When It Is Your Fault

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Okay pastors, I know this has never happened to any of you, but I have offended someone in my congregation, and it is my fault.

    During a particularly demanding time period in my secular employment (read: I was worn out), I neglected to contact someone about an issue after they had called me three times.

    Because of my busy-ness, I put the issue on the back-burner and eventually forgot about it. In the meantime, the person is offended and has been out of church for three weeks.

    Here are my thoughts: I'm a human being, for crying out loud! Sure, it's my fault, and I ought to apologize (I'm going in a few minutes to do just that), but everyone wants a piece of me, and there's only so much to go around! As perfect as I want to be, I'm going to make mistakes...can't people overlook the trivial?

    Oh well, I know what's the right thing to do...go to this person with my hat in my hand and seek forgiveness - until the next time.
     
  2. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    USN2:

    Sounds like your on the right track. Don't be to proud to admit when you are wrong and say I'm sorry. That will go a long way.

    I think you should look at this like we look at accidents, problems or breakdown in the secular workplace. (I am bivocational also). What I mean is this, you need a twofold response to this.

    First, you go to the offended person and apologize. You do whatever you need to do to make it up to that person. You fix the immediate situation.

    Second, you take steps to ensure it does not happen again. What those steps are I can not guess without more information. Perhaps you get an answering machine or you post established office hours when you know you will not be at your secular job. I am sure you wish you were better organized and had not forgotten. A class in time management or a new scheduling system (i.e. Daytimer or Franklin planner) may be in order. You may need to involve other church members. Is there a deacon or Sunday School teacher this individual could have turned to. I have been in churches where we assigned different families to different deacons and they knew who 'their' deacon was and I have also been in churches where we had a rotating deacon on call each week for emergencies. Being a bivocational pastor is a tough job, I know. You do not have the time a full time pastor does and your congregation needs to understand that and do their fair share to help.

    I will pray that you can resolve the problems with this individual. I know the last thing any of us wants to do is drive someone from the house of God.
     
  3. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    USN,

    I am not even going to try to tell you what you should do, you have already stated that you were going to do the right thing. I just want to say that I know where you are at, and I think every pastor has been there.

    Let me just say that I have found out for alot of people in our churches that you can be there for them ten times in a roll and meet their needs, but you may miss the eleventh time and it seems all the other ten are forgotten. People are sheep, they have short memories, and they can forget that the pastor is not superman. Hang in there brother, you are being used of God.

    Don't let small people frustrate you to point that you loose the joy of the calling of God.

    Walk in Jesus brother,

    Bro Tony
     
  4. exscentric

    exscentric
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    "but everyone wants a piece of me, and there's only so much to go around! As perfect as I want to be, I'm going to make mistakes..."

    Sounds like a pity party or two I've thrown for myself over the years :) as does

    "Let me just say that I have found out for alot of people in our churches that you can be there for them ten times in a roll and meet their needs, but you may miss the eleventh time and it seems all the other ten are forgotten. People are sheep, they have short memories, and they can forget that the pastor is not superman."

    "can't people overlook the trivial?" sure they can but be sure you do the same with them :)

    I trust the apology was because you did wrong rather than as something you had to do to get along with your congregation.

    Let's see, aren't we ALL believers, a little imperfect - both congregant and pastor - seems like a little of "me" vs "them" in this thread.

    Hope I am incorrect!

    Trust the meeting went well!
     
  5. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    ex,

    It sure wasn't my intent to ever sound like a me vs them. There are times and places to let off some of the frustrations of dealing with people. I believe that is what USN was doing, as we all have needed to occasionally. You share you frustrations and then you go and do what needs to be done, in this case he went to the people who were offended. I hope this pastor's forum can be a place for some of our men who are in difficult situations and sometimes all by themselves. I too trust the meeting went well.

    Bro Tony
     
  6. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Bro Tony, you're right - that was my intent also. I hope to find common ground with many pastors here who have experienced this - as for me, it's the first time (more failures to come, I'm sure).
     
  7. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    Hang in there brother. Regardless of anything that comes along there is no better place to be then in the center of God's will. It can be frustrating and people can be frustrating, but when someone comes to faith, is discipled and then walks in the Lord, and God allows us to be apart of it-----What could be better this side of heaven?

    Bro Tony
     
  8. Bro.Bill

    Bro.Bill
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    Dear USN,
    I read your post and the others also.I think I just did the only reasonable thing I could do, that is I prayed for you and that church member that your fences would be mended. I also prayed that god would use you to help that person.Your timing may not be perfect but God's timing always is. god bless you my brother.
     
  9. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Well, the person in question still hasn't come back, but I've done all I can. Where before my mind was in turmoil, now I'm at peace with the situation. It saddens me to say, but I'm not going any farther for someone that would leave over something so petty. God bless her and direct her to another church where she might find fellowship.
     

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