I read a review of this book — not yet released — and thought the partial list offered in the review worth mentioning —
* “Trying to do it all.”
A comical quote at the bottom of the chapter page cleverly conveys the problem that pastors often find themselves in: “Just because I’m the janitor doesn’t mean I can’t perform your wedding.”
“Pastors tend to default to doing everything themselves rather than working through people in the congregation,” Surratt explained to The Christian Post. “They take on a lot of different hats and wind up overworked and underproductive because of that.”
When Surratt was the pastor at Church on the Lake in Texas, a small church with less than 50 people when he took over, he was simultaneously the head pastor, Sunday school teacher, bookkeeper, worship director, administrative assistant, groundskeeper, maintenance man, and janitor for a time.
“As I look back on my time at Church on the Lake, I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking,” Surratt confesses. “Trying to do all (or most) of the work themselves is the number one stupid thing pastors and leaders do that inhibits their church from growing.”
* “Establishing the wrong role for the pastor’s family.”
The pastor’s wife, Surratt highlights, often picks up odd jobs around the church that no one wants or that haven’t been filled. Too often, the pastor in “pursuing God’s vision” will put ministry before his family and without asking for his wife’s opinion will dump church work on her. …
“First, God isn’t a priority in life; God is life. He isn’t more important than your family any more than air is more important that your shoes. I don’t prioritize breathing; I breathe so that I live.”
Surratt highly recommends any pastor or church leader to seek Christian marriage counseling if they’re having trouble in their relationship. Rather than feeling embarrassed that they need help, pastors should understand that sometimes they need a third party for them to open up and share their thoughts and feelings.
“A funny thing about pastors is that when they need to fix their car, they go to a mechanic, and when they need to fix their health, they go to a doctor, but when their marriage needs help, they are almost never willing to go to an expert for help,” Surratt writes half-jokingly.
“Of all the stupid mistakes a pastor can make, not getting help with his marriage is the dumbest of all.”
* Promoting talent over integrity
* Clinging to a bad location
* Copying another successful church
* Mixing ministry and business
* Providing a second-rate worship experience
Anyone want to confess?
We’ve sure been guilty of copying other churches. And our worship experience, well, there was a time when “second rate” would have been a compliment.
We stayed in our old location for too long, but our leadership did have the wisdom to move. It made a huge difference. We weren’t so much in a bad neighborhood as landlocked. We just didn’t have room to grow.
We have had a talent/integrity issue. Really, it was a talent for hiding a lack of integrity issue. These can be devastating, and the advice is sound. Get rid of the leaven. Now.
I look forward to reading the book once it’s released.