First, I'll reference a post made by a brother on another thread: "I had a very similar problem 20 years ago when I took my present church. I just kept preaching and pretty soon the trouble makers either got right with God or they realized they couldn't run me off so they left. I have had 18 years of peace, growth, and the moving of the spirit. We have started 5 new churches out of ours, and we presently have 3 church planters on the field planting 3 more new works." Now, its obvious those in his church who criticized him and left were not close with the Lord. Why is it obvious? Because his church has flourished. God will not thrive and grow a church for a significant amount of time that is not honoring Him. Ok. Here's the situation I was in 2 years ago. Our senior pastor of over 30 years retired. He left the church in not too good of shape. The youth ministry was highly neglected, there was no real emphasis placed on evangelism, and the membership and attendance was shrinking (1998 there were approximately 1,200 in attendance on a given Sunday, 2002 there were around 550). During that decrease there were no scandals or anything crazy that would result in a mass exodus. There were simply other churches in town, both SBC and Non-denom, which were on fire for the Lord. Now, the search process took a couple of years, but we finally found a pastor. The situation he was coming in to was a little tense, as one of the associate pastors was on bad terms with the chairman of the deacon committee. Anyhow, the chairman of the deacons was also the chairman of the search committee. As soon as the new pastor arrived, the first thing he did was fire this associate pastor of 25 years for allegations of having a bad temper and damaging the public perception of the church. However, the allegations were never founded, never investigated, etc. I know this because I was a Deacon at the time. It quickly became obvious to many deacons that there was a power struggle going on, and our chairman had an obvious agenda to get rid of this assoc. pastor. To add fodder to the fire, another associate pastor, the youth pastor, was the son-in-law of the other pastor who was fired. Funny, because our chairman also had a beef with the youth pastor. He felt the youth pastor was too mean to the youth. He would do things like ask youth to leave Sunday School and Wednesday night activities because they were being very disruptive. I volunteered for the youth and I saw this on many occasions, including on several occasions to the son and daughter of our chairman. Obviously the chairman's beef with the youth pastor was personal and not Biblican. So what was the next thing the senior pastor did? Fire the youth pastor. Over the next few months, myself and several other deacons requested to meet with the senior pastor to find out what was really going on. He refused such a meeting every single time. He would preach sermons on how if you cause disagreements in the church or disagree with the pastor, God just might kill you, and brought up a couple of stores of "real" people who this happened to (or so we were told). Anyway, many, many, many people left that church and are now at others throughout the city. I saw our chairman at a Wal Mart several months after that and he had the gall to tell me, "Our church is praying for those of you who left. We hope you will repent and get right with the Lord." Are you kidding? I did not say anything to the man and simply walked away. So, my question is this. Do pastors think they are ALWAYS right? Is it possible for a pastor to be caniving and have questionable motives? If so, is it wrong for his congregation to hold him accountable, which is what we tried to do? Because of all this, I will never, ever again be involved in the inner workings of a church, as deacons and elders are. I want no part of it. But please, pastors, reading the story I presented, how was I/we wrong? I just can't see where we erred. Thank you.