CONTROL Freak Pastors

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by dianetavegia, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    I'm starting this thread because of a prayer request another member has posted.

    I worked under a control freak pastor back about 6 year ago. I was the Children's Coordinator for a FBC. Pastor did not allow me to send home a note about 'let us know if your kids have allergies' or any upcoming event without his prior approval. He had to check out the videos we were going to show. He had to know the sermon prepared for Kid's Church. I got really jumped on for sending out 'We've missed you in S/S' cards without his checking them first.

    Now.... I'm always taking things in to Bro. Jack to show him what I have planned. He keeps telling me... 'I trust your judgement' but the controlling pastor affected me so strongly that I have a hard time just doing what I feel led to do.

    How involved should a pastor be in the day to day roles of S/S, Children's church, ministry type things?

    WHY do some pastor's have to micromanage everything? Is it a power play?

    Diane
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Sometimes it is a concern for the direction and presentation of the ministry. Sometimes, it is just power. But don't jump to conclusions that just because a pastor wants to check things out that he is being a control freak.

    If I did not have people I trust in certain positions, I would be checking a lot more. If you don't check, there is no level of accountability. It can be taken too far.

    In our children's ministry, the guy in charge and I have talked through the philosophy and program. I know what is going on but I don't check day to day. I trust him and when something needs to be brought to my attention, he does so. He is a layman but we talk probably three or four times a week and have spent a lot of time talking about philosophy of ministry and what we need to be doing here. It is wise to konw what is going on, but a lot of the involvement just depends on teh situation and the church.

    EVerything we do says something about who we are. I detest things that say bad things ... Faded photocopied, handwritten flyers are tacky ... Letters with bad grammer or bad form are tacky ... Posters or signs that are poorly done are tacky ... these are things that a pastor needs to keep an eye on, until there is a common level of expectation.

    I try to be aware of what is being taught in the various children's ministries. I know the curriculum in some of them. Others, like the teen group, I ask the teacher what he is teaching about. I give input on how that might be made relevant to the lives of teens.

    But you have to have some level of accountability and expectation so that things are done well.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Many pastors were (wrongly) trained to micro-manage every program and interfere in areas of Christian liberty with a galjillion rules.

    I could not lead a church that way and would run, not walk, from a pastor who tried to dictate HIS will on every aspect of the church.
     
  4. Greg Linscott

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    I try not to "micro-manage," but I do want to be aware of what is going on. I would rather be informed in advance than to find out there is a huge problem after the fact.
     
  5. Gina B

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    For the most part, I believe Pastor's who do this have good intentions, and aren't doing it as a matter of control. Some people are simply more into strict organization, and make very good managers and leaders. Check and see what his job was before he became a pastor, it could be that he's carrying the work ethics that made him good at it into the church, without realizing it isn't quite as needed in his current setting .
    They need encouragement to relax and not stress over every small detail, to trust that others are capable of performing tasks without constant supervision, and that some small mistake isn't the end of the world.
    In what you described with your pastor before, I wonder if a friendly meeting with him, you, and a couple other workers in the church would be a good thing. Take Take him out to dinner or for coffee or something. I'd have probably said something to the effect of "we're worried that you're taking on too much. We're here to help this church run smoothly, and you can trust us. What can we do to help you from having to waste your time on small things like overseeing cards sent out, or the color of the chairs in the youth department? We know you have more important things to do and shouldn't have to be bothered by these things when we can handle them. " THen see what unfolds
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Yes, I do think freak pastors need to be controlled.

    Oh, I read that wrong - ;) .

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
     
  7. Bro Tony

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    All that has been said has been good. But for the genuine control freaks, they are intimidated by others. I once served under a pastor who had to approve everything, just has Diane talked about. He even told me one time that when he brings in an outside speaker he would always ask a weaker speaker than himself.(BTW-that was no easy task). That way he would look better to the church.

    I agree with Dr Bob. I am a pastor and I want to build relationships with the people who are serving with me. I want to see them succeed in their area of ministry and I want to see them walking in the gifts that God gave them. If I can't trust a ministry leader than it becomes time to do something about it. I don't really know how a pastor can micro-manage and still have time to be the pastor.

