Ministry Is NOT Customer Service…

…unfortunately, most Pastors treat their job as if they are a customer service professional.

I constantly fight the temptation to “keep them happy,” “make sure you don’t offend them,” etc.

Giving in to this temptation kills the momentum of my ministry. There is a fine line between serving people, and pandering to people. Pandering to people is a silent sin in pastoral ministry.

We must fight this sin. 

The moment we submit to the temptation to pander we cross the threshold from being a leader, to being an order taker. Order takers are attentive to the desires of customers. Leaders are attentive to the vision of the company.

In our case, we should be attentive to the vision of God for our ministry. And most people, with the best intentions, don’t realize the difference between God’s vision for the ministry, and their expectations.

So…what?

Prune.

Don’t pander, prune. Have the guts to tell people no. Tell them something they aren’t expecting. Stick with the original vision God gave you. Sure, this might hurt them. This might let them down at first. But, we all know that the best fruit comes from a tree that has its branches pruned regularly, not pandered to.

Pandering produces temporary happiness, and results in long-term dissatisfaction. Pruning produces immediate discomfort, but results in long-term growth and fruitfulness.

So, take out your rusty garden shears, and start pruning away the expectations that aren’t in line with God’s vision for your ministry.

Have fun!