Question for the pastors/pastor's wives

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by abcgrad94, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Do we in ministry have a duty to warn those in our congregation of those who come in with wrong intentions? For example, say you get to know a family and start to see a pattern of them financially using people, and they start coming to your church, do you warn your members to be careful? What if the family in question has taken advantage of you personally and then you find out they are asking financial favors from members of your congregation?

    Is there a line between letting people give willingly and cheerfully and being used? At what point, if any, should we step in and say something?
     
  2. annsni

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    I think this is a time to use Matthew 18, approach the couple directly and address their issue of not providing for their own family and asking for financial advice from others. I'd counsel them that they are not to approach any individual for any money and if they do, they will open themselves to church discipline. They are only allowed to approach the church and the church will then decide whether or not the family will be receiving any financial assistance. I would let the deacons know about the issue so that they can keep an eye on it and then keep your ears open. Should the couple disobey, it is time to address it "from the pulpit" - whether it be a letter to the congregation or something like that. It would really depend on the size of the church and how the couple come in but in our church, it wouldn't actually be addressed in the Sunday Service but would be addressed to the staff, deacons and small group leaders. If this sort of thing continued, the person/couple would be asked to leave.

    Now, that said, it's still an individual's choice whether or not they will help the couple. If they know that they are most likely being used and still decide to help anyway, that is their own decision and the church can't stop them from doing so. But the church can assist in allowing the "donor" to know that the behavior of the "taker" is a habit and that it just may be a good idea to allow the person to receive the discipline of the Lord (which is often what happens but we want to step in and "help" when instead we are shortchanging God in the situation).

    It's all a sticky situation but it hurts a congregation when nothing is said until it's too late and people are bitter and hurt from this sort of thing.
     
  3. plain_n_simple

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    Do we in ministry have a duty to warn those in our congregation of those who come in with wrong intentions?

    Why not drive the spirit they have out of them? Give them the truth, set them free. Then you will not a have a need to warn anybody of anything, and the church will be edified.
     
  4. annsni

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    But sometimes there are those who for whatever reasons don't want to hear it. They WANT to use others. There are those who are habitual users and if one church bumps them, they move on to another church. If we find this is the truth, we will warn the other pastors in the area just so that they know what they are dealing with.
     
  5. plain_n_simple

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    You're right, but I'd start by casting that demon out of those people.The first victim is the one decieving the churches, the second of course is the local church members.
     
  6. mandym

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    If you have determined that these people are misleading and manipulating people then it would be appropriate to go to them first. Be sure that you are fair in all dealings with them and make an opportunity for them to explain themselves.
     
  7. glfredrick

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    As a pastor who has been the target of some of those "wolves in sheep's clothing" I can only suggest that this is a matter of utmost care.

    I have seen a church split by a couple who came in and offered to be in almost every ministry -- and for a time they served with great success, helping the church grow -- until they decided to start disrupting the entire church to get their own way. It was devastating, for what they in fact did was to lead a bunch of people to follow them instead of staying true to the church, but they had no intentions of actually leading those people godward. It was all personal aggrandizement and self-worship.

    We're never called to toss out the tares from the wheat, but neither do we have to place those suspected of being tares into positions of leadership until they prove that they are faithful to the congregation and to God. "By their fruits..."
     
  8. DiamondLady

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    Last year we had a single mother of two daughters come to our church with a friend and neighbor of theirs. She'd lost her job, her car was not running and she'd been kicked out of her rented home. After prayerful consideration we offered her and her daughters free accomodations in our empty parsonage, with the proviso that she find a full time job and get on her feet. The church allowed her to live there free, we paid for the electricity...so it cost her nothing.

    They moved in the last week of May, and of course, she couldn't find a job because her car was not only not running but also had no insurance nor license tag. We took up a love offering and her car was repaired and the church paid for one month's insurance. That was in August.

    In November, at our church family Thanksgiving Dinner, a former member was visiting and overheard a couple talking about the situation. She told that something very similar happened to her and shared the story. I'd stopped by the table as she was sharing the story and as she described the woman she said she had a funny name. I stopped and gave the woman's name and she lit up and said, "YES! That's her!" and then told how this woman went from church to church doing exactly what she'd done to our church. Her experience with her was from five years previous.

    The woman had made no moves, however, to find housing of any sort and her weekly church attendance had dwindled to almost nothing, she had an excuse for not attending at all. Finally the church gave her a deadline of December 31 to find a place of her own to live. By the end of January 2011 she'd moved out into her own housing.

