Be Committed to the Church, Not the Pastor
I think it's really important that we don't make church only about the lead pastor and the preaching. It can be really unhealthy to build a church around a personality or a celebrity pastor, because what happens if you don't like this pastor, and you go to another church for a better pastor and then you start to disagree with him or leave that church? If the pastor is the only thing that connects you to a church, your commitment becomes a very unstable thing. Lead pastors come and go, and they shouldn't be the focal point of a healthy church.
That said, if you do have disagreements with your pastor, I think it's healthy to address them in some way, and not just let them fester. Too many people sit in pews and constantly have thoughts and complaints about their pastor that they only discuss with their friends. That's unhealthy.
Lead pastors come and go, and they shouldn't be the focal point of a healthy church.
When It's Right to Speak Up
If that's your situation, I would first ask yourself what your complaints are really about. Are they superficial, silly complaints? Do you not like the type of jeans the pastor is wearing? That's just something you need to deal with.
But, if they're substantive problems like thinking the pastor is errant in his theology or is habitually doing things that aren't helpful, then I think you should find a constructive way to raise those issues.
Don't be that guy that always goes up to the pastor right after the sermon with a complaint or criticism. But, I do think there's a place for bringing your concerns before leadership. Address your issues rather than just leave the church, because a lot of humble pastors are open to hearing what congregants think. Helpful feedback can help pastors grow—it can be a good thing.
If you fundamentally dislike the pastor's personality or an aspect about him that isn't going to change, you should consider going to another church because you don't want to be somewhere where you're chronically angry and frustrated by the preaching every week. But, only in rare circumstances should you resort to giving up on the church altogether and leaving.
- 7 Good Reasons to Leave a Church (Brett McCracken)
- 7 Bad Reasons to Leave a Church (Brett McCracken)
- Can We Have Jesus without the Church? (Brett McCracken)