Former Pastors Remaining Active at Church They Pastored

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by PrivateWoman, Sep 9, 2010.

?

Do You Think That It Is Okay For a Former/Retired Pastor To Remain Active at Church?

  1. Yes

    18.6%
  2. Unsure

    4.7%
  3. Depends on the situation

    55.8%
  4. No

    20.9%
  1. PrivateWoman

    PrivateWoman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many Christians assume that retired or former pastors should not continue to attend the church they pastored as a member. I disagree with that. I am not talking about former pastors who were terminatd or caused a lot of conflicts. Let's say that a pastor feels led to start a full-time counseling ministry and many people at the church desire to give him an office for his counseling minsitry. He will not be paid a salary by the church at all. He will just get to use the office for free and continue to minister to people at church. Many pastors are not gifted in deep counseling and a full-time counseling ministry would be a tremendous blessing to the new pastor.

    I was very disappointed with the policy at http://www.ministerscouncil.com/Cle...onships/ethics_for_retiring_pastors_and_.aspx. I understand completely that sometimes retiring pastors can be controlling. But I feel that many retired pastors should be able to stay at their church if they desire. I feel this policy is legalistic. There is nothing in the Bible that says that retired or former pastors cannot stay at the same church that they pastored.

    There is definitely nothing wrong with former or retired pastors doing weddings, funerals, and baptisms. In fact, I know of one little boy who wanted his former pastor to baptize him in the creek and there were no objections. I think that churches should hire a new pastor who would be glad to work with the former pastors. There should be no jealousy at all. Good pastors would have no problem with the former pastor doing baptisms, funerals, and weddings.

    Now, I agree completely that the new pastor should be responsible for the administration of the church and that the retired/former pastor should not “run” the church.

    I feel that the policy limits what God could do. I know it has hurt a lot of families. Think about a pastor who has been at a church for about 17 years and his family has been a very important part of the church. I feel it is unfair to encourage pastors to stop attending a church they pastored. “Pat Christian answers” are not the best.

    I would be interested in hearing thoughts from different people on this matter. Don't focus on difficult former pastors or former pastors who caused some major conflicts. Think about laid back former pastors.
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sometimes the former pastor's presence can intimidate the new pastor, so he must be very careful about how he behaves in the church. He can unwittingly direct members away from the new pastor.

    I am very careful in Bible classes and in church services that I keep as low a profile as possible.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. matt wade

    matt wade
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,156
    Likes Received:
    76
    Who cares what that liberal organization says on the subject?
     
  4. PrivateWoman

    PrivateWoman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know much about American Baptists to be honest with you. I did a Google search under retiring pastors ethics. It seems like some conservative Baptists think that it can never work for the old pastor to stay at all.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,109
    Likes Received:
    219
    There is nothing in the Bible that says that retired or former pastors should/must stay at the same church that they pastored.

    I would not take a church, where the former pastor was still attending.

    In my personal case, after our church closed, all the members (very few) started attending the same church. I kept a very low profile.

    Not a problem now, as I have been been voted in as pastor of a church in Pa.
     
  6. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Salty, Why would you say NO right off the bat? Wouldn't it depend on the man's personality and not just the fact he was a former pastor?

    I sit in the back row with wife, only speak when spoken to and never involve myself in church affairs. The pastor is a young man in his first church. When I speak with him it is only in a social sense.........Maybe I know that I could be intimidating if I wanted to be.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. PrivateWoman

    PrivateWoman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of my friends was a new pastor at a church and he said that he really appreciated the former pastor. He became the pastor emetrius. My friend and his wife were blessed by the encouragement of the former pastor. He stayed out of church affairs of course. He is involved in the nursing ministry at that church though. It worked well. I think the reason it worked so well was because the former pastor was laid back. The former pastor retired due to health issues.
     
  8. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,172
    Likes Received:
    369
    See, I guess I could see it working fine in our church since if our pastor retired, the new pastor would be the senior associate pastor who has been at the church for over 25 years. We hire from within so there's no "new blood" so to speak that we'd need to be careful of or anything. We have 11 pastors in line and I think we're good for .... LOTS of years (the youngest pastor is 23). :)
     
  9. PrivateWoman

    PrivateWoman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't attend this church, but I found it interesting that the old pastor served as a pastor of this church for about 46 years. His wife is still a Sunday School teacher. You can see the information at http://www.buffaloridgebaptist.org/?page_id=23. This shows the "pat" Christian answer is not always right. It can certainly work. I bet that the pastor emetrius encourages this new pastor. Some good former pastors talk about what a wonderful job the new pastor does. :)
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    A friend of mine's dad stayed at the church he pastored and retired at. He was a huge help and blessing to everyone. He introduced the new pastor to the congregation and blessed him in front of the congregation. The current pastor will tell you today as he has in the past that he gives the former pastor a lot of credit for his success. A few years ago the former pastored died and his wife and children and grandkids are heavily involved in the church. One of the children helped a former staff member plant a new church in a neighboring town that the church decided to plant. So it can work well if done right.

