Problems with People
Problems with People
By David Cox
Any pastor that has been in the ministry for any length of time (a couple of years or so) will tell you that the ministry is fraught with problems. Many pastors take these problems personally, and the fight becomes a person to person confrontation. That is a quick recipe for pastor burnout and the stress-to-death syndrome.
Sin causes problems
One of the most fundamental understandings that will make or break any and every ministry is very simply, the preacher has to understand that sin causes problems. Fix the sin problem, and amazingly the people turn their character around and become “nice”.
Preach to the Problems
A second foundational understanding of any good ministry is that we (pastors) are here to fix what is wrong. I get this concept from the imagery that God gave us that His people are sheep, and the key ministers to his people (the ministers that God uses to bless and take care of his people) are called “Pastors”. The understanding in this divine terminology is very simply, the pastor is there to fix (on God’s behalf) whatever is wrong. Part of this is not physically forcing people to do what the pastor thinks best. He is to instruct the people in what is the will of God. Only through communication of the truth of God’s Holy Word will anybody “be fixed”.
That places everything into a setting of “what does the Bible say about….”
The preacher needs to understand the value of his problems. What? My problems have some “good value” for me? Exactly. God gives you these problems so that you can preach to them and straighten them out. Our rewards in heaven is not for having a daycare where everybody can play and have fun. It is more like a hospital. How many people did you cure, how many people when under while under your care? That is what God is looking at. Also how many people came to know Christ through your ministry (both locally and abroad worldwide)?
So our attitude towards problems is very simply, problems are useful for me to get sermons and teachings to help these people. Part of being a wise pastor is to discern the problems ahead of time, and make preventative teaching hit the problem before it becomes a problem. Also the other half of the pastor’s ministry is diagnostic problem solving. Figuring out what is the real problem, and fixing it with “spiritual prescriptions”. This includes teaching and orders for doing things different.
Finding solutions to Problems
You need to understand something about these spiritual problems. Only by saturating yourself in the Word of God will you ever find any solution to anybody’s problem (including to your own problems). This “saturation” is much more than memorizing (although that is necessary and good). Saturation means you personally seek to apply God’s word to your own life. No counselor is considered “good” if he fails to use his own counsel to straighten out his own life.
As a pastor, I have to have my own life in order (called having a good testimony) before I can even think about standing before others and teaching them the principles of God. This is like a man selling classes on quitting smoking, and all the time he is teaching he is puffing on a cigar. If your principles really work, how come we cannot see them working in YOUR OWN PERSONAL LIFE?
That is the problem, hypocrisy. And that is the great problem in Christendom, the key ministers given the task to change God’s people cannot grasp these necessary principles sufficiently to fix their own life, so everybody is in big problems.