Open Blogging

You may also like...

23 Responses

  1. Steven says:

    I am *this* close to resigning my role as assistant pastor at our church for a number of reasons (in no particular order) :

    – numerous mature and respected saints have left the church as of late due to lack of confidence in the lead pastor and questioned his running the church. A few of these people were on the board (albeit short lived as they resigned from the position rather abruptly).

    I’ve spoken to both sides on my own without prompting from either side simply because I had hoped to see if any reconciliation was possible. Also, I simply wanted both sides of the story. But the lead pastor only blames them and states he was done wrong…and he is the victim here.

    I’ve spoken separately a few of those who left and they state concerns of stewardship of money, dedication of ministry and not being in line with the lead pastors “vision.”

    I lean more toward their story than his, (un)fortunately . Not to mention when so many mature Christian’s have issues, it gives more weight to that side. After all…how could so many mature Christian folk be way off base?

    -second: due to being treated more as a pastoral assistant instead of assistant pastor. Instead of ministry duties, I get to remind the lead pastor of things (examples: appointments, that this Sunday is communion Sunday, to get Sunday prayer meeting started on time) and be a support for him and his family (cheerleader).

    I’ve offered to do more for the actual ministry (website, start an AM study, and even be a temp fill in for a non-existent mens ministry) but all I’ve gotten is a “I’ll pray about it.”

    -Third, a few weeks ago I posed a question (here on PxP) about wife working and dad stay at home. It was cowardly, perhaps, because here I was purposefully vague about who it was for…but in fact it was for our family. We were doing it and after searching scripture and weighing the options/outcomes we decided it was a good move and not against scripture. Posting the question here was simply to see if there was anything I had missed or hadn’t thought of.

    We met with the lead pastor before we made it official to inform him (after all I’m the “Assistant Pastor”) and he was on board and stated that more ministry opportunities would follow for me. My wife and I were excited…finally, after some 18 years a door had FINALLY opened for my calling.

    A week or so later he contacted us stating that “many people in the church” thought it wasn’t a good idea for me to not be the “primary breadwinner.” He seemed to side with them. Boy, we’re we livid but it showed a side we’d not seen before.

    -there are a few other reasons, (philosophy of ministry among them, the US being a “Christian nation,” “republican=Christian) but I’ll not say more on these and a few others that are simply on the more unimportant issues but still color ones outlook on life and Christianity.

    I can’t make myself pull the trigger on it (leaving) because:

    – there are several great folk in the congregation, and my kids have many friends there already. People leaving a church tends to end things abruptly…even outside the building.

    -The prospect of that Starting over (yet again), really stinks. Over the years it happened a few times and always stunk. Now with kiddos attached to other kiddos, it doesn’t make it easier.

    -my wife (who I talk with often about these things…God has given her an AMAZING mind) believes as there has been no sin proven against the Lead pastor, there is no reason to separate (she has been on volunteer staff for 3+ years). If there was sin, then she’d be the first one out the door, I assure you. She does, however, totally share my concerns detailed above.

    -I still have hope that he will resign, as he’s publicly stared on several occasions that he’s had his doubts about his calling to lead pastor of this place. He’s also told me this privately as well.

    -I really feel a calling toward pastoral ministry and have several years of training/discipleship behind me and this is the closest I’ve been to that calling. To just walk away now would cut off that possibility from this “non denominational” denomination. All those years down the drain.

    -I actually feel for the lead pastor. It’s not an easy role and can be quite draining and disheartening. I don’t necessarily think he’s a bad guy nor a false teacher, but I question his call to ministry.

    -I don’t want to separate simply because I’m not being treated right, so to speak (see the second point at the wayyy top of this post that went much longer than I intended), but Yet the role I was given is quite different than the role Im fulfilling.

    Ive met with the lead pastor 1-on-1 about a few (not all) of these issues with no satisfactory answers provided and only vague assurances. I suspect another meeting will soon be forthcoming.

    I suppose I’m posting this for input/thoughts and perhaps something I’ve not considered. I only ask that, if anyone has anything to say/ask/add that you understand that this is a very difficult decision.

    Apologies about the length and (to my mind) ramblings. This went on much longer than I initially intended but then I began to “think out loud” as I typed. I’m not trying to whine or whatnot…I’m simply trying to work this out.

  2. Em says:

    IF the pastor is not a teacher, IMV it is time to find anther house of worship…..
    If people are.leaving because he BB is a boring teacher? ? ? Dunno

  3. Xenia says:

    I guess the humblest thing to do would be to stick around and be this guy’s servant until he leaves. Is this a paid position or is your wife the only one with an income? I think I agree with your wife that unless the pastor commits a definite sin, not just a vague “He’s a jerk,” I would recommend staying around for a bit longer anyway to see what develops. If it’s absolutely unbearable, then do what is best for your family.

