Pastor wants me to join, am I out of line to say yes but with conditions?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Melissa36, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Melissa36

    Melissa36
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    Hi
    I am new to the board...it's nice to meet all of you. I would love to get more involved in the Baptist church we just started attending. Our son loves the Youth Group and the Pastor seems wonderful. Two of his best friends are our best friends, so I feel like I know him though I have yet to meet him. I used to teach a Christian Camping program each Sunday evening at our former church. In order to head anything at this church, you must be a member. That's not a problem except....
    I have one concern preventing me from joining, and I don't know how to handle it. I can't seem to get over it.

    Every week during the service there are prayer requests. Folks take turns speaking outloud. Often these people babble and babble....going into juicy detail about others which makes me uncomfortable. What begins as a prayer request, ends up a gossip session.
    Today, a woman said "Please pray for my Granddaughter, she has problems and needs to face reality" (She was a little emotional when she said it, yet snide, though it was meant to appear in a caring spirit) The other things she said weren't so bad but that one sentence just ruined this girls character. I feel like anyone with courage enough to say that outloud in the name of God has alot more problems.
    If these church members would just say, "Please pray for (insert name) to come to the Lord" Or "She is having a hard time because of medical issues" this would cover over 80% of the prayer requests (which take up almost a third of the church service). Many do say their requests appropriately. Yet many folks share others personal info. Being in such a small town, even if you don't identify someone by name, it is often easy to know who they are talking about.
    It's just a sentence or twoconvienantly hidden with nice words. Just enough to ruin someone's character. I fear if I join, someone might talk about me that way, disguise it in a "Prayer Request".

    I believe my Pastor is unaware of the ramifications since it seems to bring everyone together. I mean it REALLY does seem to bond them all, the more juicy unappropriate details that are divulged. " Would it be out of line to say to the Pastor when he asks that I will join if he allows me to head a Prayer request chain? I don't want to tell him outright...I want to say it nicely so if I offer to head something, it might make me look like less of a complainer. Any thoughs from anyone, especially pastors is appreciated. Thanks for your patience in reading my post!
    Melissa

    [ December 19, 2005, 08:05 AM: Message edited by: blackbird ]
     
  2. Melissa36

    Melissa36
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    Sorry, I want to add to this. This is a small church (about 150 members) but the town is much smaller. It seems almost everyone in town attends this church, it is the only one. The Pastor told my friend he was going to ask me to join. He is having a new member class soon, and knows who I am because of my job. I am guessing he likes our family because I help out alot on Sunday Evenings and tithe even though we are not members yet.
     
  3. TomVols

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    Yes.

    You may indeed have legitimate concerns. But engaging in some sort of spiritual quid pro quo with the pastor is not the answer. Share your concerns. But do not share them as a condition for membership or you'll join if you head up a group. It will come off like you're bull-dozing your way into leadership. This is the act of problem people, not legitimate members.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Agree with concerns (all we know is how YOU relate it). I would speak privately, hat-in-hand trying to understand, with the pastor. THEN, if not satisfied, speak with him and the board.
     
  5. Gina B

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    Honesty shouldn't hurt anything. Speak plainly. I think we all are old enough to acknowledge that letting things fester and not going directly to a person with problems only leads to more hurt feelings, and gossip, etc..

    Why not simply say "I have noticed this and believe it to be a problem. Do you agree?"

    If he agrees, then move on to working toward a solution together. A pastor in one church I was in had a way of handling such. I was guilty of saying too much myself one time, and he simply cut me off and said "thank you, we'll remember that (so and so) needs prayer for a tough situation."
    It wasn't rude, but it was short, let me know immediately that I'd gone too far (even though it was unintentional, I was trying to explain) and just embarassing enough that I never did it again!

    That might be how it starts. Jumping in and trying to change things might be a bad way of starting off. Let him know, let him handle it for the time being with the knowledge that you're willing to help, and if they truly can't manage to fix it without your intervention, they'll remember and come to you for assistance!
     
  6. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I learned long ago that if I were to wait for the perfect Church to come along, I would be in heaven before I joined one. That is clearly not God's plan for my life as he has commanded us not to forsake the fellowship of fellow believers. Pray about it. Talk to the pastor about your concerns. If you don't think this is where God wants you, then don't go there and start trying to find somewhere else to go. God will provide an alternative if this is not where he wants you to be. But I agree with Tom. Don't use your membership as a bargaining tool to try and change them as an outsider. You are gonna have to accept the Church warts and all sometimes, just as they will for you. Otherwise, you need to find somewhere else to go.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  7. mountainrun

    mountainrun
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    You AND the church should take each other as-is.
    Our church usually has only 8 or so for the prayer service and it's the same thing there.

