The following are some key points from Joe McKeever’s insightful article The Church’s Dirty Little Secret which answers the question:
Why does the church— which is the institution which we Christians should respect the most— end up being the least respected by many in the church? And why is the pastor the least respected professional of all?
The article points out the following reasons:
1. They, the spiritually immature in the church, see the church as a human institution belonging to them.
2. They see the pastors as their employees, there to do their bidding and accountable to them. (I actually had a deacon once tell me, “Pastor, I was here before you came and I’ll be here when you’re gone.”)
3. They see God’s work as something the professionals do and their roles as volunteers when it’s convenient and easy. Ah, it’s the old, “Let the hired holy-man do the hard stuff, I’ll just buy my ticket and watch from the cheap seats.”
4. They see their contributions (money, service, teaching, etc.) as voluntary and not required.
5. They see their church’s reputation in the community as irrelevant and unity as beside the point.
6. They see their childish behavior as no one’s business but their own. Poor little boo-boo kitty.
7. They see themselves as the center of their own universe and think everything revolves around them. In fact, just this morning I read the following:
Q: How does a narcissist screw in a light bulb?
A: He holds the bulb and stands still while the world revolves around him. Sad, but true.
Finally, the article sums up the magnitude of the problem by quoting a pastor, fresh out of seminary, serving his first church. He says:
“Church is the only place on earth where people can throw hissy fits and get away with it.” Ouch.
And we all know, church life is not meant to be like this.
If you, like me, find yourself in a church family that functions like a family, you are indeed blessed. And if you don’t, what are you prepared to do about it?
Don’t you think it’s about time you packed your bags and caught the first train out of Laodicea?