  4. bob1 says:

    This is chilling:

    “Russia Planning Post-Invasion Arrest and Assassination Campaign in Ukraine, U.S. Officials Say”

    Make no mistake about it — Putin and his ilk will murder and dispose of Zelensky and his people.

    History proves it.

    God help us.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/02/18/russia-ukraine-arrest-assassination-invasion/

  5. Michael says:

    I’ll be the contrarian.

    First the “America= Christian nation” and “republican=Christian” points are heresy,so the saints there have limited discernment.

    Second, if God hasn’t placed you in a pastorate for 18 years, you likely have a desire, not a calling.

    Most of us who were called were drafted soon thereafter.

    Perhaps your experience there would be different if you didn’t believe you were called to pastoral ministry but were simply called to serve.

  6. Xenia says:

    First the “America= Christian nation” and “republican=Christian”<<<

    Yeah, this is troubling, but to what degree is this preached? If the pastor preaches it all the time and acts on it, THAT might be a valid reason to leave. Most evangelical churches believe some form of this, to varying degrees.

  7. Steven says:

    EM: I’m sorry but you lost me on the “BB” thing. Help?

    Xenia: unpaid. My wife is sole income while I school our kids and handle all that other stuff.

    Michael: I appreciate the contrarian questions, actually.

    Let me clarify something about the lead pastor: he has never preached those things (republican=Christian” and US=Christian nation)but I know he has personal beliefs (and a “Trump Won” flag) of the sort.

    I’m also suspect we (you and I) define the terms differently and I’ll have to be more cautious about how I phrase it from this point on. I may have inadvertently painted an inaccurate picture.

    Perhaps a better way would be to state that he believes the US was founded as a Christian nation (nothing more than that, and certainly nothing eschatological or replacement theology) and that the Republican Party best/closest holds to Christian values (and after personally discussing it with him, he’s adamant about that view and finds it difficult to accept that a Christian would vote Democrat).

    As for the saints who remain…yeah I could not agree more on “limited discernment.”

    Now, granted that we don’t know each other and perhaps (from your perspective) I could have all kinds of pride (or other) issues, let me address the past 18 years.

    Now, without going into long(er) and potentially boring stories of my personal history since conversion, I’ll only say that those 18 years (by no means a long time) were spread out between a several nations, a few continents, and many cities in which I did my utmost to serve faithfully and humbly (can I say that without sounding prideful?-ha!) for the time I was with each location.

    After about 13 of those 18 years, we found ourselves where we are currently. Since that time I have been able to serve (granted: only for the past 4-5 years) the church we currently serve/attend.

    I will continue to consider your last point, regardless. However, I’ll end by saying I’m not so blind nor self-absorbed that the point has escaped my own personal self-reflections

  8. Michael says:

    Steven,

    There’s nothing wrong with a desire to be in the pastorate…but I have a problem with people thinking they have a calling as if it were a mystical experience when it usually is just being attracted to the position.

    The testimony of many I know that are in ministry is that there are many things they would rather do, but feel a spiritual compelling to stay where they are. They would rather do something else, but God has called them indeed.

    My advice to those who think they want to go into pastoral ministry is to find anything else they would or can do…and if they arrive at the end of that process and a door opens…then they might be on the right track.

    Pastoral selection in non- denoms is often as messy and corrupt a process imaginable…

  9. Em says:

    The BB was inserted by this ipad, not me. Sorry Steven

  10. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steven, it is a gut-wrenching decision. Hang in there until God releases you. It’s hard to say how you’ll know when God releases you, but I think you’ll know. I was at my previous church for 10 years. Prayed about leaving for the final year. One morning I woke up and just knew. My wife walked through, looked and me and said “Its time to go isn’t it?”. I knew it was. God had something else ready for me immediately. Not that its been easier, or more successful, or anything like that. Honestly, all you can do is follow Him, and for me, that has often been one footstep at a time. I feel for you, man.

  11. Steven says:

    Thank you for the input, all.

    ‘Em; lol. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Michael: first of all…thank you for your time and replies. I do appreciate it.

    Now, what about guys who have no other desire but the pastorate? Guys who have been at other things over the years but (in the “end”), the compelling of the pastorate still overwhelms?

    As for the selection process, I hear ya although you most certainly have greater personal experience with and knowledge of it. As for my part, the “getting your buddy a job” process of it absolutely has not set right with me…at least Not after the first few years when I began to experience (first hand) some of the negative results of that “process.” There are several good ones out there, but..,,

    Never mind the lack of educational foundations beyond listening to old podcasts/teachings.

    I actually feel like I’m “outgrowing” the nondenominational scene, actually.

    Josh: man, it sure seems like you “get it.” Thank you for your time and the words. I appreciate your empathy, here.

  12. Nathan Priddis says:

    Steven. You can’t fight city hall. The facts you laid out are not going to change.
    When it comes to talk of resignation, a Senior leader isn’t going anywhere till the situation changes. That might be a year, or ten.

