Saturday, 19 September 2015

20 Ways to Know Your Ministry is Not Going Well

Interested in this "Christian Today" article on "Six Ways a Congregation Can Kill a Ministry". Which led me to wonder - how do you know when your own ministry is not going well? Well, from someone whose ministry never goes that well - here's some hints and tips.
  1. As you stand in the porch to say goodbye after the service, you realise most people have snuck out through the back door.
  2. The stewards forget to invite you to the Annual Church Meeting.
  3. The Bishop has a separate room at the Palace for complaints from your congregation.
  4. The magazine editor asks if you had any clever friends at college who might want to contribute to the monthly "thought".
  5. Babies always cry at their christenings. All through their christenings. From the minute you go round for baptism preparation, and for weeks afterwards. And so do their parents.
  6. Wandering into the Choir Vestry wondering why your arm is aching, tou find a small "vicar" doll hidden under the anthem sheets.
  7. Sick people don't complain if you don't come round to see them.
  8. You find out that people are referring to the Manse as "The Death Star".
  9. Instead of shouting "Amen" during sermons, the congregation are now praying, "Lord - stop him now!"
  10. You come back from sabbatical to find the congregation have filled the preaching rota for the next six months with guest speakers.
  11. The former incumbent's new house in the village has been paid for by a congregational appeal.
  12. Left under the lid on the Church photocopier, you find a photograph of yourself with the title "Know your Enemy".
  13. The undertakers have started to advise people to use secular celebrants because "they make death seem less frightening".
  14. Your Church Times always comes through the letterbox with potential jobs circled in red ink.
  15. The housebound members of the congregation have nicknamed your bicycle "Binky".
  16. People start holding up score cards after your sermons. 
  17. When you say that the new building project will take more than two years, the congregation wonder why you're bothering.
  18. Congregation members change the signs on their door to "No free papers, no salesmen, no clergy".
  19.  Somebody at the Church Committee suggests updating the Church Profile.
  20. Finally, to revisit that article in Christian Today - if you start to think your congregatio are "agents of Satan" - you may have a bit of an issue. And it may not be your congregation.


  1. Well, when a regular congregation member - all smiles, handshakes and pious talk - turns out to be sending anonymous death threats to the minister because of a disagreement, I know whose agent they *aren't*

    1. Mmmm yes. There's a reason that number 20 wasn't definitive either way....

  2. 'Binky' ROFLMAO

  3. What do you mean, standing in the porch greeting people? Does not compute.


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