    Bro Tony
     
  8. dianetavegia

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    Well, he got 'let go' for joining the CBA without church approval and he had hired me but I should add that he once told the deacons that he would be back for their meeting as soon as he could. 'I have to go home and bathe Nathan(9). That's my job.' The deacons were shocked! I happened to be standing there, getting his approval on some snack order, when this 'went down'. His wife controlled their home.

    I understand he has a church in Tenn. now.

    Diane
     
  9. Johnv

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    SOme pastors are good at public speaking, but lousy at management skills. A pastor, especially a senior pastor, must have the ability to be a good manager, which includes effective problem solving and delegation. You'd be surprised, or maybe not, at how many pastors lack effective management techniques.
     
  10. aPirate

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    We left a church where the Pastor knew every aspect of each person’s life who attended. One Wednesday evening service he went down the line to every adult seated for the service and told about each one of our lives. At first I thought that was fantastic, but as the years went by I realized that he had a kind of control over us that was far beyond what would be considered normal. Even now, several years after leaving that church, we still feel the tug of his influence on us.

    So he was a real control freak, not only controlling physical details of the church, but also controlling people’s thoughts. I guess we stayed because he was such a great teacher and preacher, I don’t believe he was purposely trying to manipulate people, but he was.

    After we left not one person in the church would even talk to us unless they bumped into us on the street, but as we looked back we realized that was the way it was every time anyone left there. If any of them see me on the street they will address me as Mister, when they would once have called me brother.

    In the last few months I have just begun to realize that not all Baptist churches are like that. We have gone to 26 different churches since then, not necessarily Baptist, and have been very disheartened by the degradation of the church in general. At least the Baptist foundations are sound – we just need to find a healthy Baptist church.
     
  11. rufus

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    Like a captain piloting a ship, just make sure the ship is going in the right direction.

    Not necessarily! Some pastors have strong temperaments which need molding by the Holy Spirit!
     
  12. GODzThunder

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    many preachers are taught that lay servants are just too stupid to do anything without their called, anointed of God superior intellect in the independant baptist sect. Kind of like how many deacons are taught that preachers are too ignorant to take control of a ministry in the southern baptist convention.
     
  13. rufus

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    What! No way!
     
  14. mcgyver

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    Hi, everyone...been a while since I posted (busy with a capital B).
    I keep in mind that pastors are just like everyone else, in that we all have different backgrounds and experiences.
    Early on when I was still a junior NCO in the service I learned that I could not "micromanage" people or an organization. I had to train my people and equip them to do their jobs, and then let them do what they were supposed to do. I tried to use good judgment in keeping them accountable, at the same time encouraging them to use their initiative, and not making them fear the occasional mistake that is going to occur.
    I personally feel that a large part of my mission as the pastor of a church is to do that which is found in Eph 4:11 and following....to equip the saints for ministry.
    I think that any church or any pastor who is not doing that is "missing the boat" as far building a dynamic, soul winning ministry, and at the same time running full tilt toward "burn out".
    Pray for that pastor, somewhere in his past he may have had an experience that frightened him to the point of feeling that he has to be in absolute control. In my experience, I have yet to meet a fellow pastor who was a "control freak" simply because he wanted to "lord over" his congregation.
     
  15. blackbird

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    Like a Captain on a Battle Ship---- #1 I need to know which direction the ship is headed, speed, somebody tell me what the radar screen looks like--any incoming Boogy's- and why that Sonar is making that strange bippin' noise and #2 I kinda sorta would like to know whats for Supper

    There's a big difference between being in charge and being that CONTROL freak! A Captain in charge is in control! A Captain who feels like he just hasta CONTROL is not in charge---know what I mean??
     
  16. Trotter

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    Diane, I do so appreciate this thread!!!

    It is a pastor's job to equip the saints for ministry, not to dictate every single nuance of the church.

    True, some do this out of neccessity, but the vast majority do it out of a need for power.

    I just recently left a church due to this (in part). There were many reasons and emotions involved with the decision, but this was one of ther main ones. And I didn't even see that it was going on for a long time, until we began to try to get some ministry started. Then the true colors shown clear to me, but not my wife. Right now I am attending a different church, but my wife and daughter are still there.

