I love those who work in local churches—pastors, children's ministers, worship leaders, lay leaders and so many more.
And I have the incredible opportunity to hear from over 1,600 church leaders on a regular basis at Church Answers. Indeed, at times, a new question or comment comes up every five minutes in our 24/7 community. We have a team of subject-matter experts responding. The community responds to each other as well. I personally respond to 100 or more questions every week.
I love it. I absolutely love it.
Because we have such a large sample of church leaders, I want you, the reader, to have an inside view of some of the questions we get. They are good questions, but they are not typical questions. But they do give you some insights into how these pastors and other leaders seek advice and help.
- How do I best minister to a couple who have separated, but who both still attend church? They are not speaking to each other. One of the members of the community responded that he had three couples in such sad situations in his church.
- Is it OK to use the Enneagram? The Enneagram is, in simple terms, a personality inventory. Some church leaders really like it; others are concerned because of its origins.
- Will you pray for me? My wife says she can no longer attend the church I serve as pastor. One of the most rewarding aspects of Church Answers is how members can ask such questions and make such prayer requests in a safe environment. It is a community of encouragement. If a member of the community gets snarky (a rare occasion), I hear from the community and have to address it.
- What do you do when the matriarch of the church is against any change? I absolutely loved the community's response to this question.
- Is it too late for a revitalization in my church? They ask tough and emotional questions.
- What are the implications of the latest court ruling on minister's housing allowances? This community stays on top of developments that impact them and their churches.
- My life is a complaint box. It wasn't a question, but the pastor's simple statement with elaboration spoke volumes.
- Can you have numerical metrics for effective prayer ministries? It is a great question, and the first time I have dealt with the issue.
- Does your church have a policy for counseling minors? This one is another great question. In the me-too movement, we are learning a lot about the best ways to counsel people of the opposite gender. This question is prescient of another area where we need to learn more.
- Should we rope off our pews? The worship center for this pastor was so much bigger than the number of people attending, especially when his church added a service. Fascinating question with fascinating responses and interaction.
The work of pastors and other church leaders is never-ending. And the variety of issues they confront seems never-ending as well.
Thank you, church leaders.
Thank you, Church Answers community.
I am blessed because of you and your ministries.
Thom S. Rainer is the founder and CEO of Church Answers, an online community and resource for church leaders. Prior to founding Church Answers, Rainer served as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Before coming to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for 12 years, where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.
For the original article, visit thomrainer.com.
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