Sometimes you feel that nobody cares about you. Having faced a form of this on a couple of occasions, I know exactly how it feels when the people that you love, pray for, help, and would die for, want to see you leave. It is also quite amazing how a pastor is treated by his fellow preachers when he does leave. It seems that when a pastor shares all of the gory details, making himself look good, that pastors are quick to get behind him. However, when a pastor tries to keep things "hush hush", somehow he is always the problem; obviously hiding something. The truth of the matter is that neither scenario is 100% accurate.
Listed below are some questions that a pastor should ask himself when he feels that he is being forced out!#1 - Pastor, Are You Digging The Hole Yourself?
- Many times, pastors are the ones who are digging the hole in which they find themselves.
- Look around and see if there are others in the hole with you!
- Sometimes, as pastors, we forget that we are capable of being the problem.
- Before we dogmatically place blame upon certain members of the congregation, let us be sure that we are not guilty of some sin; public or private!
- Like God did with King Saul, He might be allowing trouble to come our way to chasten us!
- Being a glory hound will bring a church split in a hurry.
- Your agenda, reputation, and will is not what is most important, no matter how spiritual you make think they are.
- Pride in our own lives can be subtle and hard to detect.
- Sometimes the issues (SURFACE ISSUE) which precipitate the forcing out of a pastor are complicated, but they can be rightly discerned.
- Is the issue you are dieing over worth it?
- Being in the center of God's will is what is most important!
- Contrary to popular opinion, it is sometimes the will of God to clear off a spot and do like Moses and Joshua... "Who is on the LORD's side" - "Choose you this day"
- No matter how bleak things might seem, knowing for certain, the will of God brings comfort!
- When in a difficult situation like is being described in this post, one needs help from their pastor.
- War should not be waged alone, and it should not be waged by twins either. Don't surround yourself with people who you know to be 100% agreeable with you.
- A fresh pair of eyes can make the difference between victory and disaster!
- When hurt and troubled, the giants seem to be in the majority!
- No matter how much venom is being spewed at you, take the high road and remember that not everyone is against you!
- The problem you face, when being forced out, is much bigger than you and your family!
- As hard as it is on family and friends, keep the big picture in mind!
- There will be another brother to follow you if you do, in fact, leave the church. Please try to avoid a scorched earth policy... for his sake!
- Are you just looking for an exit ramp!
- If you are looking for any excuse to leave, then leave and keep your mouth shut!
- It could be that the whole reason you feel pressure to leave is from a mistake on your part.
- Regardless of the actions taken by others, try your best to admit your mistakes, bear the consequences and move on WITH the congregation.
Leaving a church voluntarily or by force of opinion/vote, is never easy. In the best of circumstances, when a pastor leaves a congregation, it is difficult to move forward. Often, people are caught in the middle and never recover fully from the unfortunate course of events. Assuredly, if a pastor considers the aforementioned questions, then he possibly can make a better decision about whether or not to leave the church he dearly loves.