    The church is not a place for such things. It never has been, and never will be. And the fact that there are men of this nature standing in the pulpits of America is but another reason that people leave the church, never to return.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  17. Artimaeus

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    Never ask a barber if you need a haircut. never ask a surgeon if you need an operations, and never ask a pastor if he has too much power.
     
  18. Greg Linscott

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    Just an observation:

    Doesn't this thread have more than just potential to dog on a pastor you don't care for? I mean, if you approve of the man and his ministry, he's being "conscientious," or "a good steward," or he's a "man of principle." However, if he does something you don't like, he's "micro-managing," "power-hungry," or a "dictator."

    It just doesn't seem right to pile on men who aren't here to defend themselves. I know that there are men who don't handle their offices well, and as a young man serving in his the first year of his first "senior" pastorate I am laboring by the grace of God not to be one of those men. However, I'm sure that there are people in my congregation who are or will be saying critical things about me, possibly even using terms like "micro-managing" because I'm attempting to build back up a small church that has gone through a lot of strife, trials, and decay over the last several years. Frankly, in our situation, the church has needed direction, and I've had to do a lot of it myself these last few months because no one else has been willing to take the incentive.

    What I'm trying to say is this: unless you've been there yourself- not want to be someday, not just a long-time member, etc.- don't be too quick to criticize. A pastor is not above correction and criticism, but he also needs your support, cooperation, prayers, and encouragement. And if you have been there yourself- well, slap me around a little, I probably deserve it! [​IMG]
     
  19. Repent_and_Believe

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    I recently supervised a young man at my job place who wanted to learn my job. I would give him information and tasks. Then I would send him on his way with a date to complete the task. If he didnt get it done on time I would talk with him carefully, not trying to offend him, and he responded very well. Once I gave my notice to leave my job he was already prepared to take over my job. I had laid the foundation for him and he rose to the occaision.

    Now I am going back to Bible college to get my degree via a correpsondance program so that I can stay near my church. I believe that the experience I had with this young man at my work place will help me in the future with others I supervise in the faith.

    Prior to this job training I have been involved in ministry work where I supervised many different folks (but not more than say 6 at a time on a regular basis). I learned early to not expect more than they wanted to give. In other words you can encourge them to do more but if they dont want to do it then there is no use trying to threaten them or whatever. It just doesnt work well to do that.

    Then I helped coordinate a big event about nine years ago. I had to work with staff members and other folks that were helping out. It amazed me how folks didnt respond to my leadership. I began noting that some folks like to give orders but when you are put over them think that you are nothing of import.

    My position has always been that every job in the church is Jesus desire to be present doing those tasks. Thus a pastor takes a church and his desire is to do every job but he cant. So he finds folks to help, hires a staff when needed, grows it, gets folks from the church to help out in positions of responsiblity and guides them to be competant.

    Sometimes as a member I have thought that we should do things differently but by remaining submissive I have always found that it was best. The pastor was the one that had to answer for the church. I dont always know what is best for our church.

    Thus I kept a good relationship with my fellow members. They were in Jesus and my pastor's place doing their job as was I. I know that my pastor would do each and every job that we have if he could. He cant, the Lord is not present physically, and thus I am here to help.

    My first response to a dictator would be to pray for him.

    My second response if it continued would be to approach him humbly.

    If the pastor was being rude and obnoxious then I would ask him to consider his attitude. Carefully.

    If it just got to be where serving the Lord was becoming more of a drudgery under this leader then I would find another church before I started up a fight. Which is what I am hearing from most of you.

    I dont say that you need to be HAPPY. I say that if the pastor is not making the place of service a place of joy and is a true tyrant then its best to move on rather than start a split. Find someone that is a godly man and join his ministry.

    None of us like to change churches. However, none of us want to have the reputation of splitting churches either.
     
  20. Trotter

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    R&B,

    When I first started reading your post, I thought I was going to have a fight on my hands. But, you proved to me that you know where I am, and i thank you for it.

    I have gone through the exact steps that you outlined, and had come to that place where i dreaded to even go to church. So I have left and found a different church, one that has a godly pastor who digs deep into the word of God and not his own opinion, one who leads without being a despot.

    Change is hard, but it is better than the alternative.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     

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