After church tonight I’m meeting with the church committee that some churches or pastors might consider, “The Complaint Department”. In the UMC, we call it the PPRC and it’s the committee each church has that relays complaints/concerns of the congregation to the pastor. It’s also a group that, in theory, the pastor can confide in with hurts and complaints of his or her own. Sometimes the concerns of the congregation have merit and sometimes they do not. Sometimes it’s a valid suggestion to help the pastor better serve or glorify Jesus and/or lead His people. Often times it’s a complaint that someone’s personal expectations are not being met. (Please know this: This is is no way a commentary on our church or on our PPRC, but it is a generalization).
This morning I saw a note on my desk I had written some time ago. It’s a quote from Pastor Matt Chandler and it says, “Few things are as soul-sucking or life crushing as when we seek the approval of others”. Pastors must be careful not to gauge their worth in the compliments or complaints of the congregation. I say this acknowledging that pastors must also be careful not just schlep off hard truths spoken in love by a brother or sister in Christ. Likewise, you must not gauge your worth based on the opinions of others or even a negative opinion of yourself.
If you could only see yourself as God sees you! He knows exactly who you are and knows exactly what you’ve done and He could not love you any more. He wants you and me to turn to Him. He doesn’t want us looking for validation from a congregation or from a pastor, from a boyfriend or girlfriend, or even in what we think about ourselves. He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for you. And Jesus thought and thinks you are worth dying for. If you can just bring yourself to believe that, it will change your life. You won’t be crushed under the weight of trying to please anyone else.
Francesca Battistelli sings a great song of finding your worth in Jesus: