What Do You Not Like? How Will You Put Up with It?

My observations:

As a preacher, you aren’t ready to commit to working with a new congregation until you know not only what you like, but also what you don’t like.

A church isn’t ready to ask a preacher to work with them until you know not only what you like, but also what you don’t like

I’ve learned much from doing pre-marital counseling that can be applied to preacher and church searches.

Some of the homework I give to prospective brides and grooms:

  • Write 12 – 15 reasons why you want to marry this person.
  • Write a paragraph on what you are bringing to this marriage that will make it work.

And then the pop quiz that they hadn’t prepared to answer:

  • What do you not like? You think you can change it in six months — but you can’t. How are you going to put up with it?

Each party needs to decide if what you don’t like, you can put up with. If you can, it may take a large portion of looooooooooooooog-suffering. That means you suffer a long time.

Those same principles work in preacher searches.

  • Write 12 – 15 reasons why you want to invite this person (church) to work with you.
  • Write a paragraph on what you are bringing to this team that will make it work.
  • What do you not like? You think you can change it in six months — but you can’t. How are you going to put up with it? If it’s something you can’t put up with, address that before you call U-Haul.

There may be exceptions. I made these observations at a leadership workshop at Freed-Hardeman. After the session, an elder came to me. He said their present preacher had been with them three years. They weren’t able to find anything about him they didn’t like before he came. He continued, “He’s been with us three years and we still haven’t found anything about him we don’t like.”

That’s unusual. I would say that’s a good match.

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Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

4 Responses to “What Do You Not Like? How Will You Put Up with It?

  • Tommy Shearer
    9 months ago

    This was good information. I had actually never thought of any of it before and it really makes you think. Thank you bro. Barber

    • Jerrie W. Barber
      9 months ago

      You are welcome. I think one of the most spiritual things a person can do is to think. Psalm 4:4

  • JOSEPH TOMLINSON
    9 months ago

    Thanks coach. Thoughtful and empowering. Joe T.

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