Why the Grass Isn’t Greener at that Other Church
If you haven’t noticed, church staffing has become a competitive market in recent years. So much so that a quick Google search of “Church Staff Search Firms” will provide you with a list of companies whose entire purpose is to help staff local churches, and whom didn’t exist 20 years ago. By the way, some of these search firms are very good at their jobs.
It’s easier than ever for church staff members to change churches…and they are. Unfortunately, staff longevity is becoming a rare thing in churches. I frequently have conversations with churches that are looking to hire a new team member or a team member who is looking to make a move to a new church.
And while moving to a new church may be what God wants you to do, it’s important to remember that the grass isn’t always greener at that new church.
Your Expectations may not be Reasonable
Often times I hear sad stories from church staff members about how the church or their Pastor hasn’t met their expectations. Expectations that go unmet can create all kinds of hurt and disillusionment. However, your expectations may not be reasonable. It’s not your pastor’s job to disciple you, working at a church isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, and I know you got into ministry to be a part of life-change and people meeting Jesus but this is your job, you don’t get to get paid to do a hobby (and you shouldn’t get paid to have coffee with people all day long). So, temper your expectations (by the way, the secret to happiness in life is low expectations).
The Problem isn’t “out there”
Typically, when I hear church staff members talk about leaving their church the conversation focuses on a problem or series of problems at the church they’re currently serving in. The first bit of input I consistently find myself providing is this: “If God has given you the insight through His Spirt to see something in the church you serve at that needs to change, instead of criticizing it why don’t you try and help it be what you see God wants it to be?” Maybe the problem isn’t with the church, maybe the problem is you’re not being solution oriented and you’re focusing on what’s wrong instead of trying to help it get better.
Planting a New Church may not Fix it
When things get tough, many young leaders are opting to leave and plant a new church. And while I’m all for planting new churches to reach new people, too often these new churches are planted for all the wrong reasons by all the wrong people.
Sometimes you have to Create the kind of place you want to be
I firmly believe, that if at all possible (it isn’t always), the best option for you and the best option for your church is for you to stay and figure it out. You will grow through the process and the church will experience the benefit and fruit of you staying and figuring it out. Sometimes it’s worth staying and creating the kind of place you want to be.
Work at a church? Trying to figure out if it’s time for you to leave your church? Check out this post about “Why Church Staff Change Churches.”
Written by Paul Alexander – to find out more about Paul and read more of his writings, check out his blog!