    In the second church I pastored was a retired pastor who helped me a lot and gave me a lot of encouragement. Those men can be a great resource instead of putting them "on the shelf".

    Some pastors have pastored in a small town and have a business there, what are they to do? Shut down their business and go somewhere else to another town or stay in town and go to a pentecostal church? What kind of example is that? Some churches need the old pastor to stay so the "bulldogs" don't give the new pastor trouble.
     
    #10 gb93433, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2010
  11. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    First of all retirement is not necessarily a Biblical imperative. If one decides to do that it is fine but he should either work with the new pastor or leave.

    I was interim for a year with the retired pastor present. He had started the church and nurtured it for years. He and his wife had build their home in the small town with their own hands/finances. No real reason to leave.

    He was a gracious man, never said boo to me nor the deacons about their direction - simply blended into the membership.

    If a man is going to be a splinter then leaving should be expected, but if he is going to remain an asset to the church why leave - his gifts didn't retire :laugh:
     
  12. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    In some situations, I could see where it would be problematic from a leadership standpoint.

    Some ministers are better than others at remaining "in the background." Some just have to be in charge--and those are the ones that I think tend to have issues surrounding them.

    But, having said all that...we come back to that good ol' "Local Church Autonomy" issue. God bless it.... :D
     
  13. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is nothing in the Bible that says retired or former pastors should stay at the same church that they pastored.

    I was begged by a church to remain at the church I was about to leave. "Stay on to teach a SS Class" they said. "And, that way, if our new pastor can't be there to preach or visit......." You get the idea.

    I have seen many times where a retired pastor has stayed at the church (Most accept that it's wise counsel not to do this). Without exception, it's blown up every single time and the old pastor has had to leave and the new pastor in many of those circumstances is the fall guy, whether true or not.

    In my humble opinion, no pastor worth his salt would ask to do this. If God is moving you away from a church, move on. If he isn't, stay as pastor. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
     
  14. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the church realizes that the former pastor is no longer the pastor, and he doesn't continue "pastoring" people in the church, it might be fine. But, if his name is no longer on the sign, but he is still considered to be the pastor or considers himself to be the pastor, that won't work.
     
  15. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    Right on the money! It does depend on the pastor. I asked a former, much loved pastor to return to preach for an anniversary. He preached well, but at the end of the service he asked to say a "few words". He then proceeded to tell everyone that he was thinking about coming back from retirement and hoped that one day he could live back in our area. People started looking at me because my mouth dropped open... I was trying to think of something gracious - not one of my strong points - and said, "You will be welcomed back in our area. I would love to be your pastor for the next 20 years here at FBC, Osprey. I am sure you'll be a great church member." He never came back again.

    But I have a retired missionary who is one of the most capable preachers, soul winner and leader I have ever known. He spoke to me when he started visiting and asked if I would "ok" with him worshipping us. He was in every service for the next 5 years and never would preach even though i asked him regularly. Finally after 5 years he would speak up in Bible study. Now he preaches for me regularly. He is an absolute joy to pastor.

    So it depends on the person.
     
  16. Berean

    Berean
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    1
    Read "To Great a Temptation" by Joel Gregory
     
  17. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does God want the retired pastor to remain in the church? That should be what matters, not potential insecurities. Of course the retired pastor needs to understand the definition of "retired". I don't see anywhere in Scripture where a pastor is encouraged or told to retire, I always thought it was a life long calling....as long as you can do it you should, not 65 and done.
     
  18. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've had this. This is apples to oranges. If he's never been the pastor or looked at in the pastoral role, there's no role confusion on anyone's part.

    Interestingly, this morning an interim pastor told me of a recent experience. He decided to remain at a church he'd served as interim because he took the interim right after retiring from another local church and knew he couldn't go back to that church. After six months, he left the church he served as interim because people still looked at him as the pastor and it undermined the ministry of the new pastor. And that's what we're talking about. Why would anyone want to do something that would undermine the ministry of God's appointed Shepherd? They can couch it in whatever language they want. It's not to God's glory or the church's good to undermine the fellowship and unity of the people, nor the role and function of the pastor.
     
    #18 TomVols, Sep 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2010
  19. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems that we're placing the entire burden on the retired pastor, when sometimes it's the congregation's fault. The members can sometimes be the ones who won't accept the former pastor's role. Then it's up to him to take the initiative to make sure that the members understand that he's not their pastor any more.

    Some here have already discovered the solution. The retired pastor publicly embraces the new pastor, compliments to him, defers to him, and sits on the back row.
     
  20. PrivateWoman

    PrivateWoman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have provided amazing examples of how God could still use former pastors at the church they pastored. It is very evident God has been at work in the above churches where the former pastor stayed. I am tired of Christians saying that it never works for the old pastor to stay at the same church. Some "pat" Christian answers are not best.

    As for the second church you pastored, did you already know the retired pastor before you came? If not, how did you get to know him? Did he remain at that church during the interim period or did he go to another church for a while?

    I understand completely that there are situations where the old pastor should not continue to attend the church. That could be a problem if the retired pastor wanted to control.
     

Share This Page

Loading...