Surviving an abusive pastor

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by trainbrainmommy, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is a similar thread in the pastoral ministries section on abusive churches. I don't think churches have exclusive rights on abuse. Pastors dish out their fair share, too.

    Just wondering how many of you have had miserable experiences with pastors who abuse their position. Please don't name the pastor or the church.

    Example 1: DH's grandmother co-signed a car loan for her pastor. Shortly thereafter, the pastor left the church and immediately quit paying the car payments. He never contacted DH's grandmother. Granny ended up paying for the car. She was well-off and could afford it, but that pastor stole that car. He never looked back and went on to the next church. It's funny, he declined the invitation to attend the church's 100th anniversary bash. Probably, because DH and family still attended. IMO, she should have had the car repo'd.

    Example 2: I saw my husband's spirit crushed by our last pastor on several occassions. The last time, DH was the head of the finance committee and had to recommend some difficult cuts since the church was running in the red. The pastor tried to be supportive of DH without supporting the cuts. But then one of the men on the committee said he thought we should give the pastor a raise. In the smarmiest tone I have ever heard, the pastor turned to him and said, "I honor you, 'John'. I honor you." Turns out, the pastor knew all along that this man wanted to give him a raise.

    BTW - I was there. We probably could have survived the whole situation, but we caught the pastor lying on 3 separate occassions. Who can respect that? We left the church.
     
  2. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since we were saved in 1991 we've only had 2 pastors, and thankfully they were both wonderful pastors. We did have some friends, who didn't even know they had an abusive pastor because they were in some hyper strict charismatic church. This guy wanted to dictate who their friends were( and we weren't it), and what if anything they watched on tv, which bible they read, what they wore. Some of the stories I heard from them were horrible.
     
  3. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most have their horror stories. I've had some wonderful pastors, and I've had a few bullies.

    The thingto remember is that pastors, while men of God, are still men.
     
  4. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,398
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  5. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen, amen, and amen! Couldn't agree more.
     
  6. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    why do churches keep these men after they know about them?
     
  7. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a good question. Previously, I served as a youth minister at a church where the pastor was extremely abusive. I can recall numerous staff meetings where a plan was put into place to force a person to leave the church. Then afterwards, all kinds of things would be said about them, in order to stop people from having anything to do with the person.

    The pastor eventually removed any leadership position that was elected by the church. He dismissed the finance committee and writes the budget himself. Suprise...the first one he wrote gave himself a 30% raise.

    He has been caught in several lies. He has been very cruel to certain church members while letting anything go with others.

    So why is he still there?

    Some of his opposition is afraid of losing their friends and families if they stand up to him.

    Some are afraid that conflict would only divide the church.

    And let's face it, most don't care how things are run, and they think he's a nice guy.

    I suffered two years of his abuse and by the grace of God, I'm free of it...learned a lot too! :godisgood:
     
  8. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thats just sad. But I'm affraid I'd come down on the side of lets try and get rid of him, and if it causes a division, those might be christians we can do without if they support a man like that.
     
  9. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Every church I have been a member of has had a great pastor at the time. In one church the pastor was outstanding. The church grew from 250 to 1200 with about 100 baptisms each year. It began to make disciples with the help of those who knew how. Some of the leadership felt the church was getting impersonal and asked him to leave. The church continued to die for about the next 30 years. It got so bad that they had trouble paying their bills. Most of the troublemakers have died and some will die soon. The new pastor is doing quite well because the troublemakers have been silenced.
     
  10. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,398
    Likes Received:
    0
    Donna, the answer might be found in the same place we could find the answer as to why an abused woman would stay with the abuser. It is a mystery to me. Some people approach it from the attitude, "better the devil you know than the one you don't." Pitiful way to approach serving the Lord.

    T-Bone
     
  11. joycebuckner

    joycebuckner
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was raised in a church that had a pastor that liked to have little girls to set in his lap. Private parts pointed away from anyone else in the room. The little girls would talk of it among themselves but of course never to an adult In looking back on this man, he must be in hell. God would not call a man such as that into any ministry.
    No born again man would do such a thing.
    I have had a couple of the most Godly pastors though. I praise God for them...They helped me to see so much without even knowing what they were doing. They showed me what a real Godly man is like. They had the wives to match them as well. I praise God that He is a lov ing God. He is a wonderful healer of the heart.
     
  12. Jon-Marc

    Jon-Marc
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a pastor with whom I was great friends for 20 years. We spent a lot of time together, although he was the youngest pastor I ever had. Out of love I bought him and his family many gifts. I helped him pave his driveway.

