Frustrated

I took a day to write this post because I didn’t want to say too much last night. I hate to censor myself in this way, but that is the reality of this site now. Sorry.

(If you are going to read through all of this you need to know that our pastor left in February of 07. We hired a guy to be the Transitional Pastor shortly thereafter. He is still with us. We formed a pastor search committee in March of 08)  

Anyway, I am getting more and more frustrated with the current situation with my church. Things seem to be slowly eroding. Each week I look around and there is another family not there, another group of people upset and moving on. As the pastor of the church I can’t help but feel that each problem is my problem. I feel that each issue could be fixed if I were better at my job or just could give it personal attention.

So I feel like everything is ultimately my fault. At the same time I am trying my best to get away from things that aren’t my responsibility, not because I don’t care; but because when I get dragged into those things, the things I am supposed to be taking care of suffer. So I don’t want to be the pastor of this church. I know I don’t. I am not called to be the pastor. I have a role in reaching the teens and supporting the pastor; that is my mission while I am here.  

But I have people coming to me and asking me to help fix stuff. Which is cool, I understand, I am the guy who has been here for a long time, and I am Associate Pastor. But my first response to them is "go talk to the pastor." Now you may think that is a good thing. You may think that I am saying that because I have boundaries and I am trying to learn to say no and all of those other good things that you are supposed to say when you are doing too much.  

(Now here is where I show you how messed up I really am.)

The reason why I am saying it though, is because the church didn’t want me to fill in as the pastor during this interim period. They didn’t want me to step up and lead. They wanted to bring in someone else. So here I am over a year later still feeling a little slighted by that and so I tell people to "go and talk to the pastor" because I am hurt that they didn’t ask me to be in charge.

TALK ABOUT MESSED UP!

I don’t want to be in charge. I don’t like feeling like everything is my responsibility and yet at the same time I am mad that I am not in charge. What is that all about?

 

So I am frustrated. I am frustrated because everyone keeps coming to me with problems and I know that they are real problems, but I have seen the problem from 15 different angles and have no clue how to fix it. I am frustrated because I can’t shake off the complainers because their complaints are many times my complaints as well. I am frustrated because it seems like everything I do these days isn’t good enough and each new day brings a new person griping about our church so that means they are griping about me.  

I am frustrated because I feel like I am actually failing.

Quick Story:

Once my dad and I were trying to hang sheet rock on the ceiling of my room. You had to know my dad when it came to working on stuff around the house. He wasn’t the most handy guy in the world, but he made up for it with brute strength. Together we were a "measure once cut twice" team. Anyway, this caused lots of frustration and he would often yell at me while he worked on stuff. It never really bothered me. He would yell and I would wait until he was finished and then get what he wanted.

So he and I were hanging sheetrock and I must have been like 13 at the time.  I have no clue what I am doing and I push the board too far and it cracks right down the middle over my father’s head. Of course he yells at me, but this time I didn’t just ignore it. This time I started crying and ran out of the room.  

My dad followed me, genuinely perplexed. When he got to where I was sitting on the porch step he said something like, "You know I yell when I am working and it never bothered you before. What’s wrong?" 

Here was my reply "You never were yelling about something I had done wrong before. You were just yelling. Today was the first time you were yelling because I messed up."

 

That is how I feel at church right now. When people normally complain I don’t worry about it. I let it roll off my back and go on about what I am doing. But right now I feel like I am not doing something right (I don’t know what that something is, but I am know that it is something) so the complaints aren’t just rolling off my back they are hitting me right in the chest.

 

Like I said, I am just frustrated.  

 

6 thoughts on “Frustrated

  • May 7, 2008 at 5:10 AM
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    I love how real you are.

    I’ve been a faithful follower of this blog for about a half a year now, and your transparency always blows me away. Sure, you’re a youth/associate pastor of a medium sized church, but that doesn’t make you perfect, and your humility in constantly admitting that is admirable. As a youth-pastor-in-training, your example of humility and the "I don’t always have an answer for everything" attitude is an excellent one for me to follow.

    I’m sorry. It seems like all this must really really suck right now (pardon my youthish language), but despite it all, even just reading your simple posts…your heart for people is so evident.

    I love that your frustration seems so selfless…you’re so focused on others that you’ve got got got got to "come through" for them…Constantly looking out for the flock.

    I know I’m just kind of rambling at this point (another thing I learned from you haha), but I just wanted to say I’m sorry…
    …and at the same time…

    …Thanks.

    Reply
  • May 8, 2008 at 4:03 AM
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    Luke pretty much says it all. You can only do what you can. If you do everything, then no one else will do anything. I can understand your feelings though – you are only human after all. I don’t have any sage advice for you – just know that we’re praying for you and your church Shane!

    Diana

    Reply
  • May 8, 2008 at 7:27 PM
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    I can empathize. Isn’t it weird how when people complain about what’s going wrong in our churches… even as they complain about things we know are glaringly wrong… it still bugs us? I’m on staff at the church I grew up in… I have a lot of pride, trepidation, angst, passion all wrapped up in my feelings towards this congregation. I know there’s brokenness here, but it really bugs me to hear people talk about it.

    I think there’s an ownership issue there. We have to admit the church doesn’t belong to us. When we think we run the church, we limit it. The church is God’s. It’s made up of people, and that’s why it’s broken and fractured. But God is still in control. Follow your calling, Shane, that’s God’s purpose for you. Let God take care of the rest… and remember: if it’s God’s church, then God is your boss. So work to please Him through the calling He’s put before you.

    This may sound like glib advice–to take care of your own thing and all but ingore the rest. But if people learn through your example to passionately fulfill their own ministry obligations within the church, then many of the other problems will dissolve… I think.

    Reply
  • May 13, 2008 at 1:14 PM
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    Wow. I just stumbled on your site today (looking for ideas for worship). I don’t have anything encouraging to say, except that I want to encourage you. You obviously have a huge teaching gift and communicating gift. Thanks for the way you share your ministry. I’m sorry the rest of it’s so hard.

    Reply
  • May 16, 2008 at 9:30 PM
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    First, I’ve benefited from your work in creative worship several times and should have let you know. And if I did, I’ve forgotten, but that’s another problem entirely – my memory.

    But I added you to my reader today for some reason. I think this is it.

    Brother, just stay engaged with God – His work, His people, His mission. Is it frustrating? Frequently, and in the extreme. Are there times when you can be doing great stuff in one area but all heck is breaking loose elsewhere? Sure.

    As the point guy here I try, try, try not to meddle in youth stuff, except to support those who are selling out their lives to our kids and to be available and fervent in prayer for them.

    I had forgotten what it was like to be the youth guy without someone for just keeping the junk off you. It’s been a while since I was a youth pastor. But I do remember.

    So will you let me pray for you? And anything else I can do – I’ll do. Email me, I’ll send you my cell and you can call and vent, rant, prophesy or praise. I’m very serious about this.

    Your work reflects God’s (danger, non SBC word approaching) annointing on your ministry. In my view you are making a real difference for the Kingdom far beyond where you are. So I’m believing if you need a "stand in the gap" guy, I’ll be your huckleberry.

    Grace and peace,

    David
    New Hope, Valparaiso FL

    Reply
  • May 17, 2008 at 12:33 AM
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    Thanks guys, for everything.

    Reply

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