This dude is from one of those missional congregations but he’s right on the money with this one:
10. The first-time visitor who tells you “I loved it! I’ll be back next week!”
If they come back the next week, you can think about trusting them. If they come back a third week in a row, go for it.
9. The person who has lots of ideas about what should be done but has minimal investment in doing them.
If they’re pretty free with what you should do to fix whatever it is they think is wrong, but they don’t have any actual skin in the game, they’re just a polite whiner.
8. The pastor whose personal stories are always about successes.
Never trust a dude who never admits failure.
7. The pastor who never says “I don’t know.”
Or for that matter, anyone who never says “I don’t know.”
6. The person who’s always reminding you what the previous pastor did or what the church used to be like.
5. Anyone that you can’t remember ever encouraging you.
Some people are just pessimists/cynics. They’re not natural encouragers. And that’s okay. Jesus loves them too, and the Church needs them. But if they’ve never substantively encouraged you, put ’em on mute.
4. The person who says lots of things about you but very little to you.
That one kinda goes without saying. Don’t accommodate passive-aggression and don’t trust cowards.
3. The person who’s carrying a banner against some other group of people.
They can’t stand the grumpy old people, they can’t stand the weird artsy people, they can’t stand the rambunctious children, they can’t stand the wild teenagers, they can’t stand churchy people, they can’t stand unchurchy people, whatever. Some people won’t shut up about “those people.” These people are “those people” and their attitude is toxic.
2. The pastor who doesn’t write his own sermons, doesn’t disciple anybody, doesn’t do any hospital visits, and doesn’t do any counseling.
What is this person? He’s not a pastor. Tell him to get a job.
1. The pastor who rarely talks about Jesus.
These are 10 people in the church you shouldn’t trust. But they are 10 people you should nevertheless love.