Our church has a new pastor, and recently he gave us a whole list of changes he'd like to see us make - some very radical. How can we tell him that he needs to slow down or he's going to lose a lot of support? I appreciate his enthusiasm, but not everything he wants to do will work right now. — Z.W.
Be grateful for your new pastor's desire to see your church move in new directions; the surest way for any church to die is for its members (and especially its leaders) to lose their desire to be used of God. The Bible warns, "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).
At the same time, any pastor should be cautious and wise in approaching new projects. If a leader gets too far ahead of his followers, he won't be leading them any longer! In my experience, pastors also must be careful not to impose their own will on their congregation, but to wait on the Lord and seek His will. The Bible says to those who are called to be pastors, "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care ... eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you" (1 Peter 5:2-3).
Most churches have a board of people who are entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the church's activities. Don't hesitate to share your concerns with them, making it clear that you aren't trying to stir up trouble but sincerely want to help.
Then pray for your pastor, and do all you can to encourage him. Unfortunately, criticism comes much easier to us than encouragement - but it shouldn't be that way. Let Paul's plea be your guide: "Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored" (2 Thessalonians 3:1).