Some ministers, elders, and other church leaders feel this way for a variety of reasons.
*An elder prays for a couple experiencing marital difficulties. This same church leader spends hours and hours talking and listening to them. Then one day they inform him that they are moving their membership to XYZ Church on the other side of town. They explain, Those people are so committed. Their leaders “get it.”
*A minister speaks at a retreat as a guest resource person for a church in a nearby state. At the end of the retreat, the people in attendance express again and again how grateful they are for his teaching. They talk about how much they learned. They ask for other resources on his topic. On the return flight, this minister thinks about how much he enjoyed the weekend. He wishes he didn’t feel so taken for granted by his home church. However, he does. He reminds himself that he doesn’t serve for anyone’s applause. Nevertheless, he does feel like so many people place little value on his ministry in the congregation.
*One particular couple becomes involved in serving meals to the congregation before mid-week Bible classes. They have invested their lives in numerous younger couples in the congregation for many years. Most recently they volunteered to help serve meals to the congregation thinking this would be a good way to serve an even broader spectrum of the church. They eventually become discouraged after several longtime members begin complaining because one night they ran out of corn. They feel taken for granted.
What can congregations do so that church leaders are less likely to feel taken for granted? What have you seen or experienced that might be helpful?