Need some advice...

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by jet11, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. jet11

    jet11
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    I attend a small Church, and a vote was held to let the pastor go on Sunday. My family is very good friends with the Pastor. We went on family vacations together, ate out together nearly every Sunday, his daughters babysat for our kids, etc. He is a good man, and he lives what he preaches. I am not worried for him in the least. I actually believe, based on the discussion below, that it is the best thing for him. I know God has big plans for him, so it makes it easier to accept.

    Anyway, here is my delimma. I am very angry at the manner in which this was done. We have a local general store where older folks in the community hang out. Members of the Church were soliticing votes on his removal. They basically talked about removing him in front of non-members.

    The Pastor's wife is also our pianist. They were on vacation Sunday, so she was absent. Certain members of the Church cheered after the Organist finished playing for the offering, which has never been done before (cheering), because the Preacher's wife wasn't there (no pianist). I have never seen such a classless display in my entire life.

    The older folks of the community go to the store and discuss Church business with non-members all of the time. We get calls periodically asking us if this or that is really true about our Church. It is very demoralizing when we are trying to witness to those in the community, and we are greeted with "your Church has more problems than I do".

    In the past, our pastor has taken a few of the older folks with him on Visitation. He later received calls from several of the objects of the visits that stated never to bring this certain individual with him again. This certain individual, one of the ring leaders of the vote, is known in the community to gossip about others.

    I would like to call them out, but I feel I am still too angry to do this in a loving manner. I am seeking council from cooler heads than mine. I need to know the proper way to bring this to the Churches attention (the Church members already know, but I would like for this to be on record). I would like to do this in a more loving manner, instead of a combative nature. My hope and prayer is that they will see what they are doing is wrong, but it has been this way for as long as I can remember. The names have changed, but the actions are still the same.:tear:
     
    #1 jet11, Oct 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2007
  2. annsni

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    I'd go to Matthew 18 for what to do. Approach whatever leadership that is there - if they do not listen, go back to them with support. If they do not listen, get up in front of the church. If the church doesn't repent, wash your feet of them.
     
  3. saturneptune

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    Wow, that is quite a dilemma. Our church manages to maintain unity despite differences. For example, we have been discussing open vs closed communion as a policy without an angry split. It does not have enough support on either side to see the Spirit in it. I think we as a church learned this from painful history decades ago.

    Unless the pastor is in some kind of blatant sin or some kind of off the wall theology that changes who Jesus Christ is, then I feel it is the congregation's duty to support him, especially over non-essential and petty differences. He was called there by God, and your congregation voted for the call.

    I would not stay at a church that had an organized effort to dump a pastor based on likes or dislikes. There are many, many churches around that would appreciated your ministry, time, and offerings.
     
  4. webdog

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    This story is the perfect example why I believe the Bible does not teach a congregation should run the church. God has put shepherds / elders (plural) to make these decisions, and are ultimately accountable to God.
     
  5. christianyouth

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    Great point.
     
  6. jet11

    jet11
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    Thanks for the replies

    Thanks for the replies to this thread. I am really debating on whether to leave the Church or not. I have visited a Church that we like, and I am praying over this decision. I am really tired of beating my head against a brick wall.

    One of our deacons was against our pastor. The other deacons and elders of the Church are aware of the situation, and to keep harmony they seem to just roll with it.

    There was absolutely no sins, corruption, or any other ethical concerns with this Pastor. They simply do not like him. He tells it like it is. In the past, after word got back to him that members were at the local store trashing other members, the pastor, and the Church in general, he preached a sermon on love and forgiveness. The ones doing the talking should not gossip, and the ones that were talked about should forgive. He had to preach that sermon a few times. I believe that since that time, they have harbored ill feelings toward him. He apologized from the pulpit several times in case he had hurt someone's feelings. He told anyone that had an issue to come to his office, and they would work it out. He never had any takers, so he naturally thought everything was finished.

    The kicker that makes me even madder is that he is a bi-vocational pastor. He works hard through the week, but he is faithful to his study of God's word to prepare great sermons. Recently, he fell off of a barn and almost died. He fractured several bones and was unable to work for some time. When he finally is able to go back to work, the Church members decide to call a vote on him. Needless to say, they are struggling monetarily due to the lost income.

    Thanks again for your replies, and I will pray that God will remove the anger and help me see the best way to handle the situation.
     
  7. FBCPastorsWife

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    I am certainly sorry to hear of this situation and I will certainly pray that your pastor and his family will find another church to serve at soon. It also sounds like it is time for you to find another church however it must be the Lord's leading if you decide to leave. It sounds like you are attending church with a bunch of carnal Christians! If they have been doing this for a long time then things probably won't change. They as well need lots of prayer!

    As a pastor's wife I know how hurtful it is to find out that people in your church have been telling falsehoods against you and sowing discord. Right now is the time for you to earnestly pray for and support your pastor and his family!
     
  8. Jkdbuck76

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    Advice?

    I used to kick box. I still throw a pretty mean left hook. I'd have slugged the gossiper. :laugh:

    Just kidding.

    My real advice? Leave. Leave. Leave. And may the next pastor reign down the fire that is 1 and 2 Corinthians on that church. I can't BELIEVE that people are talking shop with non-believers. And according to what you tell us, the people who are being visited say "do NOT bring that man to my house again."

    You know what? EVERY church has that one special gossiper. And you will never change them. Only God can. And if He won't, then you'll just have to wait until the gossiper dies or leaves. We got one guy just like that....gossips, causes trouble, makes problems with the weaker ones and with those who are having trouble. We're going to have to go all Matthew 18 on him I guess.