    *You are a pastoral assistant.
    *You have no power to change anything.
    *Getting food on the table is goal one..through hundred and one.
    * If working would be somehow be personal and professional development for your wife, that she desires…other opinions don’t count. What other opinions?

  13. Officerhoppy says:

    Steven
    If your not in alignment with you pastor/boss there will be tension and dissatisfaction on both your parts. For what it’s worth, I’d rather resign than get fired. I’d want to leave while both parties could be reasonable rather than be angry. I might start praying and shopping for a new position while still employed at your present post.

    But i tend to be more pragmatic than spiritual.

  14. Em says:

    Hmmmm. Pragmatism v. Spiritual? In God’s sight they just might be the same…. Dunno? ? ?

  15. pstrmike says:

    I’m late to this party in regards to Steven’s situation, but I tend to agree with Michael on this one.

    “The testimony of many I know that are in ministry is that there are many things they would rather do, but feel a spiritual compelling to stay where they are. They would rather do something else, but God has called them indeed.”

    I have a few conversations with pastor friends who tell me this. Most of those who I know personal who tell me they are “content” in the ministry have arraignments of care and benefits that far exceed most working professions. No granted, that is not every pastor I know, but it amazes me how many of them openly talk about the privilege as if it is a “normal,” expected compensation.

    I don’t think it’s abnormal for a pastor to express doubts in their calling. It’s part of spiritual warfare, and it needs to be addressed by the pastor with someone like a spiritual director.

    Pastoral ministry, particularly an assistant, is usually difficult in what might be described as the best situations, but when dysfunction is present, either with the pastor, or the general disposition of the congregation, it makes life even worse. I think one has to give great consideration when talking with too many “mature saints” who have issues with the pastor and listen to their assessments. Notice I said “too many.” I don’t know how to underline with html code. They may not be as “mature” as they present themselves. OR they may in fact be calling it accurately. See if you see consistencies with concerns and behavioral patterns, both their own and the pastor.

    It sounds like you have been a Christian for a long time, do you not have discernment yourself to see if these are signs and behavioral patterns that you can either live with or need to move on from? I understand that these decisions are themselves a process—which is what I see you are doing here—but it also sounds like you have more than enough information to shape your decision. It sounds like you will pay some type of price with either decision you make

    It sounds like the pastor has different views of what your position entails compared to your own aspirations. There are some reasons for this, and I suggest you explore those answers. It almost sounds like you are hoping he steps down and you get his slot, which may or may not be the case. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    It sounds like you work part time (for free) at the church and school you kids part time. Have you considered finding a paying job that might give you a more positive sense of purpose and evaluate your church situation from that perspective? This might be better for you in light of you sharing that your wife doesn’t want to leave.

    I have a friend whose wife loved the church they attended. Then the church got a new senior pastor and he made a lot of changes. He didn’t care for the new pastor so much, but his wife was dug in and didn’t want to leave. He brought his iPad to church and read a book. Sometimes you got to do what you got to do. They recently moved out of that area……..

  16. brian says:

    I will admit I have had some dreams. This one comes to mind.
    https://youtu.be/f0PGkDY2EXc
    We argued, helped, and eventually came to a simple agreement, its not that simple and we need to grow past ourselves. I believe it can, it wont but I do believe it can. I would love to take a ride with u folks down such a trek. Imagine the healing.

  17. Captain Kevin says:

    Sometimes, technology scares me. This sort of thing has happened before, but here’s the most recent. A couple days ago, I was reading comments on one of the Bob Coy threads here. All of a sudden, Bob Coy shows up in my FB list of “People You May Know.” Seriously? Is this a coincidence or is big brother really watching?

  18. Steven says:

    I would just like to express my gratitude to everyone who replied and gave “food for thought.” I’ve gotten something from each of you, which is what I had hoped.

    So for that, I do thank you.

    The lead pastor had a face-to-face conversation again the other day. It was one of the roughest conversations I’ve had to have that regarded my personal thoughts of something I was directly involved in.

    It was rough.
    It got ugly from both ends.

    Let’s see what happens next.

    Thank you all, again

  19. Josh the Baptist says:

    Might be time Steven. Always want to go out on the best note possible.

  20. Em says:

    There are – IMHO – too many today who think that their standing with God, their obedience to Him, is done once they’ve accepted His redemption…..
    Reading Psalm 103 this AM reminded me that the fear/respect for God IS the beginning of wisdom….
    As a favorite pastor of mine (who must remain nameless here) used to say, “keep short accounts with God!”. Most of us need a daily time of confession, requesting His forgiveness..
    God keep

  21. JimmieT says:

    Thanks Em.

  22. DH says:

    Captain Kevin, Unless you log out of Facebook they are tracking the sites you visit, even with a VPN. They may still be able to even after you log out.

  23. Steven says:

    Josh,

    I see your point but I think it’s not yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Phoenix Preacher

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading