How does one walk away from a pastor?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Taerzik, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Taerzik

    Taerzik
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm struggling with a difficult situation (IMO). I wish this didn't have to be my introduction to this board but alas, counsel on this is part of why I joined.

    Truth, the difficulty probably isn't all that hard to resolve but being as I'm in the middle of it, I'm having trouble getting a Biblical perspective on it. I could use some Biblical counsel. The more scripture you can give to show doctrine the better and please, it needs to be in context - taking things out of context is a big red flag for me.

    Alright, here's the situation:

    I'm having a serious problem with an acquaintance. The person, whom I thought to be a wise, holy individual, has instead turned out to simply be sincerely traditional - and worse, much worse.
    The problem gets worse...
    The man is my current pastor. I've tried talking with him as with a father, that is, kindly, not accusing, showing him what the Bible says, on several occasions. He agrees verbally but there has been no change in his ways and it's been months since we first talked. There are also numerous other issues I could name. I was sent to this church for a reason. That seems to have been fulfilled.

    Now, how on earth do I walk away from this man without 1. hard feelings, 2. giving the church the wrong impression and 3. inadvertently bad-mouthing the pastor when someone asks why I'm leaving.

    Unfortunately, a number of folks in the church are aware that I had a delicate personal issue to settle with the pastor and it's going to look like I'm leaving because of that issue. Members are going to ask how the issue worked out and when I tell them it didn't, they will want to know what the reason is. That is where I'm stuck. If I say the truth, it will probably look like a case of bitterness.

    I don't want to hurt anyone in this and I also don't want to hurt my name but at the same time, I can't stay where I am. I've learned my lessons (I hope) and it's time to go home, back to my previous church, I just have to figure out how to do it right.

    Doctrinally sound advice is much appreciated.
    In advance, thanks.
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Welcome to the BB,

    It is hard to suggest anything based on just a few sentences that you offered.
    You only need to please God in how you conduct yourself here. If no public sin is involved you are free to search out other local assemblies to see if God would have you serve somewhere else.
    You do not want to harm this local assembly;
    if this local work is of God...it will continue...if not God will close it down.

    If it is a doctrinal issue, search for an assembly that teaches more in line with your understanding. if it is just your personal feeling about this elder and no personal sin is involved....you should leave him to God in prayer.

    So you are to keep yourself pure ...and yet not accuse this man unjustly,

    The best of men are men at best.....men will disappoint many times...so keep your eyes upon where Jesus might want you to grow and serve HIM.
     
  3. TadQueasy

    TadQueasy
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are upset with your pastor for being "sincerely traditional"?

    What does that even mean?
     
  4. Taerzik

    Taerzik
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    @TadQueasy: My pastor is a very sincere man but as you have probably heard before, 'a sincere person may be sincerely wrong' - that is the case here. He follows whatever is traditional within his preferred Baptist circles, or even just how he feels about a thing, even when it's contrary to Scripture. That is what I meant by 'sincerely traditional'.
    I'm not really upset, though a little hurt - I thought better of him than this but when I knew him before I wouldn't have known to question the things I see now. He's a nice person and we get along ok but I can't follow his ways contrary to the Bible.

    @ Iconnoclast:
    Thanks for trying to answer with what little I gave in explanation. You are quite right - I do not want to cause harm of any kind.

    To be more clear, the problems I encountered are actually many and varied but most, if not all, have been directly related to the way that the pastor has clung to his own understanding, disregarding what the Bible says on matters.
    Here's a classic:
    The pastor mentions the evils of alcohol and drugs almost every other service. This may be so and our society DOES have problems with them but we also have a church full of parents who don't have a clue how to raise their children biblicaly - they have had no instruction whatsoever from the church.
    The church has almost a dozen 'ministries' or activities of various kinds, among them the following are NOT included:
    1. regular fellowship
    2. Bible study
    3. discipleship of new believers
    4. taking care of our widows and those in need
    5. reaching out to our local town (aside from door-to-door witnessing)

    I can find all of those in scripture - I can't find most of the 'ministries' we actually perform in Scripture, they are all traditional though.

