At one point I was providing pastoral support and encouragement for three different staff members from local megachurches. All of them were in major staff positions, running departments that served hundreds, even thousands of people, but only one of them had even met his lead pastor.
Every one of their churches had great counseling departments. But staff members felt like they couldn’t use them for fear that word would get out that something was wrong.
So they called me. And I’m grateful they did. In our times of prayer and conversation we were able to see God do some wonderful restorative work, enabling them to either go back into ministry with renewed vigor, or make wise decisions about what to do next.
3. Marrying Your Members
I once heard the pastor of a megachurch brag about how, now that his church was big, he didn’t have to ‘waste his time’ performing weddings any more. To a certain degree, I get where he was coming from. Weddings are tedious after you’ve done a few, especially if you don’t have a close relationship with one of the families.
Like the counseling centers mentioned in the previous point, megachurches have care pastors who perform wedding ceremonies – sometimes hundreds a year. But that’s exactly the problem. When your wedding is one of hundreds being performed that year by a staff pastor, it’s hard for it to feel special.
So a lot of people call the pastor of the small church they used to attend before they moved away. And we’re glad to show up.
4. Burying Your Members
Small church pastors do funerals for members of megachurches for the same reasons we do their weddings.
At times of deep grief, people want a pastor who knows more about the life of the deceased than what they read in their obituary.
5. Providing New (Transfer) Members
If, like me, you pastor a small church in a highly populated area with lots of big churches around, you may have a few folks in your church who used to attend a bigger church, but came to your congregation for a more intimate worship environment. But they are vastly outnumbered by those moving in the opposite direction.
While it can be frustrating to train, counsel, marry and bury family members only to see them go back to the megachurch, it’s a serious gut-punch when it happens with someone you led to faith in Christ.