I've written about "church growing pains" before. Let's talk about another growing pain churches face 👇
According to Barna, half of all US congregants surveyed said they consider their pastor as a personal friend. However, 80% admitted to rarely or never meeting with their pastor outside of Sunday service or other church events.
That means ministers are largely isolated from their people.
There's nothing better than to watch a church thrive and grow!
That makes it harder to see the shepherd of the flock struggling with feelings of disconnect and loneliness. Or to hear from members that they don't feel like they know their pastor.
As a minister, you have loads of responsibilities and only 24 hours a day to handle them. Your relational capacity has limits. So as more people come to your church, your ability to maintain direct relationships with each one diminishes.
Would you say that you know the needs and struggles of all or most of the people in your church? Or do you feel distant from them?
No matter the size of your congregation, there are a few things you can do to close the gap.
Feelings of isolation often develop because ministers work hard to model what the life of a Christian should look like. That's a noble goal! However, if we're not careful, we can develop a persona that doesn't match reality.
You don't have to be a superhero. You just have to show up and do the work God has called you to do.
Vulnerability can be scary. But vulnerability is the path to relatability. The gap between you and your congregation will always remain (and perhaps grow wider over time) unless you open yourself up to your flock.
This doesn't mean sharing every intimate detail of your life. Just shoot for authenticity both behind the pulpit and in one-on-one interactions.
No amount of vulnerability will change how many hours you have in a day or how many people you can connect with.
Do yourself and your members a favor: Preach connection from the pulpit. In other words, find ways for your members to be able to reach you directly with prayer requests or needs.
There's an easy way to do this, too. Check out the video below to see how!
You're not alone, dear minister. Vulnerability is challenging, but the rewards are incredible. Save yourself from so much struggle and grief by closing the pastor-member gap.