Help! Members disagree with new pastor!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by piaairline, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. piaairline

    piaairline
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    Hello all,

    I am new here and I would appreciate any guidance. Many of my church members disagree with the new pastor in major and minor decisions. The new pastor would tackle issues ranging from smoking, breaking rules, marriage to a non-Christians, and attendance in specific meetings. He has a high standard for everyone in the Church. However, brothers and sisters are more accustomed to a relaxed pastor for many years until now.

    Is my pastor too demanding, or is my congregation in need of a wake up call?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Gold Dragon

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    Members should want to be challenged to new levels of holiness and committment by their pastors.

    Pastors should not run their churches like dictators but remember to continually dialogue and extend the grace of Christ in the midst of their challenge. They also need to be aware of where the congregation currently is and how they will respond to these challenges. In pastoral changes, some congregants unwilling to rise to new challenges may leave and that may not be a bad thing.

    The pastor should also make sure that the issues he puts a stand on are really biblical and worthy issues.
     
  3. Scott J

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    Sounds like the church is in need of a wake up call. It doesn't sound like the pastor is too demanding if he is basing his rebuke on sound scriptural reasoning... but it probably depends more on his spirit about it than what he is demanding.

    Is he loving but firm or obstinate and dictatorial? Is his motive the sancitification and blessing of the congregation or to feed his ego?

    There is nothing unloving about the word "no". But an unloving attitude that is motivated by pride to rule over a church is poison.
     
  4. piaairline

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    That's exactly the battle going on:

    Pastor's strict teaching
    versus
    A loving and forgiving attitute

    The pastor stated that he is strict because he cares/loves. The latter argue that the pastor should not be so strict and hurt the feeling of the members (let's all be nice to everyone).
     
  5. bapmom

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    pia,

    that last that you said seems to me to be saying that the ones complaining in your church are just wanting to hear the nice, easy messages that let them go on living how they've always lived. Sometimes people will need to hear something that's hard for them to hear........this does not mean that the pastor is at fault. Simply because the person's feelings were hurt also does not mean the pastor was at fault. Sometimes people allow their feelings to get hurt rather than face some things they need to face. Then they use their feelings as an excuse to not listen to their pastor.

    My other question would be, is your pastor doing this teaching from the pulpit? Often a preacher must say some things from his pulpit that are strict, and unbending. Yet in person, he is perfectly capable of having a loving and forgiving attitude. He ought to be able to have the freedom to state what he believes God is leading him to say behind the pulpit....usually this is because it is a more "anonymous" way of speaking.....those who need it hear it, and those who don't necessarily need it are given a precautionary message.
     
  6. Scott J

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    If their opposition is based on hurt feelings then they are in the wrong. While the pastor shouldn't stay on the right and not intentionally or callously hurt people, the fact remains that correction isn't generally painless.

    There is nothing inherently loving about not hurting someone's feelings or unloving about telling someone a beneficial truth that they don't want to hear.
     
  7. Shiloh

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    I hope he didn't unpack his furniture. A good rule of thumb for a "new" pastor is not change anything in the first year, not even a light bulb! I bet 10 to 1 he's gone in less then two months. Lots of times a church will "say" one thing and "mean" another. It wouldn't be the first congregation to not be completly honest with a new pastor. There has to be give and take both ways when a new pastor comes and in your case it sounds like there isn't much on either part.
     
  8. piaairline

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    No. Our pastor waited one year before taking any drastic action. Once the one year was over, he took drastic actions such as one-to-one meeting with existing leaders who sinned or who were accused of being a sinner. However, it was all a prelude to the Perfect Storm....

    Examples of problems tackled (described annonymous/parallel to events):

    1. Smoking
    2. Allowing another person to utilize his trucking permit to run a business
    3. Someone who exerted control over the congregation through influence and goodwill (i.e. politics).

    The reaction from those who had the one-to-one meeting with pastor was obviously wrong - openly accused pastor about his behavior, questioning the pastor's performance in the church board, etc.
     
  9. Scott J

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    I don't agree with smoking and believe it violates scriptural principles concerning our health and testimony... at the same time, that wouldn't have been first priority for me in private meetings.

    Doing somethings illegal definitely reflects on the church. Not only should he have confronted this person... if there is no repentance, his membership should be brought before the congregation per Matt 18 and Gal 6.

    The other issue is still too general to comment on. But if this person is playing politics to pull the church apart on the basis of personalities... then he also needs to be "churched".

    I would salute your pastor for being courageous enough to address these issues one-on-one. It sounds to me like he is doing the right thing.
     