    After his wife left him because of emotional abuse, I prayed with him for three years for her return until she finally divorced him. I faithfully stood by him and encouraged him, while all that time he was getting more and more bitter and angry. He had a master's degree in psychology which he used against me more and more. I was the only one in the church that he seemed to take his anger out on, and no one else could see what he was doing to me. His verbal abuse got so bad that I finally left. I was there for about 20 years and faithfully served alongside him. I wrote and told him how I felt since I couldn't talk to him in person. I told him that if he didn't feel he had wronged me, then there was nothing more to say. I never heard from him. He has since remarried. His son hates him.
     
  13. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just curious, is this man still a pastor?
     
  14. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    For all the horrible pastors, there are some great ones. And they can be very helpful for "surviving an abusive one." I have posted parts of my own story on a couple of threads now and I want to add that what helped me the most was the prayers and support of several Godly ministers.

    About a month before my firing, I was chewed out in the church office. My offense? I visited a church member in the hospital. It was a day before my vacation was to begin. I had pretty much done everything I would need to do to be able to leave for the week when the church office got a call that a church member was in the hospital and things were serious. The pastor had his door closed which meant he did not recieve calls, messages, etc. I told the secretary, "don't worry, I'll go over there" and I left. When I returned, the pastor was very angry and let me have it. He felt as though by me going over to the hospital I was letting people think that if they call the church office one of the pastors will come. (horrible thought).

    So forward a month and all had blown up with the lies, the abuse, the firing, etc. My wife and son and I drove to our hometown to spend a week with my parents to catch our breath. Now, the church I had been at ran about 400 people on a good Sunday. My parents attend a church that runs about 4000. My dad volunteers in the music office at their church and he mentioned to the worship pastor about what I had gone through. Suddenly, the worship pastor was calling me up, offering to buy me lunch. I was to go to the church and meet him at his office. What was certainly not lost on me was that this man was busier than my former pastor could ever dream of. He had a choir the size of the church I had been at. He had multiple staff in his worship deptartment. On top of that, the church was hosting the Missouri Baptist Convention that day, and the host choir was preforming in the next session. This man could hardly get out of his office he was so busy, yet he insisted on taking me out to lunch to encourage me. His example showed me what a true pastor was. In fact, the pastors on staff at that church continued to contact me, write to me, and pray for me until God moved us to our current church position.

    So how do you survive and abusive pastor? Surround yourself with Godly ministers and let them care for you.
     
  15. Alcott

    Alcott
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    7,457
    Likes Received:
    93
    Too often it's a ridiculous or no-win situation one way or another. A member of the congregation likes the way he preaches or the programs he wants to set up, or the doctrines he wants to emphasize... they want to 'reward' him, cozy up to him, talk him up all over town-- and maybe overlook indications of a serious offense because he meets what they want. If a member thinks his emphases are wrong, doesn't like his delivery, doesn't like his wanting to change the way things long have been done... then talk degradingly about him, call up deacons and committee members behind his back to oppose his ideas, maybe even look for some way to 'trap' him into an accusation he can't disprove.

    The above happens because of so much expectation... this tendecy to think we ['our' church] is entitled to a perfect pastor, who does things 'our' way; greatly underestimating how much somebody else's way may differ. It's obviously impossible to please everyone all the time. Some may be willing to settle for 90-95%, and they are the ones determined to slobber all over him and get him to think the church luvvvvvs him and will do anything to make him content to stay. Some can't tolerate 10 or even 5% of doing things the 'wrong' way.. so get rid him and we'll find one who makes the A+, as this one is only an A-.

    On the part of pastors and congregations both there is an element comparable to diabetes... not enough encouragement and congruency weakens, but too much can weaken further-- like sugar to the diabetic. Balance is very difficult because of the expectations of both.
     
  16. Jon-Marc

    Jon-Marc
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    He was the last I knew.
     
  17. Gayla

    Gayla
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,738
    Likes Received:
    0
    Example 1: New pastor comes in August. In January closes down Bus Ministry that has been going for about 4 years. Only 2routes, but there had been hope for more. When asked for a reason, he said "Because there weren't enough people to work them." Later found out that people were willing to volunteer to keep the routes going.


    Example 2: Preaching from I Corinthians 14:34 & 35. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
    And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

    During the sermon, says something to the effect of: The women shouldn't ask questions in a business meeting. This brings shame on her husband, she should ask hubby what's going on later.
    (Never mind that f hubby is not on staff or a deacon, trustee, etc., he won't know any more than the 'woman' anyway.)
    Then a year or so later, starts calling on women to pray during prayer time at the end of a service.

    contradiction?
     
  18. Disgruntled UK Baptist

    Disgruntled UK Baptist
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    No contradiction, just an unusual interpretation of the passage, that's all.

    D.
     
  19. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Possibly trying to save his bacon.
     
  20. Gayla

    Gayla
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,738
    Likes Received:
    0
    bumping up
     

Share This Page

Loading...