To my fellow planters and pastors out there, can you identify with these things? Here are five things that discourage me and a little of what the Lord has taught me through them.
1. When the vision isn’t caught. You try to explain what the church is about and what we’re aiming for and you just don’t make the connection. Sometimes I just have to work on how I communicate but sometimes people just don’t hear you.
2. Complaining/ Whining. Moses dealt with it. David dealt with it. Jesus dealt with it. It comes with the territory.
3. Personal sin. There’s nothing that angers, frustrates me, or discourages me more than my own flesh. Enter repentance and faith.
4. Unmet expectations. Of course the problem is I can often expect what God has not commanded or promised. Here’s the thing, it is okay to dream but God’s will is always better than what you can dream up. Trust Him and when things don’t go as planned remember they may not be His plans.
5. Silence. There’s nothing more deflating than spending your week investing in relationships, praying for people, preparing for a sermon, preaching your guts out, and then there’s no response or feedback. Okay, most of the time, this goes back to #4 and is a pride issue. You also have to remember that people aren’t used to having meaningful conversation or discussing God’s Word. It has to be cultivated and takes time. Sometimes people are just not that talkative before noon on a Sunday morning. Sometimes the sermon may not be the golden-tongued oration you think it is. Listen folks, encourage your pastor and work on talking about more than the game last night or the kids’ poo-poo diapers but pastors… Remember silence does not mean God isn’t working in hearts and in the end aim to please Christ not men.