==== ====What to do when your church is closing? Find out here.http://churchrealty.com==== ====Just recently I read an article in a popular Christian magazine on how 12 churches were profileddue to a thriving congregation and attendance increase in spite of the uncertain economy. I wasinterested in how and why these churches were surviving when I coach pastors and their wiveswho come to me because they are burned out and ready to close it up and walk. So, are thesepastors and churches special in Gods eyes? Why such a tremendous gap with some churchesthriving and others closing up? After reading this article one could be inspired if they didnt knowwhat I know about the pastors whove had enough and want real change or theyre gone.But what interested me the most was after reading the article, the resource box at the bottom read:This magazine is looking for healthy churches to be featured in future issues of the magazine. Andthen gave a website address if you cared to share how your church is thriving.Oh, how we need encouragement in this day and hour. How nice that we can read about the large,healthy churches and share in the joy of blessings coming their way. They are healthy becausetheir pews are filled, the people are involved in church activities, and many are hungry for the Lordand even though statistics inform us that only 1% of church goers financially support the church,1% of a lot of people can mean the church doors remain open. The size of these churches rangedfrom 700 members of the smallest to over 32,000 in the largest.So, that still leaves the question, whats happening with the smaller churches, why are they closingand pastors walking out to the tune of 1500 per month? I wont pretend to have all the answersand certainly I cannot share everything herein. But let me point out a few relevant things here.If we could ask the Lord to come to a meeting and then ask him why it seems he prospers largecongregations and is less supportive of smaller ones, what do you think he would say? Well, Ialways go to the word to find the character of Christ in similar or other situations to answer thesethings. We know Jesus came for the lost and the sinner not the righteous because he says so inMark 2:17 when he said, "Sick people need the doctor, not healthy ones." Does that mean hedoesnt love healthy people? No, it just means he came to help those who need it. Then in Luke4:18, he said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because", and then he lists why he came to earth;to heal the brokenhearted, deliver the captives, give sight to the blind and the downtrodden shallbe freed from their oppressors. Does that mean the Lord doesnt love the joyful, carefree,prosperous Christian? Of course not, he advised those who are doing well to help the ones whoare not.Ive learned over the years that when a pastor is about to hang it up and walk, he or she issuffering from a broken heart, captive to numerous personal and ministry struggles, downtroddendue to oppressors from within and without who are used by the enemy to thwart every good workand passion that God carefully placed within them. The pressure is so deep being hit from so
many directions; they just want relief from the battle of their souls.When the rich man came to Jesus proclaiming that he had kept the Ten Commandments from hisyouth, Jesus didnt spend time praising him nor publicly applaud his success, instead he instructedhim to use his wealth and his stated righteousness to help those who werent as blessed.Of the twelve churches and pastors who were featured for their healthy churches, one inparticular stood out among the rest for me. This pastor recognized the tough times for many in hiscongregation. In order to help those who had lost jobs or experienced salary cuts, he posted anActs 4 tree for others to respond. And do you know what happened? Those who werent strugglingstepped up and took the place of those who were. What kind of a bond do you think the people inthat church are experiencing today? What kind of love is transferring in their hearts?I recently spoke with a pastors wife who shared that she and her husband both work full time aswell as share church responsibilities. They struggle to even keep their congregation going. Shesaid they are at the point of hanging it up and walking out, the congregation shows up and just sitsthere. So were looking at some problems deeper than just a simple lack of financial support.So, what would Jesus say here? Does the character of Christ even remotely indicate a favor forlarger churches over smaller ones? The Bible repeatedly explains that when you have a word, avery good word, a call from the Lord, you need to find a platform and release that, its calledevangelizing the gospel. But God also informs us that we have an enemy who will do whatever hecan to postpone, stifle, prevent, destroy the pastor, his word, his ministry and his marriage in orderto get even with God for kicking him out of heaven. Gods people are racing to get the word out;the enemy is racing to stop it.Satan hates it when churches prosper and he hates it when anyone helps the little guy out fromunderneath the stronghold of oppression. Pastors believe in demons, in theory, some try not totranslate it every moment into reality for fear that people might label him crazy. Yet they confessto me the intensity of the spiritual attack they experience and I can tell you this, they must have atremendous word inside them to be so targeted.If 4,000 new churches begin each year, but 7,000 churches close, it should be obvious we have amajor problem here. These are undeniable statistics. We dont have to guess what the Lord wouldsay here. Quite frankly, the money situation is only a drop in the bucket compared to their greatestproblems of dealing with contention, problem people, discouragement, depression, marriageproblems, and yes they are targeted in their morals as well as just a general lack of support.Pastors are honorable gifts placed in our lives. We need each and every one of them to find theirplace of value, large or small. If Christ came not for the free but for the captive, and if he came forthe weak not the strong, the debilitated rather than the healthy, why dont we take the pages ofour magazines and newsletters and use this space to speak about a huge problem of pastorsleaving their posts and their mandates that God gave them?Once a problem is out in the open, and the devil cant hide it anymore, help is sure to come. Thereare way too many loving, righteous Christians who are looking for a cause to support. Lets firstexpose the problem and then deliver the solution.
In order to survive, pastors need to get into relationship with a mentor or coach. This should besomeone with wisdom, experience and the discernment to pinpoint problem areas while usingBible principles. Also, pastors need to find other pastors to form mutual, trusting relationships,where they can talk and pray for each other, without fear. This can be accomplished through anonline membership group.Every pastor is the apple of Gods eye. We can pray and pray and ask God to help them and weshould, but didnt he already say, "You help them?" Lets ask ourselves, what can we do? Whatsour part? Gods looking for a willing heart.Would you like to learn more about reversing pastor burnout, discover how it got there in the firstplace and then experience how to get it off and proceed with a successful ministry? You can, butfirst you need to step forward and initiate the process. I will give you 30 minutes of my time forfree. In that 30 minutes I will tell you in brief, whats going on with your ministry that got you whereyou are now and give you a couple of easy options to think about that will help you move forward.Go to: http://www.susandavidlifecoach.com either fill out the Free Consultation form or email me.What do you have to lose, 30 minutes of your time? (free sessions are limited to time available)My experience with working with pastors is vast. I can nail between one and three of your majorhold-backs and most frustrating hurdles in that 30 free minutes, email me.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_David==== ====What to do when your church is closing? Find out here.http://churchrealty.com==== ====