Would you feel threatened?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Trotter, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Pastors,

    I have a simple question, one that I really would like a level answer to.

    Are you, would you, feel/be threatened by a couple in your congregation who REALLY know their bible, and will not accept a "pat", off-the-cuff answer to a scriptural question?

    I am finding out that many pastors act as if they are threatened by my wife and I. We are serious students of the word, and do not accept anything as "the way it should be" without scripture backing it up. We are not vocal about anything, but will go to the pastor and ask for scripture that shows whatever it is that is being discussed/taught.

    How would the pastors on the BB handle this?

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

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    Trotter, I would say that a couple years ago I might have felt threatened. But at my current church I have several serious minded students of God's Word and do not hesitate doing exactly what you stated you and your wife do. They will come to me and ask for Scripture to support what is said/taught. I now look at it as a great thing and I am very happy there are serious students in our midst. It has made me a better pastor and a better student of God's Word!
     
  3. Taxman

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    I think it comes down to three things. First, the spirit in which you ask. My brother earned his doctorate from Princton Theological Seminary and he is one of the most humble men I know. He always finds something to compliment on about every pastor I see him meet. (The more scripture we know, I think the more of Christ spirit we should exhibit.Second, the principal of respect for authority should be honored. Thirdly, if you really know the scripture well, then join hands and hearts with the pastor and offer to teach a class.Tell him you want to help him equip the body and let him pray with you and your wife about where you could best help.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Most "know-it-all" types (NOT saying that is you, brother!! [​IMG] ) are obnoxious and disruptive. I don't like them in any class setting as they want to push THEIR agenda and not mine as the teacher.

    Many are not satisfied with answers I give (and folks here know the detail I go into to give answers so it is not some shallow blah blah blah answer) because they don't agree with it.

    I always try to work with such people one-on-one to meet their "special" need and not allow them to dominate the classroom.
     
  5. Soulman

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    I agree w/ Dr. Bob that people can be disruptive about it.

    However I have seen pastors preach from the pulpit that if I am wrong it is your duty to bring it to my attention. When this is done and the man of God is questioned my experience has been defensiveness. We should be able to discuss the scriptures if we do not understand what pastor meant. Not to cause a problem but to gain understanding. Unfortunately human nature puts him on the defensive more times than not.
     
  6. Trotter

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    Oh, I can be a "know-it-all", but I am in the process of recovery [​IMG]

    The way this situation comes about is that we attend a "new members" class. Can we say boring? But anyway, we go and in the class the pastor covers basic doctrine. Well, eventually in the process of this, something rears its ugly head (a sticky doctrine, a shade of personal interpretation), and one or both of us ask for clarification and "Where is that found?"

    Most of the time, we get a "Well, I don't rightly know off the top of my head, but I could look it up." Sometimes we have gotten, "Everybody knows...(blahblahblah)." And we have gotten, "Did you not know this? (Followed by a presentation of the Roman road or such :rolleyes: )"

    Nothing confrontational. Nothing condescending. Nothing disrespectful. Just genuine deeper probing and not just taking "Because many theologians think..."

    We have visited a church on a Sunday evening, and arrived early. Since we were there, the pastor invited us to join his informal bible study class. What did we learn? We learned that the pastor can't part his hair without comparing four different theologians viewpoints to see which one he should follow, and still ends up without it parted. I think it was phrased so well in the Left Behind books (don't remember which one) "He sits astraddle of the fence, with a fence post planted firmly in his backside." We didn't stay for the service.

    Why are so many intimidated by us????

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  7. blackbird

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    The "Trotter" says,

    "Why are so many intimidated by us????"

    Here's what I do---in my study of particular topics---I do my best to "out study" the Sheep!!! If you know what I mean??

    I rehearse, in my study, particular questions that the "sheep" probably will raise! In my study I ask the question---"What question could the smartest sheep ask about this topic??"---then I try to include that in my presentation.

    I try to cover "all bases"---make sure that all the boards are "nailed down" before starting the class----believe me---I've been around long enough to know when a person is acting like a "know-it-all" and when a person is asking question because he flat out does not know and wants to know!!!