    I've tried to suggest those five items before but I kid you not, pastor said that the church had 'too much going on' to make time for a Bible study or fellowship... even on Friday evenings when nothing else happens at the building.

    Unfortunately, many of the issues I've run into are much more subtle than these and can even be hard to identify by name at times.

    To say the least I've felt like this smiley here :BangHead:
     
  5. Taerzik

    Taerzik
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    @ Iconoclast:
    In response to the end of your answer...
    Also, yes, that is my objective - to love and serve the Lord, wherever and however He leads.

    To 'seek first the kingdom of God', namely in helping to not only grow but strengthen fellow believers in faith and also in wisdom, is a need that I cannot ignore. As is said in the OT in a place 'my people are destroyed all the day long for lack of knowledge' (paraphrased) - I believe it is true of us today as well. We have lost so much ground to Satan because we have not known our God! We have our heads full of men's teaching but we rarely search them out to see if they are true. Many churches embrace 'traditional Christianity' and forsake true religion and to love God and to keep his commandments. This has cost us dearly.

    In the early history of the new testament church, the disciples were once accused of turning the world "upside down". They did just that, or just about anyway. Since that time the old enemy has sought to turn the church upside down, and he has. It's high time we took back what ground past generations gave up!
     
  6. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,934
    Likes Received:
    0
    Based on your post, the answer is within your post.

    "I was sent to this church for a reason. That seems to have been fulfilled."

    If the Holy Spirit has convicted you that you have fulfilled your calling to this church, you also should know what to say when you leave.

    I believe that God is calling me to another church. ​


    Nothing else needs to be said.
     
  7. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    :thumbsup:
     
  8. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said, my friend. So often the answer is right in front of us.
     
  9. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    In Acts, when certain needs, i.e. taking care of the widows, were not being met, the Elders decided to elect some Deacons to service in some areas of ministry so the Elders could teach.

    Many Baptist churches are organized as follows: The Elders report to the congregation, the Pastor and other staff report to the Elders.

    If your church is so organized, then you could write a letter to the Board of Elders saying you feel called to start a mid-week Bible study for new believers. Ask for permission and help, i.e. mention from the pulpit and a sign-up method. Indicate the teaching will be fully consistent with the "What we Believe" statement in the constitution of your church.

    If the Elders decline your offer, then you would have a basis for leaving, and a testimony concerning a servant's heart.
     
    #9 Van, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2012
  10. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,635
    Likes Received:
    45
    A Board of Elders?

    That would be another reason to leave.
     
  11. Zaac

    Zaac
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,757
    Likes Received:
    220
    Taerzik, welcome to BB.

    First let me say that you should not make a move without receiving a definitive word from God.

    Second, I didn't think you had really identified what the ISSUE is between you and the pastor, but your post to Iconoclast helped.

    You sound relatively young and the pastor sounds like he may be set in his ways. :laugh: But this is a spiritual issue that can only be seen by way of the Holy Spirit.

    There are a lot of churches, and I might even venture to say most of our churches don't look anything like the church Christ left in Acts. There is a lot of tradition but not much obedience to the word because folks have become comfortable doing what they want to do instead of what God says to do.

    This can be corrected all at once if the church is spiritually mature to recognize it and the pastor calls the church to repentance. That doesn't sound like a possibility here.

    A possible approach may be to try and deal with one thing at a time but you have to get the pastor onboard.

    I'm also under the impression that God has not released you from this church. You're frustrated. But I imagine Moses got pretty frustrated at times too. :laugh:

    Persevere and try a different approach where you're maybe not making cataclysmic changes. Until you've established yourself and the people trust you to not steer them wrong, you need to work with the pastor and not just leave or it will look like you're just bitter. And that's not the sort of reputation you want going before you or following after you.
     
