Five Marks of a Spiritually Immature Staff Member and What to Do About Them


Introducing Our New May Sermon Series

Introducing Our New May Sermon Series

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  • The church I’m pastoring right now is stuck! The congregation thinks that things never change and thus change can not happen. We are down to 15-20 and will need to look at that possibility for closing if change does not happen.

    They do not want to help outside of themselves giving to those in need in the community for fear of being taken even when explained the Lord is in control and it is his money people miss use.
    They will not change the 50’s sunday school format because it always works?????
    And Music is an issue as usual.

    I have been in 6 conflictive innercity churches this is a small community church with the same issues I found in the city just looking at them from different window or filters. My conclusion right or wrong is that they need to change not the message but the methods and the mindsets. This will not happen in the environment we presently have.

  • Rev. Robert E. Baker

    Keep up the good work. God blexs.

  • Alemayehu Regassa

    I am grateful to this page. I am encouraged by your sermons and posts from the Bible. May God bless you all in general and Pastor Davies in particular!

Five Reasons Why Pastors are Getting Fired Because of Their Social Media Posts

Five Reasons Why Pastors are Getting Fired Because of Their Social Media Posts


By Thom Rainer

“It’s not fair I lost my job,” the pastor told me.

“My church members post a lot worse things than I do on social media. It’s a double standard.”

He’s right. It is a double standard. But it’s reality. And, with greater frequency, more pastors and church staff are losing their jobs because of what they post, particularly on Facebook and Twitter and, to some extent, their blogs.

By the way, churches will not always tell the pastor the specific reason for the firing. But, once we begin to infuriate our church members with our posts, many will find a myriad of reasons to give us the boot.

I recently recommended a pastor to another church. I think very highly of him. Indeed, the search committee chairman seemed genuinely enthused when I recommended him. He contacted me a couple of weeks later with this comment: “We can’t consider him. He’s just too snarky and sarcastic on social media.”

Of course, this pastor was not fired. But he never had a chance to be considered by another church.

So what are pastors posting on social media that is raising the ire of church members? It typically falls into one or more of these five categories:

  1. Generally combative and sarcastic comments. Do you know someone that seems always to be in debate on social media? They always want to prove their points, and they will take you on personally if you disagree with them. There are now a number of former pastors in this category.
  2. Political comments. If you make a political comment in today’s incendiary environment, you will offend someone. The persons you offend may just be the ones who push you out the church.
  3. Taking on church members. I cringe when I see church members posting critical comments against a pastor or church staff member. I cringe even more when the pastor decides to take them on in a public forum. Most readers have no idea the context of the conflict. They just see their pastor acting like a jerk.
  4. Criticizing other people. I have a friend who served as pastor of four churches. He loved criticizing well-known pastors, celebrities, Christian leaders, and others on social media. He was fired from his last church without a stated cause. I believe I know why. And he has gone three years without finding another place in ministry.
  5. Unsavory comments. A pastor or church staff member making lewd or suggestive comments on social media gains nothing, even if it’s a quote from a movie or someone else. The consequences are always negative.

This post is not about pastors losing their prophetic voices. It’s about pastors and church staff losing their ministries because of their failure to control their digital tongues.

“If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself . . . (The tongue) pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.” (James 1:26, 3:6)

Social media is not the place to vent or to wage petty battles.

The consequences are simply too great.


This article was originally published at on March 6, 2017. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at


  • Great message Tom. I’ve had a couple of them respond to me like that as well. I wondered how could they even be in the minsitry.

  • Brian

    I’m constantly amazed at how some “discernment bloggers” who also pastor churches are able to hang on to a congregation. Based on their podcast output (and the research time required to produce it), they have to spend 20-25 hours a week just on their internet activity. How do they find time to care for their sheep?

  • This was such a blessing to read, especially as I consider future ministry opportunities.
    It is a good think to learn from the mistakes of the past. Thanks

How a Pastor Should, and Shouldn’t, Use Social Media

How a Pastor Should, and Shouldn’t, Use Social Media

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GodFAQs — Our New Sermon Series for August

GodFAQs — Our New Sermon Series for August

Dear Pastors,
I’m exciting to announce that the new Sermon Series for August is “GodFAQs.” We are using the common internet term FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to draw people’s attention to frequently asked questions we have for God.

Sermon Titles are:
*Are You for Real?
*Do You Really Love Me?
*Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?
*Why Don’t You Answer My Prayers?
*What Happens When I Die?

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Seven Sentences We Never Expected to Hear in Churches in 2020

Seven Sentences We Never Expected to Hear in Churches in 2020

By Thom Rainer

I can only imagine how we would have responded in 2019 if someone had told us we needed to be prepared not to gather in-person in worship services for several months in 2020. Indeed, if we had been given a glimpse of this crazy year ahead of time, we would have thought the world had gone crazy.

It probably has. 

Look at these seven sentences we hear in churches today. We could have never predicted them. 

  1. “We need to decide if we are going to require masks in church.” If I had heard this sentence would be common in churches, I probably would have wondered if we are having mandatory costume parties in 2020. With the different masks used today, maybe we are.
  2. “We can’t take the offering anymore.” Really? I think many leaders would have freaked out if they heard financial support would become dependent on digital giving. Probably many more would have been surprised how many members were willing to move to digital giving.
  3. “We can no longer have the stand and greet time.” This issue was contentious in many churches before 2020. While many churches held tenaciously to this tradition, it was fading overall. But, imagine if we outright banned it in churches. That has happened for the most part. In case you’re wondering, I’m really okay with this development.
  4. “We need to measure our streaming views over 30 seconds.” For sure, a few churches were doing live streaming services prior to 2020, but they were a distinct minority in number. I don’t think any of us anticipated that streaming views would become a common church metric.
  5. “We need to arrange our worship center seating to accommodate social distancing.” Prior to 2020, I would have thought social distancing was only something we introverts practiced. Now it is something church leaders plan on a regular basis.
  6. “We need to move all of our small groups to meet on Zoom.” If most church members had heard this statement in 2019, they may have wondered if small groups would be in some drug-induced state. Zoom? What is that?
  7. “We will no longer visit church members in the hospital.” This development in 2020 is painful both to those confined to the hospital and to those in the church who really want to care for these members. It is indeed one of the tragedies of the pandemic.

Who would have predicted the articulation of these sentences in churches prior to 2020? It has been a strange year. It has been a painful year.

What unexpected sentences would you add?

This article was originally published at Thom S. Rainer serves as founder and CEO of Church Answers. Dr. Rainer publishes a daily blog and podcast at and can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at


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