If you don't love, take delight, and rejoice over the Church you are in the wrong business leading one. Christ loved her so much, He gave His life for her.
I can remember a few times over the past five years of church planting wanting to give up and quit. I viewed church as an object stealing my husband from me, or an object putting way too much unwanted weight and stress on my marriage and family. Finances weren't happening, people weren't stepping up and serving. The bride of Christ to me didn't look very appealing. What I had forgotten was, the finances of a church, undedicated people, volunteers, what my marriage looked like, the venue, all these things weren't the bride of Christ.
The day to day routine of leading and shepherding a church wasn't the bride of Christ. The bride of Christ doesn't find it's identity in ministry, "churchy" events, and failed expectations. The bride of Christ was me, my son, Sophia, Brady, Dylan, Jim, Chelsea, and so on. The people are the bride of Christ. We have to get down to the basics again. Jesus never intended us to love people as long as "our" church looked the way we wanted it. Finances are awesome, people are dedicated and devoted, body has grown to hundreds, my marriage is amazing, no stress to be found….No, He never promised anything more or anything less, but commanded we love our neighbor.
The bride of Christ isn't your ministry, but the people standing right in front of you. Nothing more, nothing less. Love them well.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor