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November 02, 2009


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Wow...this list seems sooo cynical..Ever think that sometimes people leave churches because they feel like every word they say is judged to the nth degree, and taken the wrong way, based on members of ministry(including pastors) being 'omniscient' and all...I thought only God knows every thought and intent of man...Wow


My friend told me to check out this blog and I'm sorry I did. Opinionated, arrogant, pointless and disgusting attitude are words that come to mind. Come on man, you're better than this.


Where's "Everyone was so nice the first week, but after that, I was shut out and made to feel completely unwelcome everywhere I tried to get plugged in. Everyone looked at the floor when I walked in." ?


I agree with Carly (and Steve, though perhaps not worded so strongly). This list is an unfortunate example of (attempted) humor at the expense of charity and integrity. Disappointing.


I guess #6 is just a matter of how you understand the Great Commission. I think you can focus on outreach while making disciples and I actually believe that's the way Jesus wants it. Discipleship is so underrated in today's flashy, seeker-obsessed churches. The best way to serve a seeker is to promote discipleship, so the people at the church actually live out and believe what they say.

Josh Reich

Thanks for the link love Will. Love the blog and your book.

It is interesting the reactions that this list gets. Usually, the people who are the most upset are ones who are not pastors. I have been a pastor for 8 years and have heard each and every one of these.

will mancini

I appreciate the opposing views. My blog is targeting church leaders in general and pastors in particular. I think from the pastors point of view this list takes on different meaning and is meant to help pastors deal with a real problem today.


So good. Loved this article. I don't think it was arrogant, I think it is truth. Lets remember, whether agreeing or disagreeing, to love. 1cor. 14:1.


When you put things on the World Wide Web(WWW) it is accessible to everyone.
If there's nothing wrong with this list then post it in your church bullentin every week so everyone that visits knows what to expect, and also so current members know what the "church leaders and pastors" 'really' think about them. Maybe that will stop people from making these comments, and then you won't have to hear the same comments again for the next 8 years.

I'm sure your members will appreciate the love.

Kevin Hendricks

I'm a pastor and I've heard these many times over. Many of these statements are the result of a consumer attitude. God builds his church as he sees fit. What we need to do as believers is ask Him where He wants us to serve the body and then stick there until God says differently. We need to see the body of Christ not as a place to be served but as a place to serve.


I am also surprised by all the negative comments and offense taken. I thought every one of those was spot on. I knew the 80s was making a comeback, but this is an unprecedented return to the 'ME" generation.


Count me as another pastor who says this is absolutely right. I think a big problem that we face--one aspect of the consumer culture--is this idea that I come to church in order to be ministered to, not to be led in ministering to others. Sure, there's a need to help each other along the way, but if church is the place I go to be catered to, and the pastor is in charge of catering to me, that's a prescription for permanent immaturity on one side and pastoral burnout on the other.


Heaven help us... I've led congregations for 25 years and i find this good, honest fun. LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE! no wonder people say they love God but just hate all those Christians.... All those who are offended, well, you're showing yourself.



I'm a pastor and I totally relate to this- It's just a challenge to get planted and grow there. You have no idea how many people leave church because they don't feel they have enough control or because they get offended at something small (like a blog)
It's tough seeing that day in and day out.
Thanks for the post- I thought it was great!!!


Maybe, just maybe, the problem isn't the people, but the un-biblical version of "church" we've made. In almost every aspect we have made church about us and not about God. From the silly traditions (a wafer and grape juice?! not a celebratory meal) to the paid pastor/laity divide (pastor is only used 1 time in the New Testament, leaders/elders were always plural no single leader hierarchy, we as believers are all called to be "priests") to the opulent, overwhelmingly wasteful temples we have now (there are several churches where I live who are in the process of several hundred thousand dollar "renovations", never mind the economy, unemployment, etc... If we build it they will be happy/come). I could go on and on with just how far away from 1st century church (Gods intended design) we have come. We wonder why people are leaving and not coming back, why unbelievers only see the hypocritical side of us believers, and why even though we are "polished", "edgy" and "relevant" we can't get around the fact that "church" should never be business and that is mostly what it is. When you have to make the budget it is awfully hard to just give them Jesus (WHAT THEY/US NEED)! Not that God doesn't use the current model, I just wonder when we are going to stop making it so hard on Him? I apologize for the choppy thoughts. Grace and Peace.

will mancini

Thanks for the continued thoughts. There are certainly different ways of defining the problem and many different backgrounds/emotional experiences that we have as we dialogue around this post.

