Peer Pressure in the Church

Are you under pressure at your church to take on roles and jobs you feel ill equipped for? Do you cave in to church peer pressure and undertake a task even though you don’t feel called to it? Should you do this? Or should it be a case of it there’s a need someone should do it and you feel pressured that into giving it a go.

Following on from my blog about children’s ministry and whose responsibility it is to teach children, I received an e mail from a woman remarking on the pressure she is put under by her church to take on children’s ministry when she feels no calling to it.

As far as her church is concerned there is a need so she ought to fill it. I couldn’t help thinking how much better it would be to let her use her skills and talents in the area God has designated for her, using the gifts He has given her, rather than trying to force her to undertake a role for which she feels no calling or joy in doing. Not only is this not fair to the woman concerned, it is cheating the children of someone who would creatively and joyfully fill this role. In essence it is stopping the one God would have to do it from ever taking it on.

I related a similar experience where years ago after teaching Sunday school and kids clubs for many years my husband and I felt we needed to take a break from it. Our daughter had been with us in Sunday school from the time she was six days old. When she grew older yet as a child who needed her sleep, it became impractical to take her to evening church because we were teaching Sunday school in the morning. Yet when we announced our intention to give it up for a time, we were made to feel guilty for what was viewed as leaving our church in the lurch. Our rebuttal was that God would raise up others to take on the task when we resigned.

Were we wrong in our assessment of the situation? Should we have caved into the church peer pressure? I don’t believe so. God saw the work as important. He provided those to take over. The Sunday school ended up with a group of creative teachers and more teachers than when we were teaching. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your church is say ‘no.’

Years later we did both return to children’s ministry but it was with revitalized enthusiasm for the task.

Should you take on a job simply because a need exists, as some churches advocate? Have you ever felt pressured to take on a job in church, which you did not feel God calling to you to do or felt ill equipped for and what was the result? I’d be interested to hear some of you responded in church pressure situations.

Peer Pressure