    You cannot change that local body and it sounds like they are hateful, back-biting, I-go-to-church-cuz-its-a-social-club types. Leave and find a church filled with loving people. YOu will never find a perfect church, but you can find a local congregation of people that love the Lord and love you. Ask the Lord to show it to you.
     
  9. jet11

    jet11
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    I have been praying for sometime about looking for another Church. I have had an uneasy feeling for a few years now with other decisions in the Church, which I will not discuss.

    My family will begin visiting other Churches starting this Sunday. Please pray for us as we make this tough decision.
     
  10. Aaron

    Aaron
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    What was the reason they gave for letting him go?
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    There is no reason to waste your valuable time and ministry life in a church like this. They are going to do whatever they want. I suggest leaving and finding a church that is more suited for being concerned about reaching people and being the Gospel to those who need it.

    There is no reason to waste your spiritual vitality, time, or enter the cooridoors of frustration with these people. Move on and be blessed. You've got 1 life...clearly yours will count for the Gospel...no need wasting it with those who want to hold us down. :)

    thanks for the thread!
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    Certainly, this is one case in point. I think we all have seen situations where this is certainly not a good thing, a congregation led church.
     
  13. SaggyWoman

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    Unless you could clean house, I think I would have to move on myself.
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    The sad thing, Jet11, is that churches like this are hard pressed to stay this way. One church I have seen has been like this for years, and there isn't much to change it.

    Others have eventually seen the work of God, but a lot of people were wiped out.
     
  15. Choctawman

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    Wow! That's a horrible story about a church. It sure sounds like much of the body is infiltrated with satan's influence. Gossip is a killer of ministry at all levels. If your elder board and/or deacons went along with the membership then, they are weak and should be even more ashamed for allowing such activities to proceed.

    IMHO, church business is CHURCH business, not the local population's. Those church members who were discussing this situation should have been brought up in front of the elder board and asked to justify their actions. If they had some contention with the pastor, they should have voiced their complaint to the elders. What you have seen is a spiritual lynching of what you say is a good man.

    My last advice to you would be to write a letter to the elders and membership stating why you are choosing to leave their church. Back up your statements with scripture and tell them that you simply cannot fellowship with the unrepentant who are giving Christians everywhere a real bad reputation. This has been satan's playground for some time and it looks like he won this round. Eventually, all of this will destroy your little church which is a shame. But, when the members take on the role of accuser, judge and jury and convict the pastor then execute him with their own vote, they have violated most every standard for governing a church.

    Maybe those who weren't real happy with this decision will learn from it and gain some strength to save their church and start confronting those who's lives are governed by the deadly sin of gossip. You have a right to be angry and for all the right reasons. I will keep you in my prayers.
     
  16. Timsings

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    This story is a good example of a church that is either poorly organized or not run according to its constitution and by-laws. The procedure for removing the pastor or any staff member should be clearly spelled out with requirements for notification of all members and a sufficient waiting period to make sure that any member who wants to participate can. The fact that the church was able to call for a vote on firing the pastor while he on vacation and without his knowing it is proof of problems.

    This reminds me a little bit of the story of Clarence Jordan's expulsion from his church in Georgia. He was away when a report was presented on his activities at Koinonia Farm. The conclusion of the report was that Jordan be expelled from the congregation. At a few moments of uneasy silence, his wife, Florence, rose and moved the acceptance of the report.

    I suggest that when you have found a new church, tell the pastor in private about your story. Ask for a copy of their by-laws and constitution. That should help you make a decision.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  17. The Scribe

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    Wow! Talking about your church with non-christians, gossip, etc...

    I have to say they are carnal christians. You never talk with non-christians about your church.

    I believe the word Ichabod applies here. It's time to leave and find another church home.

    Why aren't the deacons doing their job? The congregation shouldn't be running the show.

    It's one thing to have a problem with members in your church, it's another thing to gossip.

    They should have had a discussion with the preacher themselves. Sounds like mob rule to me. :(
     
  18. bobbyd

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    My guess is that this church has probably done something like this before, and probably would do it again.
    I'm in agreement with those that suggest you find a new place of worship and service.
    I recently pastored a church similar to this and after a while all you can do is leave them to their self destruction and hope that they don't do any more damage to the kingdom of God.
     
  19. jet11

    jet11
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    No reason given. They started a petition at the local store, and several people of the Curch signed it (including 2 deacons). All 4 of the Trustees of the Church voted against him.

    Apparently, they just wanted a change. Several members have never liked him, and now they had the votes. They don't like his personality. He tells it like it is. If he sees something is wrong with the Church, he preaches about it and lets the members know that something is wrong and needs to change. He points the finger at himself as often as he does the congregation. For example in a sermon about listening to God's voice, he admitted to ignoring the voice one day as he came home from work (bi-vocational). He felt he was too tired, and the person that he felt led to visit was a known drunk and hostile to the Word. He used himself as an example of what not to do.
     
  20. jet11

    jet11
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    SW, I appreciate the advice. I have prayed about this decision many times, and I am still undecided. I am going to continue to pray and visit some other Churches.

    I don't know if God wants me to stay and try to change things (been this way for as long as I have been a member), or if God would like me to attend another Church. Please pray for me that I will not base this decision on emotion, and that I will obey whatever God would have me do. Even if it is beating my head against a brick wall.:BangHead:
     

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