From my latest piece for In Touch:
“It’s not simply the pastor’s job to make disciples, it’s the job of the whole church,” I had said for the umpteenth time in a message on discipleship. When my sermon was finished, I headed to the back of the auditorium, as I’ve always done, to shake hands with people as they left.
I’ll never forget the look of one faithful church member. It was that of ministry fatigue. We had just finished a series of weeklong ministry projects—a monumental undertaking at our church—and this lady was reflecting the exhaustion that our people felt. She didn’t say anything to me, but the combination of seeing her tired face and the words I’d just preached were used by God to speak powerfully to my soul. Perhaps the reason your people aren’t making disciples is because you have kept them too busy with church activities.
It’s a hard pill for most pastors to swallow. This especially for leaders like myself, who like to plan and dream. My intentions had been sincere: I wanted to do all I could to equip the people of God through training, small groups, and Sunday school. My desire was to facilitate times of fellowship and togetherness through dinners and potlucks and shared experiences. And I hoped to conduct attractive events that would draw the community in order to gain an audience for the gospel.
What I hadn’t realized, till this point, was just how taxing my overambitious schedule was for already-busy people. Not only was it sapping away their joy and robbing them of needed spiritual rhythms of rest and meditation, it was stealing away precious time—time that could be spent pursuing relationships in the community.
Read the whole thing here