Have you heard what THEY said? You don’t have to be in ministry very long to learn about the “magic they”. The “they” referred to by a speaker who doesn’t want to own an opinion but still wants to voice it. Ed Young taught me long ago to not pay attention to what “They” say… because “they” is just a pronoun; a substitute for the real noun, the real person, or the real thought. Only someone who approaches you, speaks to you, and owns their thoughts is usually worth hearing.
What they REALLY mean…
One of the lessons I’ve learned while being in the ministry for the past 17 years is sometimes what people say isn’t exactly true…things such as…
(WARNING…you will probably only like this post if you are a pastor or a staff member of a church!)
What They Say: “I’m looking for a church that preaches the Word!”
What They Mean: “I’m looking for a church that preaches MY view of the Word. I think the BLANK translation should be used…I think BLANK should be talked about a lot while BLANK should be ignored. And if you ever stop preaching my view of the Word I will leave and tell others that you don’t preach the Word!”
What They Say: “Lot’s of people have been coming to me and saying they don’t like is…”
What They Mean: “I basically only have three friends…and all of them think exactly like me. The other night we were enjoying a time of self righteousness because, after all, we are right about everything…and were also slandering you (in the form of prayer requests) and thought it would be wise to approach you with our pet peeve. We’ve actually talked to no one else about this but said “lots” because we wanted to validate our dysfunction.”
What They Say: “I’m leaving the church.”
What They Mean: “Beg me to stay. If you will just ask me I will share with you several ways you can compromise God’s vision that He’s given you, thus becoming nothing more than a people pleasing pastor who is more interested in popularity than obedience. If you don’t bow to my demands I will remind you that I tithe and that the church needs my money, reducing you to a mere preaching whore…one who is paid for a service for the pleasure of another person.”
What They Say: “Don’t take this personally…but…”
What They Mean: “I am about to lower the BOOM on you…but you can’t get angry because I told you not to take it personally. Even though you have dedicated your life to this and pretty much invest every ounce of energy you have to this cause…and I think about it once or twice a week…you need to receive my attacks, even when they are personal…and you cannot retaliate because, remember, it’s not personal.”
OKAY, that was fun! I typed it all with a smile. Trust me…I’m not mad or frustrated with anyone…I just thought a pastor or two MIGHT get a smile out of this. 🙂
How true Perry… now everyone breathe.