Pastoring is a difficult profession. Pastoring an average church requirers you to be a lot of different things. Because I pastor an average size church I wear a lot of different hats. I have been a painter, a plumber, an IT manager, a drummer, a sound tech, an accountant, a designer, a CEO, an electrician, a psychologist, a weather prognosticator, marriage councilor and a life coach. That is all on top of my usual duties as a student of God’s word, a preacher, a visionary, a man of prayer, a boss, a leader, a pastoral councilor, and a community leader. And some where in between I have to make time to be a husband and a father.
When I was a Staff Pastor at a large church I didn’t have be all those things because there were either other staff or lay people who could take care of them or there was money to pay someone to do it. Being in a large church gives you more options when solving a problem. It gives you more people to share the burdens with. For most Average pastors, they are by themselves most of the time. As an average pastor, when the roof leaked last week, it was up to me to get up there and fix the leak. I could have called someone to fix it, but that cost money. Or waited till someone able bodied in my church to have time to come do it. But i just went ahead and did it. We all do. Mostly because we have to. That’s why this is hard.
In Mark Rutlands recent book “Relaunch” he makes an amazing statement. He says;
“I used to think that a big organization was just a bigger version of a smaller organization. I now know that is not true…The most strenuous leadership discipline in the world is to grow a church from fifty to two hundred…that is when you have the fewest resources and the least experience. Things move slow and as velocity increases, energy decreases…the easiest thing to do is grow a church from 2000 to 5000….the leaders of big organizations get all the glory, but the laws of leadership tell us that leading a small organization is the toughest job of all…As you speed up, it gets easier to speed up; which is to say if you are struggling, the best is yet to come.”
Did you read that? “The most strenuous leadership discipline is growing a church from 50 to 200.” It’s easier for a church to go from 1500-2000 than it is for you and I to go from 50-100. Why? Because a larger church has more momentum to start with. All pastors have hard jobs, whether large or small. But we average pastors have the toughest job. And for many average pastors it comes with the least amount of rewards. The reason you think, “I wish we could grow. It would make things easier” is because it is true! It is hard because it is supposed to be. God is not picking on you. God chose you because He can trust you. Yes its hard. But you can do this. Keep working hard. One of my favorite quotes is from Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own. “The Hard is what makes it great.”