If the Pastor remains

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Should a pastor remain a member of a church, when he is no longer pastor?

    Examples, would be retirement, resigned to take a position with a school or Bap Assoc, or even decided to leave the ministry.

    Pastors, would you take a church if the former pastor was still a member?
     
  2. rdwhite

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    I know that most do leave, and I understand why they do; however, I don't think it is necessary in every situation. As far as, accepting the call to a church when the former pastor was still a member...I would sure want to know the details surrounding the situation, but if God called me there, then what choice would there be?
     
  3. TCGreek

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    It's up to the pastor and his family.

    And it depends on the kind of pastor, whether I would want him around or not.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    We've never had this situation in our church, but I have known of churches where this has happened. In most cases, the downside outweighs the upside.
     
  5. PeterM

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    This is exactly the situation I walked into...

    The former pastor was the founding pastor, and had a drastically different philosophy of ministry than I do. He retired and left the ministry, saying he wanted to help bring up other younger ministers. I think he ment me, but I had been discipled and mentored by one of the finest pastors in the state of Tennessee (who is now serving as the TBC President). In any case, when it became obvious that I wasn't going to follow in the established pattern, he and the majority of his family became scarce in less than a year, leaving his wife trying to cling to a church family she loved.

    They left a fairly large mess in their wake and are still having some passive influence on the membership. They aren't committed to any church in the area and many members are following their example showing up to church every other week or in some cases only monthly and then only to worship... not SS or Wednesday evening ministries. I am doing everything I can to not make this a confrontational issue (not that I won't if it becomes necessary) as this fellowship has known some serious conflict in its 25 year history. The wife, who is a fairly good teacher, will be leading a womens's Bible study this fall and many of the participants will be ladies from the church I pastor. She is doing so without my ascent or approval, and because of that I am praying through whether or not this is the line I will have to draw.

    Getting back to the OP, I wish I could say I would never step into another situation like this ever again, but God calls us to places that we may not like or feel comfortable. I do think it's very important that a pastor (and his family) maintain a certain objectivity as they serve in a given church. When God ends the season of ministry, personal feelings, wants, and desires will have to be set aside. Leaving may be difficult, but it will probably be what is best for the pastor/family who is stepping aside, it will be better for the new pastor/family and their ministry, and it will most likely be what is best for the church.

    Not to hijack the thread, but I would be grateful for your prayers. I you have any experience or advice, feel free to PM me so this doesn't hijack the thread.

    Thanks SALTCITYBAPTIST for asking this question!!!
     
    #5 PeterM, Aug 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2009
  6. Salty

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    Peter, maybe this is the just reason the Lord had me make this post.

    I was considered by one church with only one deacon. I had preached their 3 separate Sundays. I felt a possible call there, but I felt it would have been necessary for the one deacon to resign had I been extended a call. At the church vote, I had 70% of the vote - 75% was needed. I was informed the deacon had gotten 2 members to change their vote...
    Yes, brother Peter, You are in my prayers.

    Salty
     
  7. Spinach

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    It's a difficult situation to be sure. My dad pastored a church where the retired Pastor still attended. When disputes came up, the people still tried to go to the retired Pastor. He would direct them to the Pastor, but people we persistent with it. Quite difficult for all involved. I think it's hard for a flock to embrace the man they looked to for guidance for all those years, as just another church member.

    However, it can be done. It really depends on the church and the former Pastor.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    If a church looks too good to be true, it probably is. Frankly, I learned never to settle into one place so that I couldn't pack up and leave. I learned this from one church group that haunted me for years and even caused me to leave ministry for five years. It was not a former pastor as it was a few people within and a pastor from a city 100 miles away. Their nasty rumours spread 2000 miles overnight!

    I just ignored them and got on with my calling. I personally think a "former" pastor should leave the church and refrain from talking about that former church directly.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Timsings

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    We've had two very similar situations occur in my church. Before we joined the pastor, who I was familiar with, had retired after almost 30 years. He and his wife stayed in the church because his daughter and her husband were there. When the church called a new pastor, the retired pastor took an interim pastorate out of town. We hardly saw him for almost 18 months. When he did come back regularly, the new pastor was well-established, and there were no real problems that I know of.