    In the meantime, not only had she utterly destroyed the carpeting in the parsonage (it had to be completely ripped up, it was saturated with dog urine...a dog no one knew she had there), but our helping her had cost the church around $3,500.00, not including the cost of new carpeting.

    I told you this to tell you how we handled your question....when we knew what church she had next gone to...and she did, immediately when we stopped helping her....we called the pastor of that church and told him exactly what she'd done to us and what her past history was. She was asked to leave that church. When we knew what next church she went to, and she did immediately, we called and talked to that pastor also. She tried changing her last name, but it didn't help and they also refused to help her and asked her to leave. She's now left our town and gone to another area of the state, when she knew the doors were closed to her here she left.

    I guess what I'm saying is, God's Word says that if you don't work you don't eat and I believe that verse covers those who simply come in and mooch off of the church and its members. We're to be good samaritans and to help those in NEED, not those who just want to get whatever they can for free.

    PROTECT YOUR CHURCH! Do it in a loving way, but I can tell you from this experience it can make people angry and bitter when they discover what's been done to them.
     
  9. gb93433

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    Typical of antagonists. The problem is so few recognize this. The articles I have read extimate the problem to be among 70-80% of the churches. There is a good book on the subject Antagonists in the Church by Kenneth C. Haugk .

    Everyone is accompanied by fruit. I have found few pastors who seem to know scripture well enough to know that false teachers are not only characterized by false doctrine but false living. Scripture is clear onm how to deal with them. So many leaders seem to ignore that or take the position that they can help the person. The problem is that the person has chosen their way and will refuse help.
     
  10. abcgrad94

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    Thank you, glfredrick. I think this is sound advice.
     
  11. abcgrad94

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    Good advice, thank you.
     
  12. mandym

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    Scripture says otherwise:

    1Co 5:2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
    1Co 5:3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing.
    1Co 5:4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
    1Co 5:5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
     
  13. gb93433

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    Scripture addresses how to deal with false teachers.

    Acts 20:28-30, "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

    Romans 16:17-20 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

    Titus 3:9-11 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

    1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    Titus 1:13-16 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

    Ephesians 5:6-12, Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
    2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

    2 Timothy 3:1-5 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

    2 John 1:7-11 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
     
  14. abcgrad94

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    GB, don't you think there is a difference between potential "false teachers" and carnal Christians seeking to use God's people?
     
  15. Salty

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    In a former church that I was pastor, we had one couple who had no car and never had any money (they did spend $300/month on cigarettes - I know that as actual fact)

    Rick - (his real name) always asked for rides and it was not unusual to ask for money.

    Linda, a member of our church has the gift of giving - she worked for the State of NY and could well afford to help folks.

    I spoke to Linda one day about the couple asking for so much. Her answer was that our money belongs to God, and we should just let it go.

    I know Linda meant well, but my belief is that we are only enabling people by constantly giving.

    ABC asked if therr is a line. I believe there is one. The question is where - I suspect the answer is "it depends" - it depends of the individual and the needs (not wants)
     
  16. mandym

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    I do not understand why you quoted me. Can you elaborate?
     
  17. abcgrad94

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    I am wondering where the line is in making the person's intentions known. Do you keep your mouth shut if they've taken advantage of one or two members, or do you wait until several people are out hundreds of $$ and angry that you knew and didn't say anything? If you DO say something, then it might be considered gossip. Some folks are very good at playing on the sympathies of others, and can appear to be honest, good Christian folks "in need" when the pastor/pastor's family knows differently.
     
  18. gb93433

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    I am unable to see a distinction except potential is not reality yet. If they are troublemakers then it causes trouble in the congregation and they must be warned then if they do not heed the warning they are to be removed. I would say that Paul's dealings in 1Cor. 5 would be similar.
     
  19. gb93433

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    I gave scripture to prove your point.
     
  20. mont974x4

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    I have been thinking about this question for the past few days, even while my account was activated but I was still waiting to be given posting privileges.

    We, as pastors, are called to shepherd the flock that God places in our care. That would include those difficult and stubborn sheep as well as those who submit to the leadership God places over them. It also means that when faced with a wolf we must deal swiftly but also justly. I would suggest that the best way to do that is to remember that the goal in church discipline is always repentance and restoration. When that fails, when they fail to repent, then they must be removed.

    Gal 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. (NASB)

    Of course, some of you wisely brought Matthew 18 into the discussion. It warns about stumbling blocks, and how to conduct church discipline.

    Proceed with caution, with prayer, and be sure to you are right.
     

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