  10. Johnv

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    It's probably a bit of both. But you bring to light a common problem: New pastors who ignore their congregation under the guise of doing the Lord's work. And then, when the pastor gets fired, he will typically blame it on the congregation's lack of holiness rather than his lack of compassion. Kind of like a divorcee whoo blames the divorce on the other spouse. When was the last tiem you met a divorcee who says "it was my fault"?
     
  11. GLC

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    There can be a pretty fine line between speaking the truth in love and having a spirit of legalism like the Pharisees. None of us can say for sure which applies to your situation since we are not there. However, to confront and rebuke a man one on one for smoking seems on the legalistic side to me. Obviously, there is no direct scripture on this issue. I think if sound Biblical principles are proclaimed from the pulpit, the Holy Spirit will apply these principles to the lives of the flock witout the Pastor taking charge one on one.
     
  12. Brother Ian

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    There is nothing wrong with expecting high standards from your congregation. If he is challenging people to walk closer to Christ, perhaps he is stepping on people's toes that are not accustomed to it.

    There is an old saying that says if you throw a rock in the middle of a pack of dogs, the only one that barks is the one that gets hit.
     
  13. Salamander

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    If he is really depending upon the Lord for guidance, he should learn something from the more experienced, and it just might be your place to sit down with all due respect for his position and only suggest that the ol' "nip it in the bud" before it reaches fruition technique could very well become, (in certain cases), "let the blossom fall to the ground by itsself".

    Taking action upon members holding positions without much preaching is legalistic, but after much preaching those who hold positions who refuse to align with Bible standards should step down willingly and of their own accord.

    The idea of pastoring is to take the nature of a shepherd: his purpose is to lead sheep, not beat them into submission!

    I have learned that people won't always take to the higher standard. In the means of leading them as sheep, the pastor must make exceptions, but never comprimise: sheep are pretty "dumb" and you must give them all time. But for goats? You have to drive goats, you can lead sheep and they will follow.
     
  14. dcorbett

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    But remember this: A Pastor is held accountable for his flock. My Pastor takes that responsibility quite seriously. Our by-laws state that a member of our church " should conduct themselves in such a manner as becomes a Christian (i.e. acquisition of Scriptural knowledge, consistence in Christian conduct and behavior, and separation from worldly habits that would cause harm to the cause of Christ in the community)"

    I hope that would include those topics that your Pastor is being strict about. Maybe your former Pastor was lukewarm???
     
  15. bjonson

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    This is why every local church should have a plurality of elders instead of one pastor in charge.
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    Piaairline, this is a toughie, and I have to tell you that your pastor can't win this battle unless he makes some changes in his style and the Holy Spirit pours out on that congregation. Unless they share his heart he can't lead them, he can't drag them and he can't push them and he can't shame them into it. At best they'll sit on their hands, at worst they'll fight him. All the confrontational approach seems to be doing is ticking folks off, and getting him nowhere in the process.

    This is primarily a spiritual problem and I'm sure the pastor is developing some callouses on his knees.

    Where are his deacons or elders in all this? Are they ticked off, as well? If that's the case, the pastor has real problems.

    Piaairline, you know more about this congregation than anybody, so you are the best judge of whether the members are complacent. Before we on this board jump to conclusions and assume that the congregation is at fault, we need to hear more from you.

    Tom B.
     
  17. bapmom

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    pia,

    if it was dealt with in a private meeting between the pastor and the wrongdoers, as you say, than how are you privvy to this information?

    if the pastor waited an entire year before he started having to deal with these things, than he waited to be sure he knew at least enough about you all to gauge how things should be handled, and then, according to your description, he handled it scripturally.

    We only have your comments as to some people are afraid that someone's feelings will get hurt.......Sounds to me as if there is far too much gossip going on in the halls, and not enough talking going on in the pastor's office. If someone has a problem with something the pastor said, than first of all they ought not be talking to YOU about it. They ought to be talking to the pastor. And secondly, if they ARE talking to you about it, than you ought not be listening to them, but advising them to take their grievances to the one they have a problem with.
     
  18. StraightAndNarrow

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    Does the new pastor also emphasize Bible study and outreach to the unsaved or does he only focus on correcting sin?
     
  19. EdSutton

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    And da' man done hit da' nail wid' his head! [​IMG]
    In His grace,
    Ed
     
  20. piaairline

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    Praise the Lord for everyone who added to the discussion. I work closely with my pastor and I hold a position in the congregation that requires me to serve as a bridge between the pastor and others. That's why I know a lot more.

    The new pastor emphasizes everything from spiritual growth, Bible study, prayer, and outreach. Correcting sin was necessary because we are getting nasty comments about our church being lenient on sinners. It's like house cleaning in progress. The former pastor was powerless in handling such difficult issues.

    We are a pretty young church so no one is really qualified to be an elder, other than the pastor.
     

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