    Blackbird
     
  8. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Too bad you're in Mississippi, Blackbird. I'd love to visit your church.

    Not all the churches we have visited have been this bad. Some have been worse. And it looks like we're going to have to increase our search radius to extend beyond our city and county. :(

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  9. Jim1999

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    Try having university students as regular attendees in your congregation. Some of my students attended my church, and they could be quite a challenge,as Dr. Bob prolly knows.

    Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" cos truth is, we don't have all the answers. Tell them you will look into it and be sure you do.

    In class, I often reminded the students that they may have all the answers, but I still mark the papers. They got the point.

    Never allow anyone to intimidate you. Remember you are the one called to pastor and not them...be a pastor and not a know-it-all.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. TaterTot

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    For a while, we had a family attending that the husband went to seminary (where we did but years before) and got an MDiv, and now is working on a PhD in oral communication. THAT's intimidating. He now is pastoring a church not far from here. But he was so nice and down to earth. He was also intimidated when dh asked him to preach. But hey, iron sharpens iron.
     
  11. Pastor_Bob

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    I pastor a church where the former pastor still attends every service. He pastored here for 25 years prior to my being called as pastor 5 years ago. I simply preach and teach what the Lord lays on my heart and leave it at that. There is no intimidation whatsoever.

    If I didn't have a Scripture to back up what I am teaching/preaching, then I shouldn't be teaching/preaching in the first place.

    Trotter, remember that God created us all uniquely different from one another. Be careful not to insist that all preacher or teachers must meet your expectations; it should be enough if they meet God’s expectations.
     
  12. Trotter

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    Amen to that! I am very careful to avoid pressing my own expectations upon pastors, as I have found my expectations to be totally unrealistic.

    But I do expect some measure of response when these things come up, and not a trite answer or being treate as if I were a pagan.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  13. El_Guero

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    Trotter,

    I have no idea ... You do not tell us ANYTHING about it.

    First: I do not know if you are teaching heresy or disrupting. Or, [Second] if you are steel sharpening steel.

    If it is the first, I will protect the flock from you.

    If you are the second, I will enjoy the sharpening.

    but, if you quote

    I must tell you that you are reading the wrong book! God's Word is the Bible.
     
  14. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Iron sharpening iron describes me best. I am about as far from heresy as one can get (I am Baptist, after all).

    I can see where we could be seen as disruptive, in that we ask questions when given the opportunity. We don't buy into the "personality cult" type church mentality, but want biblical basis for doctrines. The BF&M is that basis as far as I'm concerned.

    The Left Behind books were something that my wife and daughter enjoyed. She shared that particular insight with me, and it stuck. Even though my wife enjoyed the books, she knows that they are a work of fiction and guesswork.

    Maybe I have been too vague in all this, and for that I appologize. I am extremely frustrated at the lack of depth that we have discovered in almost all of our local congregations, and the lack of depth found in many men behind the pulpit. Too many of them are trying to pass off thirty minutes of wind as a sermon. And when we raise a question during discussion, we find many trips around the bush, but little else.

    I am a serious student of the word, and am a licensed minister myself (not that any of these churches have known that, because I do not feel it to be proper to walk in and announce that I am a preacher). I just want to find a church where the Lord's word is taken as seriously as I see it.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  15. Pastor J

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    I agree with Dr. Bob on this one. If the individual comes with a good attitude, I appreciate his willingness to approach me. My assistant and I don't agree on everything and he will come to me and we will discuss an issue. There have been times, I have come to his position. Some times, he comes to mine, and sometimes we agree to disagree. My problem is with those who come with a divisive attitude. They are ought to prove the pastor wrong and usually try to do it publicly.
     
  16. Circuitrider

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    Trotter,

    Let say first that pastors need to be well trained. I recommend a good theological education, which means seminary if possible. [​IMG] Knowing what you believe helps a pastor not to be easily intimidated by someone else who knows the Word.

