"Pastor, some of our members are concerned." That gets his attention, believe me.
You can say all you want about how the minister is God-called and God-protected and that sort of thing, but he would not be human if he did not want the people he's serving to be supportive and responsive. After all, since he's sent to help them, he will want some kind of evidence he's accomplishing his purpose. Otherwise, he feels that he has either failed them or God-or both. He is vulnerable as a result.
What makes him more vulnerable to negative influences from the congregation is that he has a family to feed and look after the same way you do if you work at the post office, drive a delivery truck, teach school, or extract teeth. The fact that he needs this job means he opens himself up to pressure from his constituents. As a result, he reacts-at least emotionally-when he hears some of these lines that have been used on preachers since the beginning of the Church.
"I know we ought to be reaching all these people and it's good they're being saved, but I miss our church the way it used to be." Yesterday, the church I visited had 140 in two services. When the pastor came, three or four years ago, they had 40. In the last three Sundays, he has baptized 11 people. Before the benediction, the pastor called on me for a few words.
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