Someone recently asked me a question and I said, “I don’t know. I’m just the pastor”. Now, while that was tongue-in-cheek, there’s a lot of truth to it. Being the pastor doesn’t mean I have all the answers. There are a lot of things I don’t know. Let me give you some examples. There are things I don’t know because—
—I’m not as smart as some people.
—I’m not as knowledgeable in certain areas as some folks. I can’t repair a computer, overhaul an engine, read music, or do sign language.
—It’s not my job. Being the “overseer” doesn’t mean I should or need to know everything. That’s why we have ministry leaders.
—I don’t need to know. Since I’m not God there are a lot of things I don’t need to know. What a relief!
—I don’t want to know. I hear a lot of things I would rather not hear.
—Others don’t want me to know. Some people withhold information from me for various reasons, good and bad.
—Some refuse to tell me. Some people want me to know certain things, and they hope I am troubled by it, but they don’t want to be the one who tells me. It happens all the time. It usually goes something like this. Someone gets upset over something, decides to stop attending or to leave the the church, and then do so without ever saying a word to me. They don’t even have the common courtesy to tell me about it. That speaks volumes about their character. Such disrespect tells me that they have a problem other than the “problem” that has them upset. Isn’t it strange– they figure it’s okay for them to do wrong because they feel something else is wrong. They simply walk away without their pastor knowing anything about it, until a request for a church letter comes in the mail. Some of the people who wouldn’t think of resigning their job without a letter of resignation and proper notification to their employer leave the Lord’s church without a word. Then they have the audacity to lay the blame on the church. That immediately makes me think there was no justification for their actions, nor cause for their complaint.
After years of observation, I’ve come to realize that when a person makes up their mind to leave a church they will find a “reason” to do so. Rather than take the blame they will find fault with something or someone and use it to make it appear that they are justified in leaving. Instead of saying, “I am backslidden”, or “I am guilty of sin”, or “I’m not getting the attention I crave, or the position I want, or the credit I deserve”, etc., they try to lay the blame on someone else. These folks then run from church to church until they finally get what they want, or they drop out altogether, because, to hear them tell it, there are no good churches. Rather than deal with their own problem, they want to blame everyone but themselves. I’ve heard people say, “No one likes me!” Well, maybe there’s a reason for it. Instead of blaming them, it might be more helpful if you took a good look in the mirror. You just might discover that you are your own worst enemy. Get yourself right with God and you will be amazed how happy, and helpful, you can be right where you are. Think about it!