I receive emails on a regular basis from church security minded people asking me the same question: “Jimmy, how do we convince our pastor of the need for church security?”
I regularly get phone calls with the same question, and at every seminar, numerous attendees will ask the very same thing.
After 300 seminars, and contact with thousands of people, I have long since lost count of how many times I have been hit with this question.
I’ve done seminars from California to Virginia, Florida to Washington State: and everywhere we go this question is hurled in our direction.
Just recently I was visiting with several members of a local church security team. They have faithfully served at their church for several years. Holding a copy of the budget in their hands, they expressed their dismay that not one single dollar had been designated toward the safety matters of the church.
Some of the stories I’ve heard trouble me. I have spoken with church security personnel who have even left their church due to lack of pastoral support.
I’m in a fortunate position, however. Unlike most of those concerned with security matters at houses of worship, I’m also a minister (45 years now). As a result, I have learned how to handle these preacher guys.
So let me help you.
Permit me first to shoot it straight with you. I served as pastor of a church for almost 12 years. During my assignment, I was also employed as a police officer. I will tell you this right now: it was much easier being a policeman than being a pastor.
Yes – you read that right.
In my cop job, I went to work every day knowing I could get shot and killed. But in spite of that, I endured much more stress as a pastor. I knew where I stood with criminals: I couldn’t always say the same thing with my flock, though.
Let’s get straight to the point, brothers and sisters.
Your pastor might not be as supportive as you desire. He may not be giving you the recognition - or budget - that you believe your team deserves.
But, all of that is irrelevant. If you are serving in that position because you have been called, then you need to “suck it up” and serve!
· You need to stop your whining.
· Stop your complaining.
· Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
· Stop waiting for the pastor to sing your praises.
THAT IS NOT WHY YOU SERVE!
“But Jimmy,” you may ask, “what do we do about an unsupportive pastor?”
I’ll tell you exactly what you should do: SUPPORT HIM!!!
Let me repeat: S-U-P-P-O-R-T … H-I-M …
Your God is testing you. And if you are constantly complaining about the lack of support, then you are flunking the test!
If your pastor does NOT support you, you need to respond by supporting him!
34 preachers walk off the job every day of the week (12,000 a year). Many of them are burned out, fed up, and done with the ministry.
I have visited with preachers who wept as they poured out their heart. Exhausted and tired, they were fed up with having to tend to a bunch of demanding, ignorant sheep, who are draining the life right out of him – and his family.
It is time for you to mature, fellow sheepdog.
It is time for you to think like the Mighty Men of David.
Do you remember the time they overheard David wish that he had some water from the wells of Bethlehem? What did those men do? They headed for Bethlehem! But, there was a slight problem: the Philistines had control of Bethlehem and its wells. In order to secure water for David, they would have to battle the Philistines.
And they did!
They went to Bethlehem and took’em on. They fought all day – JUST TO GET SOME WATER FOR THEIR “PASTOR.”
When they brought it back to David, bloodied and exhausted, he refused to drink it, pouring it out onto the ground while recognizing the price that had been paid by his loyal men.
You need to be loyal to your pastor. You need to support him, even if he does not give you the support you want.
Furthermore, you need to start trusting God - trusting that he will deal with the pastor and work on him about this matter.
Such a thing happened recently in my area. A group of church security personnel requested some funds for their operational needs – but were refused. They took it in stride. Not long after, someone in the church felt “led of God” to give them $5000!
Where … is … your … faith?
You need to be there for your pastor – even if he is not there for you.
He has other things on his mind. Be patient with him. You have no idea what he’s going through.
His marriage may be on the rocks.
He may be at the end of his rope.
He may be financially broke.
He may have sickness among his children that you know nothing about.
He may even be considering taking his own life!
Love him, serve him, be there for him.
You must be wearing more than a gun on Sunday mornings: you must also be wearing a towel.
Yes, a towel. And with that towel you must be eager to wash the feet of your pastor.
If you have bad-mouthed your minister over security matters, you owe him an apology. If you cannot humble yourself and do so, you probably need to get off the team.
He needs to “feel the love.” You let him know that you will stand with him through thick and thin, hell and high water.
In 2013, I attended the Southern Baptist Convention. It was obvious that some of the pastors were at the end of their rope. One such pastor stopped at my booth, where we were promoting church security. Within minutes, he was in tears.
He pastored a church in Bryan, Texas with an attendance of about 50. “They’re all old people, Jimmy, and have no desire to change or grow,” he cried.
He told me that every Sunday when he and his wife awoke, she would ask him: “Do we have to go?”
He continued to pour out his heart, and then told me something that even now makes me weep:
Jimmy, my wife was pregnant. But, she had a miscarriage THIS MORNING. I want to go home and be with her, but she thinks I should probably stay here at the convention. What do you think?”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Of course I told him to get out of here and head home to his wife, which I hope he did. Before leaving, I asked him if he had any other job skills.
“Yes, I’m good with computers,” he replied. I encouraged him to change careers ASAP.
Fellow sheepdogs: stand with your pastor. Watch his back. Many of them serve in the midst of wolves…
WE HAVE A SHEEPDOG SEMINAR IN PUEBLO, COLORADO THIS COMING FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16. Pastor Frank Pomeroy will be with us. He is the pastor of the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas where an angry gunman entered and murdered 26 people in November of 2017 (and injured 20 more). Click here for info.
Church Safety Seminar in Dallas, Texas on December 1st. It will be hands on training. Click here for info.