministry requires volunteers. We know you want a children’s program, but you have to have people to run that. We can only do so much with limited volunteers.
(26) I know this isn’t how it was done at your church growing up, or your sister’s church, or by the pastor who was here before us. Do you like being compared to your mother-in-law?
(27) We go through hard times too. We often forget to mention our own troubles or prayer requests, but we have tough times, as well.
(28) It hurts when we invest our lives in people and they turn away from us. We understand that, but we keep investing and giving anyway.
(29) We wish you would see our success as more than just numbers. Personal growth of disciples isn’t always quantifiable but is success nonetheless.
(30) I wish you wouldn’t apologize every time you cuss around me. Jesus takes us where we are. I’m really not judging you. I’m just happy you’re comfortable being yourself around me. Don’t ruin that feeling by making it awkward and apologizing. If you’re working on changing your vocabulary, let me know so I can encourage you as you make steps of improvement.
(31) We have many of the same struggles you have. We have limited finances, student loan payments, bills to pay, work and family to balance. We really do understand.
(32) We are in this as a family. I know you only see one name on the sign or with a title, but this is an entire family ministry.
(33) We make a lot of sacrifices to do this, so it is very upsetting when people put us down for not working normal hours. Often this means taking a second job, only having one car, not being able to buy a home, having no health insurance, giving up saving for retirement. We sacrifice. We don’t want to tell you about this, because we don’t want to complain about what the Lord is providing through His people. But this is more than a 40-hour/week job. This is an all-the-time, always-on, immersed-in-your-work way to live. It is far from cushy.
(34) Sunday mornings are not a good time to complain. If you need to complain about something, I understand. Sunday morning or Saturday night are the worst times to do so. Shoot me an email or text Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. Let me focus on what God is speaking through me on Sunday morning.
(35) I am not looking for a “better” opportunity. We are serving where we are called to be. I don’t need you to send me information on churches looking for a pastor. This isn’t a typical job where you look to climb some sort of ladder. I’m where I need to be for now.
(36) We will drop everything for you, even when we know you are using us. It isn’t that we don’t know, we know. We just love you enough to do it anyway.
(37) It is hard for us to balance the work we do for the church with the work of the church. We honestly cannot do it all. We are always aware that without volunteers, the church will be lacking in one area or another. We just can’t be the whole body.
(38) We know we’re always pushing for more. It isn’t that we aren’t satisfied. We just know there is always further up and further in. And the work is just never done.
(39) Seriously, I don’t just want your money. Yes, ministry takes money. But we are really in this FOR you. (In fact, I pray God will give YOU more money than you know what to do with.)
(40) I know you did a quick Google search, but I do have a Masters of Divinity degree. You aren’t an expert on anything in 20 minutes compared with my 90 hour graduate program that was after my bachelor’s degree.