We all have things that make us cringe – things we hear or see that make us feel something isn’t quite “right” and makes us squirm. When I cringe, I typically clench my teeth and tilt my head, getting the feeling that something isn’t quite as it should be.
I’m sure that Jesus cringed a time or two when He was on the earth. There had to have been lots of things Jesus saw or heard that He knew His Father was not pleased with. There are a number of things that make me cringe as a pastor. Here are my top four…
When people skip church because the pastor isn’t preaching! I’ve been a pastor for over thirty years and a church member for about thirty years before that. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard church attenders say, “If the pastor isn’t preaching I’m not going.” This makes me cringe for a number of reasons. Jesus never wanted His church to be centered around a single personality or a single communicator. Jesus has given the gift of teaching to lots of people and you can always learn from whoever is preaching the truth of God.
When people complain about the church being too big! I could really get fired up here. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people complain about being in a large or growing church. Have we lost our minds? The very original Church in Acts had over 3,000 people on day one. The whole purpose for why the Church exists is to make disciples of “all” nations. Would we rather have a church filled to the brim, or see hell filled to the brim? We have one shot to reach people for Christ and our inconvenience and discomfort should be a small price to pay for reaching people for Christ.
When people resist seeing their small group divide into more groups! Jesus’ original “small group” of twelve divided into many more groups. As soon as the Church launched, the original disciples started more and more small groups that met in homes to make room for the 3,000 new converts. The original Church understood that groups existed for the mission, they were not the mission. Jesus loves it when His people are willing to keep making room for more people. Remember, the Church has to get larger and smaller at the same time.
When people complain about “contemporary” music being played in the church! The funny thing about this “cringe” is that at some point, all music is contemporary music. There is nothing wrong with having a favorite type of music until that music is less likely to reach the world we live in. The style of music Jesus wants churches to use is music that honors Him and helps reach people far from Him. Jesus never cringes when our music lines up with the mission.
If your church is struggling with some of these “cringy” things and needs help focusing on resetting its priorities, Impact Discipleship Ministries may be able to help you. We exist to inspire people and churches be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. We want to help churches get back to the original mission of making disciples. Contact us at impactdisciples.com to find out ways we can help your church.