Questions For Pastors When Being Forced Out

I have not read any statistics on this lately, but I am sure that a vast majority, upwards of 90%, of pastors have faced the situation of being forced out of the church in which they pastor. It is never a pretty picture, and usually ends in a bad way. Why does this happen? Should a pastor ever leave? Though these questions seem to be easily answered, it is not so simple when you are in the middle of the hurricane fighting to strengthen the things that remain!

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!
#2 - Pastor, Are You Doing Right?
  • 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!
#3 - Pastor, Are You Seeking God's Glory Or Your Own?
  • 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.
#4 - Pastor, Are You Falling On The Wrong Sword?
  • 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?
#5 - Pastor, Are You Walking With God?
  • 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!
#6 - Pastor, Are You In Consultation With Your Pastor Or Another Objective Brother?
  • 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!
#7 - Pastor, Are You Mistaking The Actions Of A Few For The Consensus Of The Majority?
  • 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!
#8 - Pastor, Are You Looking At The Bigger Picture?
  • 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!
#9 - Pastor, Are You Wanting To Leave In The First Place?
  • Are you just looking for an exit ramp!
  • If you are looking for any excuse to leave, then leave and keep your mouth shut!
#10 - Pastor, Are You Willing To Admit Possible Mistakes And Work Things Out?
  • 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.
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1 comment:

/ said...

Pastor, did ya forget the elders?