One study said that “we” are loosing 300 preachers a year in the churches of Christ...ever wonder why?
Why I stopped preaching...
I got tired of spending 10 of my allotted 20 minutes every Sunday giving disclaimers to cover myself with people who ought to already know what I believe and don’t believe .... “I’m not saying this, and I’m not saying this and I am saying this....etc.”
I got tired of worship wars. People who want their personal preference in worship over that of everyone else. I actually had a brother say “the elders have no authority over me”- uh, duh, Hebrew 13:17. Worship should never be about us and what pleases us and everyone is fine with that statement until something they don’t like or something outside their comfort zone happens - then they scurry to prove it is “wrong” or (apparently) worse “liberal” or “narrow”. I got tired of administering the war by trying to hold the two extremes that exist together. I often wonder what God thinks of our “likes” and pushing for our agenda in this area. (Funny, I bet there will be more comments on this one than any other thing I say in this post)...and I’m not saying...Oh, sorry, read number one :)!
I wanted to go to church and worship without having to make sure I spoke to everyone not too much and not too little. Is there actually someone with a stop watch checking to see if I speak to “my friends” more than to “others”? The worst thing you can do is become a friend of the preacher - he can never talk to you then! I once said, “Don’t try to talk to me long on Sunday morning, I’m trying to talk to everyone and trying to welcome our guests. If you need to talk wait around about 10-15 minutes and I’ll give you as much time as you need.” Then someone said: “You think you are too good to speak to the members and told us not to talk to you...” “I didn’t say...” - arrggg...that’s number one again!
I got tired of hearing - “a lot of people are upset and threatening to leave” when I knew it was them and two other people who they gossip with and constantly tear down the church in front of (one of the two was probably their wife). The threat also gets old after about the 21st time it comes. These are the people who kill preachers!
I got tired of spending all day Monday and Tuesday putting out fires that other people started. “No, I didn’t know ____ happened...Of course I think that shouldn’t have happened...Are you sure of your facts...Have you talked to them...Yes, I’m sure we need a sermon on (take your pick: respect, modesty, how we treat each other, “any” first principle subject)...”
I wanted to not have to worry about what the contribution was, the numbers were more than if I/we worshipped God that day! “We had under 2 million present today - that must mean something bad.”
I got tired of my work being judged by how many people were present even when elders, negative members, backward thinking people were the ones who were continually running people off, creating disunity or making stupid decisions that resulted in the same.
I got tired of people leaving and lying about why. The classic happened 13 years ago. A young family left the congregation and said it was because of the “direction” of the church. I found out three years later it was because the husband was having an affair and thought the elders had found out and were going to tell his wife. She eventually found out but not from them - they didn’t know about it. You can about put money on it that when someone leaves a congregation the reason they give is not the reason they left.
I got tired of a sermon being judged by people who were totally unspiritual. I got cursed at by a member one time when I used the word “condom” in the pulpit. That language was totally inappropriate I was told. Only the language used to tell me had actual sinful words used to communicate that! Or there was the time that I preached that Sunday night services were not “ordained” by God but still should be attended because the elders had set that time aside for the spiritual growth of the church. After the service I was told by a brother who DIDN’T even attend on Sunday nights that I was leading the church down the road to apostasy.
I got sick of being served for lunch by people who didn’t have the common decency to come talk to me face to face but made sure I heard how mad they were.
I got tired of people judging a sermon based on if it was critical of others, parroted their pet hobby or scratched their itch. Want to cause a mini riot. Preach on what people NEED rather than on what they want to hear. As long as you extol the evils of drunkenness, denominationalism and the demoralization of America you are fine. But talk about sins that people in the congregation are guilty of and you’ll start a fire!
I got tired of sermons and services being sabotaged by others.
I got tired of being misquoted.
I got tired of hurting people without meaning to. And worse, not knowing it because the sweet person is too nice to come and talk to you about how they were hurt.
I got tired of being held to a standard higher than God holds me to and without grace.
I got tired of having to constantly “take it to the next level” when no one else was expected to. “And, we think it is time to take it to the next level...so YOU have to do ______.” Yeah, and what are you guys gonna actually do other than tell me to take it to the next level?
I got tired of people saying I only worked one day a week when I was working 80+ hours on a light week and 90 to 100 on most.
I got tired of people thinking that I was getting rich when I went to be a guest speaker somewhere else. I rarely get even fair milage!
I got tired of being reviewed...and reviewed and reviewed.
I got tired of preaching brothers judging me without knowing me...what was that about love believing the best?
I got tired of having to constantly encourage but rarely being reciprocated.
I got tired of being taken for granted incrementally more with each passing month. Do you know that is why most preachers eventually leave?
I just got tired...
No, I’m not quitting it’s in my blood and I don’t intend on quitting today or ever. It is the greatest work in the world and I love it. It is so very rewarding BUT I wanted you to see some of why guys do quit and maybe help you to help encourage your preaching brothers. I assure you they need it.