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Church Leadership

The 10 People in Every Church

March 19, 2014, 8 Comments

I have served as a leader in numerous churches. One of the interesting factors that I’ve noticed is that certain people appear in every church family. For the most part, I don’t think they are malicious but they are often misled. Here are 10 people that I think are in almost every church.

1. Mr. Exaggeration. The person who believes that his life, the church, and the world is on the brink of… something extraordinary. Positive or negative, everything is always about to break loose for this person. They are either ready to step out in the boldest faith possible or ready to cower in the corner in fear.

Obvious meme

source: QuickMeme

2. Captain Obvious. You have this person come up to you every week to tell you something that everyone already knows. They whisper something like: “You may not know this but…” and then hope to impress you with their dazzling discernment abilities.

3. The Victim. Everywhere I go, this person is there and is in a perpetual crisis. Life, people, and the world always seem to conspire against this person. And, they want you to know every gory detail every time they see you.

4. Ministry Barracuda. The church member who is constantly looking for the next ministry or program that the church can do. They love whatever is new and shiny. They devour it at first and then quickly grow weary of it. The only mode of ministry they know is short, unsustainable bursts of speed with a lot of floating in between.

5. Prayer Request Coordinator. Here we have the person who is forever gathering prayer requests and never doing anything about them. They have notebooks piled up with peoples’ needs recorded in them. The sad part is that they have prayed for God to meet the needs of others and have never done anything to help get those needs met. But they do love a good, long, bloviating prayer meeting.

6. Bible Study Junkie. The person who is convinced that the answer to every problem is for everyone to go through the latest and greatest studies. They are convinced that if we will just learn enough then growth will happen, problems in the church will disappear, and the world will beat a path to our doorstep.

7. Monday Morning Caller. Also known as the Monday Morning Quarterback. At the beginning of every work week, you get a call from this person to let you know what you could have done to make the service better, the Bible study groups more engaging, and set the world right for Jesus. They just call to “help” you out.

8. Talent Judge. The worship leader and music minister’s best friend is always around to let us know how the music ought to be played. Masked with great piety, they just want the worship service to be more reverent/engaging/accessible/meaningful/deeper/softer/amazing. It’s like having Simon Cowell show up in your life every week.

9. The Historian. Every church has the person who remembers everything we’ve ever done and how it was done and why it was done and who did what to whom. They are great at digging up the past and terrible at looking toward the future.

10. The Pastor’s Best Friend. It is the person who is always there to let you know that they are here for you, love you, and will let you know “what’s really going on around here.” They are oftentimes the most dangerous person around for two reasons. First, they have a personal agenda that is different from the church’s vision and will want to help you see the wisdom of their counsel. Secondly, they become your “hype man” so that you end up leading with your ego completely unchecked.

All I can add is: Be careful out there.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Worth a Look 3.20.14 – Trevin Wax March 20, 2014 at 12:05 am

    […] Philip Nation – The 10 People in Every Church: […]

  • Reply James March 20, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I have pastored 7 churches and helped at least 5 more. All of these are true.

    • Reply Allan hedberg March 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Maybe we need them all in the church. They all play a role with some good in each. In moderation, they all can be helpful in some way

  • Reply The Ten People in Every Church » ZIONICA.com March 21, 2014 at 7:29 am

    […] Read more at Philip Nation […]

  • Reply Allan hedberg March 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Maybe we need them all in the church. They all play a role with some good in each. In moderation, they all can be helpful in some way

  • Reply Allen Calkins March 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

    WOW! Some very sensitive people out there. Sarcastic humor is just that…things stated in a little bit of an ‘over the top’ way top make a point. This list does have a purpose. It helps pastors be leaders who are ‘wise as serpents but harmless as doves’. It is important for a pastor/leader to be able to spot other people’s ‘agendas’ in order to know how to respond to them and help them. It is just not wise to assume every communication is sincere, heartfelt and innocent. BTW, Kay, I liked your list too.

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