Dear Millennial Pastor,
I love you.
I really do.
Listen, I’m one of you.
I’m an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, a church that I love deeply, a church that has taught me how to be a Christian, a church that has taught me how to be a man, a church that has taught me how to be a dad, a church that has taught me how to be a friend to the least of these.
The church has fed my family.
The church has supported my family.
The church has loved my family.
The church has become my family.
And for these reasons, plus many more, I get upset when she is criticized, especially by those who are also trying to share the hope of Jesus in their communities, the ones who have also answered the same charge that I have received and answered from a General Superintendent moments before the elders placed their hands on us and prayed, ordaining us into a life of ministry.
Please. Stop. Criticizing. Her.
In a world dominated by pixels and social media it’s far too easy to become frustrated and then look for a way to “blow off steam” by posting something on Facebook or writing an article bemoaning the very church that you say you love in the name of “transparency” or “being heard.”
Give me a break.
Listen, our call as a pastor isn’t to be heard.
I mean, sure we stand up before a congregation each Sunday, proclaiming the love of Jesus, and people will hear us preach, unless they’ve fallen asleep!
But our call isn’t to be heard.
Our call is to simply make Jesus heard and known.
We need to be known as a generation who desires to make Jesus famous, not the generation who likes whining online.
It would do us well to simply shut up and serve God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You are probably thinking that I have no business writing this, because, after all, this is a personal blog, and it will be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
It would appear that I too, am trying to be heard.
I didn’t write this to be heard, I wrote this because I’m burdened.
I’m burdened by how easily and quickly we, millennials, talk bad about The Church that we say we love or how we criticize those who have been placed by God in leadership positions over us.
Is the church perfect?
Are there things that could improve?
But, when we stood before God, a General Superintendent, other elders, and a congregation, answering the call to a lifetime of ministry; we agreed to serve God, serve The Church, uphold The Articles of Faith (If you are in the Nazarene Church as I am) and though it may have never been stated as followed, we agreed NOT to stir the pot because we feel like we deserve answers.
We are entitled to nothing and stirring the pot accomplishes nothing except creating dissension.
I love The Church and I love you.
I really do.
I care about The Church more than you’ll probably ever realize.
And that’s why I’m asking you to please stop criticizing Her and please stop using sweeping blanket statements about how all of us millennial pastors are in an outrage, because honestly, I believe most of us are not.
In fact, I believe most of simply want to see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our churches and communities.
From one broken and unworthy millennial pastor to another,
Michael D. Perkins