The Next Pastoral Exodus

You may also like...

61 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Since the emergence of the church growth movement, there has been a quest by church leaders/pastors to offer “relevant” teaching, programs and worship.

    Given where we are as a nation, many churches will (have or are) pressure their leaders/pastors to adjust their teaching to be “relevant” and satisfy the desires of their membors and visitors, or to reach out to others. As a result, American Christendom will further deviate from historic Christianity, until it is unrecognizable.

    I think faithful pastors should understand and remember that the church (1) is not an arm of the state, (2) is not the overlord of the state, (3) is not a partner with the state. The “go” in Matthew 28 is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. He alone is Lord.

  2. Michael says:

    Faithful pastors will not make it in churches that demand fealty to political parties and ideas.

  3. LInn says:

    And then there are the churches where the pastors set the political agenda with a capital T. I know of too many of those.

  4. filistine says:

    “Those who still have the call to ministry on their lives will have to find other ways to fulfill that calling, which may end up blessing their communities in a different way.” Perhaps that will take the shape of a second or third career for those who left ministry or never entered some time ago who, as they reach retirement will find ministry and faithful handling of the Bible and ministerial duties to be a fine way to live their final years. One plus to this is most won’t require a salary which can be either the necessity to maintain for younger pastors or a leverage point utilized by a board or influential members to keep pastors “in line.” Maybe we duffers will be the tool to assist churches through a dark period.

  5. Michael says:


    “Maybe we duffers will be the tool to assist churches through a dark period.’

    This is what I believe the Spirit is saying to me…and I’m saying it to my fellow duffers…

  6. Shawn says:

    Pardon my ignorance but what is a duffer especially in regards to the pastoral ministry.

  7. Michael says:


    There are lots of folks with training and experience in “ministry” who find themselves outside the institutional church for a myriad of reasons.

    They support themselves with another vocation…but are still pastors, teachers, and deacons at heart.

  8. pstrmike says:

    I’m hearing about more COVID cases on multiple fronts. Election seasons have always been difficult to maneuver, but this one may be one for the ages. I’m fortunate that I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is important to me that I do well in that process.

  9. Alan says:

    I doubt the covid rise will amount to much. The variants weaken. But as a casualty of the first wave – your prediction could indeed prevail.

    Conspiracy theories
    Cop riots
    Constitutional riots
    Con-men aka prophets
    Conflicts over all that

    There was no strength left.

    Since then
    I found my vocation being fulfilled in more ways than before. So I rose again outside the camp.

    Let Us Go To Him Dread

  10. Michael says:


    We may need you to help show the way for others if I’m right…we will find new things to riot over (or old ones with a twist) and the rest are all still with us. The tinder is dry and the wind is warm…

  11. Pineapple Head says:

    I’ve been in Whitefish this week. Amazed to see the Rozell’s burger joints still in business around the Flathead Valley. Very sad this destructive couple seems to have weathered their storm. I thought for sure residents here would put them out of business.

  12. Terrie Beede says:

    At least part of the answer for the road ahead lies in careful attention to Paul’s pattern for ministry. Paul does not appear to have been an “occasional tentmaker” – on the contrary, this appears to have been a normal pattern for him, and an example he intended for other ministers to follow. He tells the leaders in Ephesus that they are to follow his example. He says the same thing to the Thessalonians in general. He tells the Corinthians that he does this so that the ministry may be preserved blameless. When Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus to send the crowds, who were there to be ministered to, away to provide for their own needs, Jesus said “You provide for them”. While the heart of the congregation should be to provide for their leaders, the reality is that in so many situations, they are unable to, yet they still need pastors and teachers. I have developed the conviction that, at least for the present distress, this is a vital path forward for the Church.

  13. Terry says:

    A friend of mine is being wound up by talk radio. “Jill Biden has Covid and now they are going to make us all wear masks again. I refuse to go back to wearing masks again. Can you believe this s***?”

    Even if this current wave blows over as no big deal, the two herds are being corralled into their respective pens. I am actually becoming fearful for God’s people who proudly choose to be in one of those pens. They might forfeit being in God’s remnant.

  14. Steven says:

    “Those who still have the call to ministry on their lives will have to find other ways to fulfill that calling, which may end up blessing their communities in a different way.

    The remnant church isn’t going to be able to afford buildings or pastoral salaries…and will be despised by many of their brethren.

    Those of us who are still in some form of ministry need to reckon now with what’s coming…and what price we’re willing to pay to continue on faithfully.”

    Nailed it.

  15. Steven says:

    By the way, is there a “Duffer Society” where I can find like-minded folk?

    It gets lonely out there.

  16. filistine says:

    duffers are old folks–I’m 65 and still in my career saddle as a teacher, likely for another year or so. I attended Bible College and have a BTh–Bachelor of Theology with emphasis in church ministry. I was ordained and served as a youth pastor initially, but was fired. I worked in para-church ministries for awhile, but needed a real income to support my family. I sought pastoral roles and came up empty. Teaching has been my career for quite a while now. I thought I would be a career pastor, but it was outside my control. Now that I’m a duffer, my services might be in demand as the population of pastors diminishes. There are a lot of factors at play that haven’t been spoken of, but it will be intriguing to see how this unfolds.

