Everyone is struggling with the radical changes happening in our culture. The church is struggling, especially the mainline church. And the question is, who to blame? Who do we blame for the fact our church is struggling?
The answer that is the most tragic is: blame the pastor. Let's blame the pastor. She doesn't spend enough time visiting people in the hospital. They don't play broom ball at youth group anymore. He doesn't like old people. She doesn't preach from the lectionary. He spends too much time with people in the community instead of caring for us. She doesn't share leadership with lay people. He shares leadership with lay people too much . She changed confirmation from eighth grade to ninth grade. He wants screens in the sanctuary!
I am sure you have your own list of errors, faults, and bad decisions your pastor has made. But is that really the reason your church is not growing? Is the pastor really the reason the 1950's is never going to come back?
It is hard for everyone. Christendom is over. Yet our understanding of how to be in the church in the world has not adjusted. Please don't blame the pastor for the fact your church isn't how it used to be. The church isn't how it used to be because the world, and the culture we live in, is not as it used to be. It is not the pastor's fault.
There is an opportunity for pastors and elders to roll up their sleeves and jump in to this new reality. It can be a very exciting adventure to explore how your particular church, in your particular context, with your particular gifts and resources, is called to join God and his amazing work in the world. What is God doing in your community right now to further the Kingdom?
Find out. Together. Don't blame the pastor for the radical changes in our culture. In fact, don't focus on blame. Focus on the joy of being a partner with Christ.