  12. Bob Hope

    Bob Hope
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    2


    You put one foot in front of the other and then repeat.
     
  13. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    And don't turn your back on him.
     
  14. Taerzik

    Taerzik
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interim decision reached.

    Thankyou all for your input.

    I have reached a temporary solution. I had not intended to leave until around the new year - I've been working with the educational ministry and that will give them time to work things out if I do depart. In the mean time the best choice would seem to be to pray for the pastor that God would show him the errors of his ways and for my part, wait and see if the Lord will give more guidance.
     
  15. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    THe Pastor is the leader of the church and he has his own ideas of how to implement efforts within the church. I suspect the church is meeting needs of people that are personal in nature, and that you are not aware of (nor should you be). I also suspect that many of the five items you mentioned above are being taken care to some extent, but not in the format or separate programs that you identify with.

    Remember, he is the pastor, and it is not your job to run the church, or to run these programs in the church. I would suggest that you look into the existing church efforts for how these needs you see, are being met in other ways; and to see how you can help fit into and support those other existing efforts. Just because the church does not have formal programs in these five area, or does not advertize it as such, does not mean that many of these needs are not being met.
     
    #15 drfuss, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2012
  16. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    I took a look at where you are located.

    It's a big state, so my suspicions may be 100% off the wall and wrong.

    But I bet I could drive myself right to the front door of your church.

    If I am right, you are in one unhealthy situation and nothing is going to change.

    If I am right, you are under leadership that would usurp the place of Christ in your life.

    Only took me a few weeks to beat feet, if we are talking about the same church.
     
  17. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728


    Based on this I would immediately look for a better situation.It sounds as if you are in a fundamentalist church......and not a good one at that.

    This is very sad.These are vital to the life of any church.
    Some fundy churches make an idol of separation. It is important...yes, but not to the neglect of the whole of scripture.
    Legalism and programs can crowd out the word of God,grieving the Holy Spirit.
    What this pastor is doing is acceptable to many today so to be questioning as you are makes you out to be the "bad guy".

    Contact Nodak by private message...see if he has found something more scriptural:thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  18. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    1
    Brother, you asked for advice, and, overall, IMHO (as a non-preacher/pastor but w/46+ yrs in God's family & serving in various "non-pulpit" capacities under 8 different pastors) you've been given some excellent advice.

    I'd especially consider what drfuss pointed out that, in some (not all, mind you, but some) cases you may not see "everything" that is happening w/your pastor's ministry simply because some pastors may do things in a more private, behind-the-scenes way.

    Not saying that IS the case in your situation, but only that it could be.

    Have U done ALL of what I call "the Mt.18:15-16 thing," and have another (very spiritually mature church member or two) who share(s) your concerns about what you percieve is the "status quo state" of your church's overall ministry go privately to your pastor?

    If you already have humbly considered and completed these, then IMHO you've probably done all that can be "humanly possible" to do.

    If so, then (as you've indicated that you most likely will do) all you can do is leave this man in God's hands and move on to where God will lead you.

    I had to do something like that some 40 years ago (when I was only about 5 years "in God's family"). It wasn't easy for me either, but, in the end, it worked out for the good for both him and me.

    It may sound simplistic, but sometimes you just have to break "the tie that binds" and leave up to "Our Always-Faithful Father in Heaven."

    (BTW, that's one reason for my signature verses below.)
     
  19. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with ktn4eg that another conversation with your pastor is warranted. If you are unhappy to the point that you are considering leaving this church, then you owe it to your pastor to tell him, and tell him why. Do not leave him in the dark when you just down show up any more.
     
  20. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    From personal experience this may not be the best thing to do. Did it once. Decided that next time I'll just leave and send them a nice letter explaining why later. The emotional abuse just wasn't worth it.
     

Share This Page

Loading...