  17. Michael says:


    “the two herds are being corralled into their respective pens. ”


  18. Michael says:


    Whitehead is a big tourist town and that’s where most of the support comes from…along with the fact that some will always take the side of the predators…

  19. Michael says:

    Terrie Beede,

    I think you have illuminated part of what moving forward will look like…well said.

  20. Michael says:


    I’m hoping we can use this site for sharing information and experiences…we’re all a little lonely these days.

  21. Michael says:


    “Now that I’m a duffer, my services might be in demand as the population of pastors diminishes.”

    Or the sheep are scattered as the hirelings do their twisted work…

  22. Steven says:


    I’m 51, is that too young to be a duffer? 😀

    Similar to you, I have the training and experiences and even served as pulpit supply and interim pastor on a few occasions.

    I have (what I thought) was calling but none of the “non-denominational denominations” nor the major denominations seem to agree.

    I’m very close to becoming a “None,” though (There’s a term that isn’t used much anymore). If it wasn’t for my 9 and 11 year old kids, I would be by now.

  23. Michael says:


    If I’m right, you’ll have more to do in the next few years than you want.

    Sharpen up and be ready…

  24. filistine says:

    Steven–duffer can also be a mindset… 🙂

  25. UnCCed says:

    And then there’s those who should Exodus, long ago.
    Those that preach another Gospel.

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    Regardless of our age, or our stage in ministry, we would probably do well to follow the advice of John Wesley…

    “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.”

    It may be that the time of large churches and grand displays has come to an end. There is much to be said for simplicity of action and purity of motive. It will be a remnant, but the remnant will bear the truth. In the end, that is all that matters…

  27. UnCCed says:

    It removed my link to the AP story about “Michael Flynn’s ReAwaken roadshow recruits ‘Army of God.”
    It’s horrifying.

  28. Em says:

    My concern is that the average Christian doesn’t know exactly what “Holy” means…..
    We need teachers IMHO

  29. Jean says:

    “My concern is that the average Christian doesn’t know exactly what “Holy” means…..”

    The answer is Jesus! (1 Cor. 1)

    I agree and believe that would be a great starting point.

    I don’t want to be snarky, but if American Christians just understood and acknowledged our sinful nature and complete dependence on the Savior Jesus Christ, no more and no less than our neighbors, we would make far better witnesses than what our evangelical thought leaders are currently promoting.

  30. Steven says:


    “If I’m right, you’ll have more to do in the next few years than you want.

    Sharpen up and be ready…”

    The duality of emotions involved in that statement is immense. Always glad to “be in service” to my Lord, but the reason for it is absolutely tragic.

  31. Steven says:


    😀 😀 😀

    “I’m in a duffer…state of mind.”

  32. Steven says:

    Michael and UnCC:

    That link is

    thank you for posting it.

  33. Officerhoppy says:

    Y guess is, I’m close to- if not actually- the oldest duffer pastor here.

    I don’t know how to process the OP. I was a lead pastor for over 20 years. 10 before that in a parachurch organization and as an asst. pastor.

    I always did my best to be biblical in my teaching and my behavior. I worked hard to stay true to the text

    I didn’t feel is was my role to impose my will into the ministry but we truly worked as a team

    But since my retirement, and even during ministry, I was seldom asked to speak at events.

    That may be mostly because I didn’t tow the CC party line. I dunno

    But I’m one of the old duffers that could help a young pastor or start up ministry, but it seems no one is interested in what I’ve learned.

  34. Captain Kevin says:

    That Reawaken America Tour is some scary $h/t.

  35. Michael says:

    The next phase of ministry will have nothing to do with speaking or events…it will be about helping small groups of people stay faithful…and helping each other stay faithful…

  36. filistine says:

    I think that is an important distinction to make–this next phase will require recalibrating our thinking, expectations, and practices. I don’t think it means reinventing the wheel, but a reexamination scripturally, historically, and prayerfully (spirit led) to best minister away from the morass of failed efforts.

  37. Michael says:


    The obvious template would be the early church (before 325) but I think it will be more familial in nature.

    The only goal will be the strengthening and sustaining of communities of faith.

    I’ve been actually (and accidentally) preparing for these times for a while…that’s a whole ‘other story.

    I’m hoping it will also give me an excuse to hand out with fil and his wife…

  38. Em says:

    Michael @8:51
    I think you are right on that….
    we have become offensive to so many

  39. Muff Potter says:

    Captain Kevin wrote:
    “That Reawaken America Tour is some scary $h/t.”

    Yer’ darn tootin’ it is.
    It happened in Germany in the 1930s.

