Problematic Parishioners: Help has Arrived
by Jacob Steiner
Problematic parishioners. Every church has them. They really can be great people, and can be great for your church, too. But they have a personality trait or two that they manifest all too often that makes them difficult to get along with, and taints the name of Jesus. Here are a few examples:
Sister Sue. Every church has a Sister Sue. She has a stellar attendance record. She volunteers. She may even be a department head. A perfect parishioner, right? Well, not so fast. You see, Sue is easily offended…and EVERYONE knows it. While she has her favorite people in church that she likes to fellowship with, she also has several people whom she avoids — and talks about behind their backs. You’ll be sorry if you cross Sister Sue.
Brother Ben. Every church has a Brother Ben. He’s unbelievably knowledgeable in his volunteer role. He’s a tither. He loves Jesus. He’s been at your church forever. So, what’s wrong with Brother Ben? He’s passive-aggressive and a little self-righteous. And when tested, Brother Ben can respond in anger. He can be the nicest guy one moment, and lash out in an outburst of anger without warning. He’s really a great guy. Well…most of the time.
Deacon Dan. He knows the church inside-out. He oversees the church computer system. His whole family has attended the church since the 80s and everyone knows him. Sounds great, right? Well, hold on. You see, Deacon Dan craves respect and honor, fishes for compliments, and when he's not tooting his own horn, he's bragging on his family. And if anyone sits in his self-appointed seat in the sanctuary, life is about to get really hard for them.
HOW MOST PASTORS RESPOND—
Most pastors are well-versed in believing the best in their members and overlooking bad behavior; even if it is habitual and toxic. You’d like to advance them to a bigger role within your church, but you know it’s just a matter of time before they act out with their...(ahem)...“issues.” So, what do most pastors do? Nothing. Most pastors will rationalize that their problem member's good behavior far outweighs their bad behavior (a form of denial). They hope and pray, but these people never really change. Privately, these pastors secretly hope that they don’t act out in front of other members, guest speakers, new believers, or even worse, visitors.
The problem lies in their Belief Deceptions. What is a Belief Deception? Belief Deceptions are deep-rooted, unChrist-like behaviors (sins), that most believers acquired prior to giving their lives over to the Lord, which they continue to live with. Some of the most common Belief Deceptions are pride, anger, fear, offense, and self-righteousness. (Click here for a more comprehensive listing of Belief Deceptions.)
Innovative Church & Worship Consulting has developed an 8-week (one night per week) series of teachings called Christian Boot Camp, which focuses on the Truth of God’s Word, the lies of satan, and gives practical solutions in uprooting these deep-seated behavioral issues of people within your church — permanently! This 8-week curriculum covers 16 total Belief Deceptions that will truly transform your church!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Your church will designate an instructor whom we’ll personally train. The instructor will be provided with material for each teaching (about 40 minutes of material per Belief Deception), and the corresponding PowerPoint slides. Each night’s agenda should break down like this:
Welcome: 5 minutes
1st Teaching: 40 minutes
Break: 5 minutes
2nd Teaching: 40 minutes
TOTAL: 90 minutes
You don't have to just tolerate and endure problematic parishioners anymore. Christian Boot Camp has helped many churches, and we can help put your church on the fast track to health!