(I am away on a vacation/study break during the month of July. The posts that appear during the month are from the archives.)
I like ministers.
Well, at least most of them. Yes, some of them (us?) can be difficult to like. There are some ministers who behave unethically and even immorally. Some do not treat their congregations right.
Yet, It also concerns me when I hear the stories of how poorly some ministers and their families are treated. In fact, in some instances, it is downright shameful! I am thinking about good men and women who are treated thoughtlessly.
Many times, we just don’t think. We don’t think about these men and women who would be encouraged greatly by being asked some good questions by elders and/or others in the congregation.
The follow are questions that some ministers are never asked:
1. How are you really doing? (Some people are rarely if ever asked how they are really doing.)
2. Is there anything we could do as a church that would bring more joy to your life?
3. What could we (elders/staff ministers/key people) do that might bring greater satisfaction to you in your ministry?
4. Is your salary sufficient? Are we, as a church, providing for your financial needs adequately?
5. Do you feel like this is a good place for your spouse and children?
6. Are there ways that we (perhaps unknowingly) put roadblocks before you, making your ministry and life difficult?
7. Is there anything about your work and ministry here that is particularly hard on your family life? If so, is there a way that we could work together to make this a better situation for everyone?
8. What part of your work is energy producing and life giving? What aspect of your work is draining and energy depleting?
9. Do you believe that you are using your best gifts in your ministry here? What would you really like to be doing?
10. Is there an “elephant” in the room (this congregation) that impacts you personally that really needs to be addressed?
Now obviously, this is a two-way street. Ministers have responsibilities as well and need to be thoughtful regarding the elders, their co-workers, and others in the congregation.Yet for now, I want to suggest that these are some questions that some ministers are never asked.
What question would you add to this list?