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Avoid The Traps Every Pastor Faces

Avoid The Traps Every Pastor Faces

Many pastors, ministers, and church leaders go into ministry with a heart full of hope and and energy and passion that could move mountains. Unfortunately, many fall victim to traps that have been riddled along the way. See the trap coming before it captures you and drags you to a threatening depth. And if you are the follower of a pastor, minister, or church leader, you are held to a level of responsibility to hold them accountable, but also to show them love, kindness, and mercy.

Below is a excerpt taken from Francis Chan’s new book, Letter to the Church. Normally I do not copy large segments like this, but this section was too good to tamper with. Please read with an open heart and a wanting to be better. Avoid these traps, the future of the Church depends on it.


The Trap of Avoiding Criticism

People say harsh things to pastors. No matter what is preached, there are people on both sides anxious to criticize. The harshness or sheer amount of criticism often causes a politicizing of the pulpit. They sound less like prophets and more like they are running for office. The leader becomes overly aware of how people respond and starts teaching in a way that avoids criticism rather than fearlessly preaching the truth.

The Trap of Fund-Raising

I don’t know of any pastors who went into ministry because of their love of raising funds. And I don’t know of many pastors who are not regularly worried about the church budget or building projects.

The Trap of Comparison

Church members regularly listen to podcasts of gifted speakers, read articles by brilliant theologians, and watch videos of talented church leaders moving thousands of people. It’s hard for both leaders and followers not to be become discouraged by the comparison.

The Trap of Meeting Expectations

People come on Sunday mornings expecting coffee, good parking, music they enjoy at a preferred volume, a thirty-minute sermon, a good nursery, children’s ministry, something for preteens, middle school ministry, high school ministry, college/singles’ ministry. etc. They are too busy creating what people expect to actually pursue what God commands.

The Trap of Popularity

Empty seats are a downer, and watching people flood to the church down the street can be depressing. Then try going to a Christian conference and seeing celebrity pastors treated like royalty. It’s hard not to become envious and hard for those who have “made it” not to become proud. This system has no winners.

The Trap of Safety

We place our pastors in a church office surrounded by Christians for forty hours a week and then ask them to teach us about living by faith.

The Trap of Greed

People in our country feel more entitled than ever, and pastors are no exception. The larger the church, the larger the paycheck. The higher the book sales, the higher the royalties. For those who like to live comfortably, church growth can have mixed motives.

The Trap of Demonic Attack

On top of it all, there is a roaring lion seeking to devour (1 Pet. 5:8), and pastors are on the top of the lister. There is an Enemy doing everything he can to tempt you into sinning in a way that harms the reputation of the Church.


This is taken from Francis Chan’s new book, Letters to the Church. This is an important book for both leaders and followers in the church to read. You can find and purchase the book by following this link.

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Yesterday was a sobering day.

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