Let me share why this post connected with me. I have been on staff with two churches that reached lost people in significant ways and grew past 3,000 in attendance in 10 years. When this occurs it is very hard to stay focused on a God given vision as a pastor and pastoral team. Why? In my experience reaching people far from God is so messy that people don't like it. Rapid growth creates exponential unmet needs, and more than any one church can usually meet.

My sole focus in my full-time ministry is helping pastors stay focused on their mission and their particular strengths in fulfilling it. If they cave in to people who have a consumer mindset, or a broken view of sanctification (information-centric, for example) much is lost. I feel this pain in the world; this is what God has given me to do. It is very specific.

There are other ways of defining the problem. Yes there are arrogant pastors who don't care for their flock, and yes there are broken models of church. Yes, these are important things to talk about, but not the problem that this post was addressing.

Again, thanks for your dialogue!


Lame attempt at humor. Your comments about reasons # 2, 3, 4, and 6 are pretty absurd. Try again.


Why does every one of these assume the "church hopper" is wrong? It couldn't POSSIBLY be a real issue with the pastor and/or church. Where's the humility? I think this list speaks more about the pastor than the "hopper".


i'm not a pastor, but am on staff at a church, and am, indeed, a reformed church hopper. i find no offense in the post, especially since in my hopping days i will admit to having said some of these. thanks for the post!


My "offense" is not with a consumer-oriented mindset - obviously that's a problem. My offense is that each of the concerns listed by these so-called "church-hoppers" is immediately dismissed as a disingenuous disguise for selfish and misguided motives. I have myself strongly felt a number of the concerns listed, and thus feel that lumping those comments/concerns into the category of "excuses of consumer-minded church-hoppers" unfairly and often inaccurately represents the motives and hearts of people.

For example, could someone not legitimately be concerned with the lack of word-centeredness in a church (i.e., #3)? I've seen many churches that purport to "teach the word," but whose actual engagement with the Bible is little beyond cursory references or surface-level lip-service surrounded by cutesy stories and gimmicky illustrations. If someone were to come from such a church to another and say, "I'm looking for a church that teaches the word" - why in the world should we assume this individual is simply looking for a place where he won't be challenged? I think this is not only ludicrous, but also remarkably uncharitable (and thus, non-pastoral - since pastors are the target audience for this list).

And by the way, I'm a pastor. So the "You only appreciate this list if you're a pastor" line doesn't hold much water with me.


This top-ten list might be best used as a diagnostic tool to measure the ineffectiveness of pastors, not laity. We as pastors must take responsibility for our role in the cultivation of "consumer Chrisianity?" Have we lived and preached the truth? Have we admonished, reproved, rebuked, when necessary? Or have we caved in to the fear of man? Also, are we laying heavy burdens on the laity that we ourselves are not willing to carry? Have we attempted to control people in reaction to church apathy and boredom? Or have we become cynical of the church, fostering a passive-aggressive us vs. them disposition? These are questions we may one day be required to answer before our Lord.

Of course, the laity will experience their own day of reckoning. But, as someone already mentioned, Jesus had compassion for the weak but seemed to work overtime bringing harsh rebuke to church leadership.


this is all your interpretation though.

people are entitled to live how they want. it is their own and own choice at the end of the day.

David Hall



"people are entitled to live how they want. it is their own and own choice at the end of the day."

That's the heart of the consumer mentality that causing so many problems.

on windy days

Fascinating list. To be honest, I have heard them as well. However, I think the difference is that I recognize I have tried to be "all things to all people" and failed.

What I think is important is that a church (and a pastor) "know your niche" and serve and reach them with all of your heart.

I don't give a fig about the Hittites, personally ;) but I do care about growing to be more like Jesus. And just MAYBE the mistakes the Israelites made would relate to us today... Don't want to go out on a limb, though.

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