Ten Myths of Ministry

These are good. Geoff Surratt from Seacoast Church put together this list. I have visited Seacoast several times on vacation and have really enjoyed their church. You can really tell that God is moving there. Here are some good ideas to think about.

Ten Myths of Ministry

  1. Being a Senior Pastor is the goal of ministry
    Having been the “Senior Pastor” of 11 angry Texans and a flock of very loud geese (its a long story), I can now attest that Senior Pastor is NOT the ultimate goal of ministry. I call this the goose poop revelation.
  2. A good speaker makes a good Senior Pastor
    After a weekend of speaking at Seacoast someone will come up and say, “When are you going to start a church of your own” After I pat this poor misguided soul on the head and wipe the drool off of their chin I remind them that making speeches on the weekend is not pastoring, its preaching. Being an effective preacher does not necessarily make one a good pastor. It like saying,
    “You’re so good at carving a turkey, when will you become a brain surgeon?” A good speaker makes a good speaker.
  3. A good pastor does all of the care giving at a church
    Pastors should be good at funerals, praying for the sick, and counseling. I’m 0 for 3. I once forgot a ladies name while conducting her funeral, I have told sick people in the hospital that I’d be really depressed if I was sick as they were and when people tell me their problems my first response is to tell they should probably just give up. I’m not much in the care giving category. Fortunately we have pastors and small group leaders at Seacoast who love that stuff and knock it out of the park. I told may family today that if I’m at a tough spot in my life, please go find Pastor Michael, he’s got it dialed in.
  4. Lay people are way too busy to serve in the church
    People are waiting to be asked to serve in the church. Announcements asking for volunteers are worthless. An arm around the shoulder saying, “will you partner with me in changing the world” is what people are waiting for.
  5. The church down the street is our competition
    We spend way too much time worrying about what the Baptists are doing, what we need to think about are what the heathens are doing. Our competition is the beach, the golf course, the football game, the bar. Jesus went to a lot of wild parties to reach the people he came to save, he didn’t worry a lot about what was happening at the synagogue one village over.
  6. A church meets in one location
    Its funny that in 21st century America we’ve decided that every building should be a different church. What an incredible waste of energy and resources. Why should we reinvent the wheel over and over? If Fellowship is effective in Dallas AND Miami, isn’t that a win for the team? We are all on the same team aren’t we? Aren’t we?
  7. Preaching has to be live to be effective
    Another 21st century American idea, live speaking is the key to spiritual growth. The ironic thing is that the people that push this agenda to most are the ones who spend the most time quoting the sermons of dead people. (I’d like some Spurgeon with a splash of Edwards please.)
  8. People have to connect in person with the Senior Pastor
    This goes back to the idea that the Senior Pastor is the goal of ministry, that he is a celebrity that everyone needs to be able to touch in person. People need someone up close and person to connect with to grow spiritually. If that needs to be the Senior Pastor then churches should never get bigger than 10-12 people.
  9. The key to growth is a larger building
    Churches are spending more than $100,000,000 to build bigger buildings. God have mercy on our souls. Can you imagine what could be done with $100,000,000 if it were put into campuses, or new churches or missions? Let’s move on…
  10. You need a building to do church well
    I love stories of churches that grow without owning a building. While there’s a lot to be said for having a home, a church without a building is a cause. The people who attend have a passion for ministry you seldom see anywhere else. I think sometimes building stunt ministry rather than grow it.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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