    About three years ago, the "new" pastor retired after 30+ years. We called a new pastor and the retired pastor took an interim our of town. His interim has now ended. He comes more regularly, but he also visits other churches in town and he gets called to preach regularly. Our current pastor has been with us almost 16 months. There have been no real problems between the two that I know of.

    I know of another situation where a long-term pastor retired and then died. The new pastor had serious problems because the church was not ready to turn loose of their former pastor eventhough he had died. The pastor's family was still in the church, and that contributed to the problems. The new pastor stayed a few years, but he chose to leave because the congregation was becoming divided. After he left, it took the church another two years to get themselves ready for a new pastor.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  10. Lux et veritas

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    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" on this issue. The Bible doesn't address it to any degree whatsoever.

    But, I would say it should be something that is between the two pastors. IF they can work harmoniously, then great. If not, the first one should leave ... graciously.

    One pastor I know who retired, left the church for a period of one year to let the new man settle in, and then returned. He was a great help to the new pastor and it went well for years.
     
  11. go2church

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  12. Salty

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  13. PeterM

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    #13 PeterM, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2009
  14. go2church

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    Is the Bible study being hosted by your church and she is teaching it or is she teaching a study somewhere else where your church members might go? I guess I should have asked that to begin with.
     
  15. saturneptune

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    Each Baptist church has its own by-laws and/or Constitution. No doubt other churches differ from ours and others around the area, but the ultimate decision about who is and is not approved as a Sunday School teacher is a congregational vote.

    If a potential Sunday School teacher was either not faithful in attendence and support, or the Pastor thought he or she was the wrong candidate, I doubt the church would ever vote to approve them, and probably the nominating committee would never even bring the name up before the church. If that situation did happen, to me it would be a sign of some serious splits amongst the members, which we do not have.

    Sorry about the situation you had at your church with the former pastor. There is only room for one pastor at a time, and you are the one God has called for this time. The only way a former pastor could be a member of that church is to leave your direction from the Lord for that church totally alone. I am not even sure that is possible, as some present members still think in past terms and believe the former pastor is still pastor. The more I think about it, the more it is a terrible idea for him to remain. The congregation and deacons should be giving full support to the leadership and guidance of their pastor, unless something is terribly amiss spiritually, not just a difference of opinion.
     
    #15 saturneptune, Sep 1, 2009
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  16. PeterM

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    That'a a great question as this has also been an if have had to wrestle with. Last year's study was held on the church campus. This time around, it will be held at the home of a current church member.
     
    #16 PeterM, Sep 1, 2009
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  17. PeterM

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    You bring up some great points that in most situations would certainly make a big difference...

    The church I am pastoring has no functioning constitution or by-laws. When the church was planted originally, it was an SBC church but the constitution was very presbyterian in the governing structure it established. At some point, the constitution was set aside as were nearly all procedural protocals and policies, including standards for church membership, budget, voting, etc. That led to the former pastor, his wife and parents to basically run the church. All that came to an end when the pastor retired after a sizeable conflict which split the church.

    We are gearing up to reconstitute the church, but I will still maintain a measure of pastoral input on those who preach/teach.
     
  18. saturneptune

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    It sounds like you have great things going on at your church. I grew up in a conservative Presbyterian church with elder rule. Looking back on it, the congregational form of government seems much better to me. May God continue to bless you, your family, and ministry.

    By the way, welcome to Baptist Board.
     
  19. Salty

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    According to our church constitution the SS Director recommends and the Pastor approves all SS teachers. No congregational vote needed nor required.
     
  20. Timsings

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    We have an Education Enlistment Committee of which the SS Director is a member and the Pastor is an ex officio member. The congregation votes on teachers and department officers in business meeting.

    Tim Reynolds
     

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