How a Pastor Should Handle a Problem In the Church

By Ronnie Floyd

Argument

Every church has problems. Because the church is comprised of people, we will have problems to deal with periodically. Therefore, I want to suggest these things to help you deal with problems when they arise in your church:

1. Be Biblical: Handle the problem in a biblical way.

Take a biblical approach to bringing resolution to the problem, which usually involves confronting the problem, not ignoring it.

Be careful listening to the voices of other people so much that you fail to listen to God’s voice through the Scripture. As a pastor, you are to always remind your leadership and staff of the biblical approach. If you do not, perhaps no one else will.

2. Exhibit Leadership: When a problem arises that affects the fellowship of the church, it has now become a problem for you.

As a pastor, you oversee the fellowship. No one else has been called to this leadership. You cannot will problems way or sweep them under the carpet; you have to be the one to lead through them biblically and strongly. Therefore, you must get to the root of the problem so you can lead through it biblically.

3. Gather Your Leadership: When a problem rises up in the church, gather a team of leaders that can walk through it with you.

If you are in a smaller membership church, this means that you must gather your lay-leaders that can walk with you through the problem. You need their input, support, and prayer. They can also help bring balance to your perspective.

If you are in a larger membership church, certain members of your staff team can walk through the problem with you. Depending on the problem and the way your church is governed, you may also need to gather lay-leaders to walk with you. If nothing else, informing them can be helpful in the long term.

4. Bring Your Church Along: While this may be rare, there are times when specific church problems need to be brought before the church.

The level of the problem will determine whether your church needs to be informed publicly. Again, while this may be rare, there are times when we need to bring the church along. Usually, if it comes to this, others are already aware. How the issue is dealt with reflects on the integrity of the church.

Rather than mentioning specific problems, let me just say this: It is through these moments of crisis when leadership is often born. Always be biblical. Seek godly counsel. Be wise. Move slowly when needed. Move quickly if needed. This is why you need others around you as a leader.

5. Be PrayerfulAs a pastor, depending on God is far wiser than depending on yourself.

While prayer cannot keep you problem free, God can use it to deliver you of many problems.Prayer moves the heart of God and the hearts of people. I have prayed away many problems. I have seen God step in and do miraculous things. I have been on the brink of having to deal with a problem, but then God delivered.

Prayer also changes our heart and view of the problem. We become wiser when we pray. We become more compassionate when we pray. We become more courageous when we pray. As a pastor, one of the wisest things you can ever do is pray daily through challenges you are facing.

Pastor, God will see you through. Depend on Him.

photo credit: Simon Blackley

Ronnie Floyd

Ronnie Floyd

Dr. Ronnie Floyd has been a pastor for over 37 years. Since 1986, Pastor Floyd has served as the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas, which has baptized over 17,000 people during his tenure. Cross Church was one of the first churches in America to go multi-site. In June 2014, Pastor Floyd was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has authored over 20 books including FORWARD: 7 Distinguishing Marks For Future Leaders, releasing in 2015.