    I wouldn't try to change anyone as that usually is a waste of time.

    Talk to the pastor and he will probably try to control it better.

    Most of the people who don't come to the prayer service here have the same complaints you do.
    They simply come at other times.

    MR
     
  8. Melissa36

    Melissa36
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    Thanks to all of you for your advice. We attended a Nazarene Church up until almost a month 1/2 ago, then began attending the Baptist Church because of our future move (it's only 1/2 hr away). We are building a house there. I didn't get into what was said each week as of prayer requests. I feel like just to allow such a large group (over 100 people attend) free reign in that way is a no no, and I assumed you would just believe me that people would run amuck. I attend a Bible Study accountability group each week, and each of us sometimes get's off track in this exact way. Yet this is a large group of people.
    It 's people's nature to gossip, and gossip is in everyday life and I can except that. But when it is done in a public forum, it is elevated to a very hurtful level. I believe it to be slander (at certain times). Not all folks reolize what they are doing, but you can see some of the folks anger when they make those snide remarks in the name of a prayer request.
    Honestly, I think my fear is taking over. I am concerned when I make friends with church members, they could talk about me in the same manner with or without malice attatched. I won't risk that. Not in such a public way.
    It's been a blessing to have our unchurched kids (our good friends teenager & ours) ACTUALLY ask to go to Youth Group on Sunday Evenings. I know this wasn't a mistake to attend the Baptist Church because now my son and our best friends son reolize it's possible to actually enjoy church. I thank god for that.
    If Pastor wanted it changed, I think it would be changed by now. If I don't have ALL good to say in the first meeting with him, I don't want to say anything at all. I believe he is truly a nice man who thinks ignoring these discresion is best. He likely sees everyone bonding also.
    From my experience of being friends with the Nazarene's Pastors wife, it's hard when people come in to the church and take over. I love the Nazarene Church, and have missed it very much.
    Thanks again to all of you who replied.
    Blessings to you, Melissa
     
  9. Hope of Glory

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    A membership class?

    Anyway, I would not be able to form a viable opinion about "too much information", without knowing what "too much information" is. Is Mrs. Smith's daughter a crackhead who was arrested at Main and 1st last night and she needs to face reality? Or is Mrs. Smith's daughter in college and has a boyfriend and Mrs. Smith thinks that she may be sleeping around, but she now wears jeans instead of skirts and blah, blah, blah...
     
  10. Melissa36

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    Mountainrun,

    Thanks for your advice but just for clarity in case others thought the same thing, ithis is not a prayer service I am talking about. It is a part of the Sunday Morning regular church service. There is only one service held each week.

    Dr. Bob,
    I have met the board, and I do feel they would agree with me and want it changed. I can't picture any of them talking that way. The Pastor is easy going.
    You seem like you have a great head on your shoulders
     
  11. Melissa36

    Melissa36
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    Hope of Glory,

    Hope of Glory,
    A few church members were arrested so that was mentioned today, and it was said that we should to pray for them. It's not usually that blatant. It's the WAY some folks can say it. Many get angry or cry. It is in their tone when they speak about people. Alot of it has to do with people not accepting their faith, meaning people who will not agree with their beliefs in the Bible. I have many non-christian friends who are not believers. I talk of my faith freely, I can't help it, but I do not harrass them. They know I love them whether they are Christians or not, and I do it out of love.

    Many of these folks get "offended easily, and make out like anyone not a christian is evil. They go on and on about others faults, usually stupid stuff. Like "Uncle Fred get's so distracted he keeps loosing his job"
    Often, they tell stories of witnessing to family members/friends who "Reject them again and again" They tell us the "Rude replies" which usually means the family is tired of being told they are going to hell. It sounds to me like many church members are pestering people with their Christian beliefs. Then others seem to simpathize with them like we're all in some sort of club or something. Share your beliefs, but just because someone doesn't accept them, it doesn't make them evil.
    I believe Sunday Services are not for this type of thing. It appears many of these church members need to be in small groups instead where their are some guidelines to sharing information.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Tell him your concerns, and then join the church if you agree with its philosophy and teaching. Don't put requirements or conditions on it.

    I am not sure what you would talk to "the board" about. What is "the board"? I am not familiar with that NT office, though I hear a lot of people talk about it. I would talk to the pastor. He is the one God has placed in leadership in the church.
     
  13. Phillip

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    A church is usually a not-for-profit corporation. If this is the case, then a board of directors is required by state law (in most states). This may be what Dr. Bob is talking about.

