By Mark Dance
I’m embarrassed to say it didn’t take me long to write this post. I’m curious to see if you agree with these pet peeves and am interested to hear some of your own.
1. Church announcements
Pastors get frustrated when they get last minute announcement requests.
Pre-service videos also count as announcements, so they need to be previewed and considered when planning a weekend service.
Work closely with your worship leader to intentionally start a worship service well.
2. Walking out during the invitation
I’ve never understood how greeters and teachers think getting a head start to their ministry post is worth distracting people who are on the verge of making eternal decisions.
A lesser crime, but no less distracting, is walking in late during the middle of a worship set.
My best response has been a direct appeal to these leaders, as opposed to calling them out from the stage.
3. Long meetings
All meetings are over after 90 minutes, regardless of whether there are still bodies in the room.
Morale and focus begin to fade after the first hour, so be efficient with your time.
Pastor, if you want to lead or attend meetings that end at a reasonable time, work it out with the chairperson beforehand in private. Stay consistent until this becomes a normal part of your church culture.
4. Cheesy preacherisms
This one is directed toward us. People tire easily of conference clones. Here are a few examples to prime your pump:
- God is good, all the time.
- Let’s keep the main thing the main thing.
- That’s a good place for an amen.
- Where God guides, God provides.
Ready to say, “Uncle?”
Make sure you know the difference between a courtesy laugh (or amen) and the real thing. Just because it worked at student camp doesn’t mean it transfers to a multi-generational crowd.
5. Pastor search committees
It’s ironic this team represents the sharpest people in the pews because they often come across as dysfunctional dreamers.
Whether search teams have been trained or not, they’ll generally do whatever they want—whenever they want—while pastoral candidates are left scratching their heads.
I don’t even have a suggestion for this peeve, other than to keep scratching your heads.
6. Weekend texts
Email assumes the recipient will check it when he or she is available. Texts on the other hand, presume you’re always available.
If you’re always available for your members, you’ve blown up any biblical boundaries God created for you and your family.
Manage your home and church better by learning when to turn off or mute your phone.
7. Social media snipers
A good shepherd goes where his people are, as well as where the unchurched are. Your encouraging voice needs to be heard outside of the church as well as inside.
Some pastors avoid social media altogether because of a few rogue abusers. Instead, unfollow or block those morons.
Social media and technology are not the problem—sin is. Jesus was a friend of sinners–we should be too.
Even the ones in our pews.
MARK DANCE (@markdance) serves as director of LifeWay Pastors and is the husband of Janet, father to Holly and Brad.