Is A Pastor Obligated To Read Out A Letter of Resignation?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Ulsterman, Aug 24, 2003.

  1. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
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    Is a Pastor obligated to read a letter of resignation out to the church, especially where the resignee is making unsubstantiated accusations against him?
     
  2. gb93433

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    The same thing happened to me. I told the person that it had to be one person leading the band. Well it turned out to be just one person. God always has the final say. The church in the past three years has not grown one person. My accuser has been removed. Sometimes God wil spare you the agony that lies ahead by removing you now.

    Often times great things are followed by Satan doing his work too.

    If you were me I would just read a simple letter of resignation. Just tell them that you are resigning and the day of your last Sunday. When people come to you they will want to know why you are leaving.

    Sounds like God will have to do business there in that church. He will do it in a way that you cannot. Their day of humiliation is coming if they don't repent. Most often the people in a church will not come against their own. They are afraid to stand alone with you. But that's what leadership is all about. Many great men of God have had the same things happen to them. Some of them are recorded in scripture. For example Joseph and his brothers. When we go through tough time we better understand what Jesus went through for us.

    Church people who are religious will say and do things they wouldn't think of doing anywhere else. They will do things to chop you down. They will say things you can't imagine. They will accuse you of things you can't imagine doing. They will even make up things. I have seen them say and do things that they regreted later. I have watched their hearts harden. I have watched them try and manipulate people to their point of view by not telling the entire truth and exaggeration.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    I gather the letter of resignation is from a member and not the pastor.

    This being the case, I would, as minister, read the letter to the Board of Deacons and let it go at that. If the Board would like further explanation regarding the accusations, a brief word should suffice, not in the defensive, but as a matter of fact.

    Cheers, and best wishes,

    Jim
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    When our church decided to hire a full time Youth Minister and decided to NOT offer the position to our part time Youth Minister he wrote a letter and wanted it read before the church. Our chaiman of deacons read it, even tho it insinuated favoritism type things.... but he prefaced it with some remarks about what a good job this person had done over the years and how much he was loved... but that he didn't fit the vision the rest of church leadership had for our youth. Only about 12 out of almost 1,000 were upset.

    I agree with Jim. If it's not a person in a noticeable position, keep it in the elders and not in the general congregation.

    Diane
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    We NEVER read letters publically, but always allow time for a person desiring to leave the membership (or have some other beef) to speak, again prefaced by an elder and warned that any ill-speaking of the ministry or an individual would be grounds to dismiss them immediately from the membership and the meeting.

    And we have ushered vindictive snits out. Some Diotrophes seek the preeminence even on their way out the door!
     
  6. Hardsheller

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    I suggest the resigning pastor just sing a solo - "Take This Job and Shove it!" an old country favorite.

    And the Choir responds with "Thank God and UHaul He's Gone." :D
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

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    Just to make sure nobody thinks things are being covered up (mind you you'll have to use all the pastoral wisdom and discernment God gives you on this matter, so if some or all of my advice doesn't fit your circumstances Don't Follow It) I would take the follow course of action.</font>
    • Convene a Board of Inquiry-made up of your church's male leadership (Deacons, Pastoral staff {paid or unpaid}, and other grey hairs {literal or figurative} as you see fit). The sole purpose and function of this group is to determine the validity of the accusations. From the sounds of it, they should find them without basis and reject them like the judge did the case of Fox News v Al Franken.</font>
    • The Board of Inquiry's negative finding of facts lays the basis for the next action. A rejection of the letter of resignation and the formulation of a case for dismissal by discipline of the Church.</font>
    • Then on the designated day, a special membership meeting is convened to vote on the dismissal. This is upon the BoI's findings being made known to them.</font>
     
  8. Loren B

    Loren B
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    In answer to the original question, NO!
     
  9. Gina B

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    If he cannot read it himself and it is common for resignations in your church to be read, I wonder how it would work if you didn't read it but just said you had it and if anyone felt they must read it they come to your office and read it.
    Then preach a sermon on busybodies and give a long long altar call. Bet ya five bucks nobody comes to read the letter! [​IMG]
    See why women aren't pastors? :D
    Gina
     
  10. donnA

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    The one time we let someone go it was just like Dr. Bib said. No letter, he made a statement, and was not to get malicous(three were problems with the way he hanlded the youth). He was told by the pastor and deacons either resign or we're firing you. So he resigned.
     
  11. Bob Farnaby

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    At our church the resignatios are usually for reasonable reasons .. usuallymoving out of the area .. so we read the resignation letter.
    On the very odd occasion when a member resigned and wrote a seriously nasty letter the diaconate simply reported the resignation to the church meeting, and said if anyone particularly wanted to read the letter to see the church administrator.(me at the time) Only one did. No need to subject the pastor to unwarrented abuse.
    Regards
    Bob
     
  12. David Ekstrom

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    Unless your constitution requires it, the pastor is certainly not required to give a podium to a person who is slandering the pastor. If he wants to leave, there's the door.
    It won't end there, of course. Ideally, the person should bring forth his charges to the board of deacons and there should be an inquiry into them so that the innocent pastor can be vindicated. Then when Mr. Slanderer runs his mouth to the membership after he leaves, the chairman of the board can stand up for the pastor.
    So don't sweep things under the rug but you don't have to broadcast your enemy's propaganda, either.
    If Mr. Slanderer is too much of a wimp to make his charges in a proper way to the deacons, then the pastor will have to share the letter with them. He should give them opportunity to address the issues.
    One more thing: critics are seldom 100% wrong. There may be a kernel of truth in the accusations and this is a good opportunity for the pastor to learn and grow if he'll humble himself instead of defend himself.
     
  13. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim
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    We had such a case, where the person resigning was a very respected member of the congregation. Here's what we did, after much failed effort at private reconciliation:

    1) Asked the resignee to bring his case before the congregation.

    2) the resignee declined, so we responded in writing, stating why we thought his accusations were not sufficient, and offering another opportiunity to face the congregation.

    3) Upon his refusal, called a congreagational meeting and read both letters aloud, and allowed questions.

    The result was the departure of the resignee, unfortunately. But, at least it was all open and public so as to eliminate rumors or mis-information.

    Of course, depending on the nature of the accusations it might need to be handled differently.
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    I have always tenured my resignation to the apprpriate persons, and they have dealt with it.
     
  15. rufus

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    Without trying to sound super-Biblical, we try to follow the rules of Jesus in dealing with offenses.

    Long before a resignation is read (if it ever is), we attempt to restore relationships. When not possible, we discipline (impartially).

    Rufus :(
     

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