    Being close to a bible college we had college professors under our ministry. Also I have had numerous opportunities to speak before other preachers including those who had much more education that I did. :eek: I tried to keep my focus on the fact that my message was the word of God and my enabler was the Holy Spirit. ;) I think I can honestly say that your proposed situation would not bother me at all.

    In my current ministry I am preaching in many churches, and I try to encourage pastors and make them feel comfortable with my ministry. There is no reason for a preacher to be intimidated by another believer or another preacher. [​IMG]
     
  17. HappyG

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    Trotter,

    My job as the leader is three fold.

    I need to get the right people on the bus. I need to get the people on the bus in the right seats. And I need to get the wrong people off the bus.

    As I read your posts, I hear a person who doesn't really enjoy following leadership and yet you don't really want to lead yourself.

    My experience is you can never be a good leader until you understand what it takes to be a good follower.

    In your case where it seems you have the "credentials" to be a leader or pastor yourself but for some reason you are not in the arena, the painful arena of leadership!

    If you were in my church and you didn't seem to want to get behind me as the leader and more importantly our mission, I would encourage you to get off the bus and get into the arena of leadership yourself.

    And I wouldn't bet on your success because if you can't follow well, you can't lead well.
     
  18. Bro Tony

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    I always hope that my teaching would prompt people to go deeper and ask indepth questions. I welcome those times I can sit with people and discuss the Scripture.

    I have also had those who had an agenda and try to take over the class with their questions. Good preparation and sound biblical teaching usually takes care of such individuals and their attempts.

    Bro Tony
     
  19. Trotter

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    HappyG,

    You are very close to the heart of the matter.

    Actually, I love following leadership, but not inept leadership. Most of what I have found has been totally inept leadership, as well as totally inept preaching. I am not saying all, but the majority of the local sampling I have visited.

    If I knew how, I would.

    Oh, how I would love to find someone I can follow. But I cannot, will not, follow a man who tries to pass off thirty minutes of shouting and thumping in the place of study and exposition.

    Nor can I follow a man who is not sure of where he stands.

    I don't know if I have the credentials, but I do have the calling. I have never had a man of God willing to bother to spend any time whatsoever in helping me to learn what I need to become a pastor. Suffice it to say that this makes trusting most of them rather hard.

    This is why I have not joined a different church yet. Until I know that I can stand behind it, and the man leading it, I know that I would be a weakening factor.

    It's not like my wife and I stand up during the sermon and question what the pastor says. But if we hear what doesn't "jive" with the word, we ask him. If he pushes it off, or blows wind, we move on. We are both well versed, so we aren't just going on "feelings".

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  20. HappyG

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    Trotter,

    I understand what you are saying. And I don't want to defend pastors and churches that may not be worthy of a defense as I don't know the particular churches and/or leaders in your area of the country.

    I would only encourage you to make sure you have turned over every rock in your area looking for a church and a leader that you can get behind enthusiastically. Just remember noone is perfect. I'm sure you are aware of that.

    If you cannot find a church in your area that meets those requirements. You need to step into the arena and feel what it is like to try to lead and create a church that is "healthy." It is the most difficult task in the world and sometimes the best thing for someone such as yourself is to feel how difficult it is. It does create compassion for other men trying to lead churches.

    If you don't want to step into the arena or dont' feel qualified, then I would search the country for the church and leader that you most respect and move there. It is that important in my opinion.

    And if you search the country and can't find that great church and leader you respect, then we are back to my previous entry. You should search your heart to see if being a good follower is actually a spiritual problem for you.

    And I hear you on the difficulty of finding someone who will mentor you. My experiences have been it is difficult. But one thing I have worked on is being the type of person that recieves investment. I need to take what I can from each person understanding that they won't be perfect. And God is the only one that will invest in me and believe in me to the degree that I would like. So I focus on Him and my mission and work every day to improve in my understanding of Scripture and my own ability to lead.

    Just my thoughts...I wish you well.

    Just so you know where I am coming from in philosophy of ministry...if I were to move to a church in the country it would be Andy Stanley's church in Atlanta. www.northpoint.org I think he is a phenominal leader who preaches in a way that feeds veterans but reaches seekers.
     

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