  40. Michael says:

    ,Not the only correlation between those times and now…

  41. Martinus says:

    If we all choose not to comply with masking, “vaccines,” and lockdowns, there won’t be a storm to weather. The power is in our hands.

  42. Terry says:

    Martinus – What you are saying sounds like “If everyone agrees with me, we will have peace.” I don’t think we need any more lockdowns, but I help care for my 90+ year old in-laws. I only see masks as a way to keep me from possibly spreading Covid to them. For me, wearing a mask is not virtue signaling any more than not wearing a mask is another virtue signaling.

  43. Michael says:


    Thank you, that’s exactly what he’s saying.

    I wear a mask because I have one and a half lungs and getting any respiratory disease is a big problem for me.

    I care for a mom with severe dementia and family with immune disorders.

    I will get a flu shot and probably the RSV one…I count my life and the life of others as precious…that’s my virtue signal.
    I don’t anticipate or support any lockdowns or mandates …but as an exile, I expect the beast to act like one.

  44. bob1 says:

    Wow. That’s mind over reality.

    Reminds of John Lennon saying, “Declare it. Just the same way we need
    to declare ward. That is how we will have peace…We just need to declare it.”

    How’d that work out…

  45. Steven says:


    “ I’ve been actually (and accidentally) preparing for these times for a while…that’s a whole ‘other story.”

    I hope to hear this “other story” sometime.

  46. The New Victor says:

    Lockdowns prevented me from visiting my mother in the nursing home where she died. I was made to feel like a fool on the last zoom meeting with the nursing home staff and the county attorney. A nurse said, “no one has visited her.” Because of lockdowns! The time before, she forgot who we were anyway, but it would have been good to be there near the end.

  47. Captain Kevin says:

    New Victor, that sucks. I’m really sorry.

  48. Michael says:


    I’m sorry you had to go through that.

    No doubt the lockdowns created much misery, as did the vaccine mandates.

    Governments need to acknowledge the damage done.

    We still need to be aware of the risks involved with catching Covid…now the government has gone the other way and is pretending all is well because of fear of backlash.

  49. Em says:

    I can sympathise with TNV as my Mother died in my arms in her nursing home bed. A precious memory of a cantacerous old lady. She didn’t like me very much, but I was all she had in this world……

  50. Michael says:


    It’s hard to be there when the relationship hasn’t been good…you did the right thing.

  51. Em says:

    Thanks, Michael. I believe you are correct.

  52. Michael says:


    I’m living it every day…

  53. Em says:

    Michaeel, are you referring to your mother, who is living in dementia? My daughter (I’m livinn with her) claims that I am sliding into dementia – hope not……

  54. Michael says:


    My mom is deep in dementia.
    If you’re concerned that you may be starting down that road, then get tested…you don’t seem to be having any issues that I can tell from here.

  55. Em says:

    thanks, Michael! ! !

  56. The New Victor says:

    Em, I’m sorry, and you did the right thing. I had the cops called on me and was accused of several types of legal elder abuse. It was both sad and happy (that she seemed happy)mto visit her the last time in person that she didn’t know who we were. I still would have liked to do what you did, be there with her at the end.

  57. LInn says:

    I’m a little late to the party, but masks…I work in a school. We are averaging about 5 COVID cases going home per day. I attended a church women’s activity this afternoon. I am supposed to meet with one of the women for coffee, and I told her that I do work in a petri dish if she wanted to put off getting together (she has a toddler daughter). She told me it didn’t matter as she and her family just got over COVID.

    I wear a mask at school right now with no apologies. However, I don’t know if I’m brave enough to wear a mask at church (I work in the children’s ministry, among other things) and run the gauntlet of stares and comments. I’m coming to the conclusion that most people have just tossed common sense away and that personal conviction and conscience on non-essentials no longer exists.

    As for Mike Flynn, I will just say that he is nuts. But, he is the kind of dangerous nut that too many people will listen to.

  58. Michael says:


    My godson and I had this conversation today.

    He doesn’t want the scorn and he doesn’t want to be identified as a Democrat because he’s trying to protect his family.

    It’s hard for me…if it offended someone that I wore a mask, I’d put on a dozen more just to make sure they were completely offended.

    I don’t like people in my business and could care less about their opinions.

    I forgot that it isn’t that easy for many…

  59. LInn says:

    If it gets much worse around here, I’ll mask up at church, too. There are a number of members (I think many more than I think) who feel a bit intimidated about sharing political or medical opinions. It seems the louder you are, the more attention you get, along with what you want.

    I just talked to a friend who left our are for 5 years to take care of her elderly mother out of state. Mom passed away, and she has been back a couple of months. She is back in the area and not planning to go back to “our” church, where she attended many years. I think I know why.

  60. jtk says:

    “Resilient” by John Eldridge (“Wild at Heart”) has saved my sanity—basically deal with your issues + love Jesus. Had a few close calls since the ‘Rona started. Made some changes, I appreciate your warning, Michael, as well as your compassion for for us younger clergy….even though “young” is such a relative term lol

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