    Typically there are no stock-holders or owners of a NFP corp., but there has to be the basic minimum required group of officers (President, Vice President, Secretary) and board of directors.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    A board may exist for legal purposes, but not for church purposes. Talk to the pastor. He is the one whom God has placed in charge of the church.
     
  15. HankD

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    Melissa, Your pastor no doubt has a job for you.

    Yes, the sheep can be very beligerent and there is a risk of personal demise.

    Yes, it hurts when they kick.

    My advice FWIW:
    Pray, then take the risk if God leads.
    What matter what others think or say, Jesus knows all about that.
    Be an example.

    Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

    HankD
     
  16. bapmom

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    And Melissa,

    please remember, while you have seen this and it is a legitimate concern, perhaps God would like you to help with a solution.

    But do not assume that you ought to be the one who is the leader of the solution. It may be that you bring your concern to the pastor's attention, and he picks a long-time member to head up a prayer chain, OR to write out a prayer letter each week. You really should not put some sort of "requirement" on whether or not you will become a member.

    You do not want to join a church as if you are going to be the solution to all of its "problems".

    I do believe that if you have not been going there for very long, than you most likely do not have all of the story. You are bringing a fresh perspective, yes, but remember that you are only seeing a very few weeks worth of this behavior. Some churches go through "phases", the pastor sees what is happening, and deals with it in the preaching time. Many times the pastor wants to let the Holy Spirit have a "chance" to work on correcting these issues before he will go and confront specific people face-to-face.

    I don't think you can get the true picture of the true spirit of the church in such a short period of time. Just let God guide you as to what you should do. I think you should join, be a good example, and then speak to the pastor in a month or so if you see no improvement.


    Oh, and I want to add that I have seen this "open forum prayer request" time work very well in some churches, without it usually turning into a gossip session. So it very well may be that in the past this way has worked here in this church. The people are used to it, they like to be able to express themselves to their church-family. Many people feel that their church IS their family, and if you cannot express your concerns to them, than who can you talk to?
    Let the pastor be the leader......he has led these people for this long, I bet he has some ideas already as to what is going on and how it ought to be dealt with.
     
  17. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    OK, I see what you're talking about now. I would not prevent that by itself prevent me from joining a church, and I would deal with such situations in a different way that would be quite off topic here.
     
  18. Melissa36

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    Thanks again to everyone. The four people I mentioned are Elders, (sorry), I don't know if there is a board or not. I wouldn't go to them anyways. This is a job for Pastor, he is f/t. Going to "his" bosses is something I would not do unless it is life or death situation. Even then, I would have talked with him first, second, AND third before going off...
    Pastor has been listening to his close friends sadness about his friends (& our's friend's) teenage son not attending church for years. These people are further along spiritually than we are. Pastor and his wife have vacationed with our friends for years before they began attending his church about 3 months ago. They are not members yet either. All were shocked when the boys attended church, Pastor stared at us for a bit when we first entered the church. Back then, I didn't reolize how many people we "shared friends" with. Or us that bringing the teenageer was something the church had prayed outloud about for the last month.
    Pastor should get MUCH of the credit for hanging around this boy. He included him in Missions with his parents though neither are members yet of the church. This same teenage boy tells us "Pastor is the nicest guy you will ever meet" Which is great influence for my son and myself. I am not sure if any of us would have agreed to go willingly to church without Pastors influence. It's much easier to get along with people in the secular world than in a church world if you ask me.
    My thought was maybe Pastor wouldn't feel pressured as if I "directly" complained. I don't want to do a prayer chain anyways, it's not my bag. Obviously it wasn't a good idea from reading the posts here.
    Only when they LIKE you do they respond to suggestions. It would be taken as complaining I am afraid since I am so new. That is usually the kiss of death.
    Pastor is in an accountability group with another good friend of ours who my husband also works closely with. This almost seems like a god thing. I told my friends not to introduce me until I felt more comfortable. I can't really stay on this board unless I am Baptist (which is fair) so I hope I can stay long enough to respond to this posting. Blessings to everyone for your advice. The combination of it was very helpful. I think I will pray about it longer.
     
  19. Melissa36

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    P.S. I think I am really TOO sentisitve about things. It took a while before finding my former church (Nazarene) and they aren't a close family really yet the gossip is minimal so it feels more "safe"
     
  20. Melissa36

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    Hey someone stold my [inappropriate language] and replaced it with courage in my first posting. I think it was the moderator...

    That's too funny

    ((Good job))

    :eek: :eek: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Obviously...Bro. Dallas

    [ December 19, 2005, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: Frogman ]
     

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