So what’s a pastor to do?
I was reminded this week of an incident that took place in my first ministry assignment. I was a young pastor and within the first six months I fired a daycare teacher, hired and fired an associate (previous pastors son), was lied to many times, and constantly threatened of members departure if they didn’t get their way.
Something also happened that took me years to process and understand. Within the first six months many had left the church causing financial problems. I had been in contact with my District Superintendent about each issue as it came up.
He decided to come and speak to the congregation specifically about stewardship. I was prepping my wife as to what this visit entailed. I had grown up in the church so I had an idea of how things worked. I explained to my wife not to plan anything for lunch as the District Superintendent ALWAYS takes the pastor and family out afterwards. I remember looking out the window of the church and watching the District Superintendent, his assistant, the wealthiest man in the church and his wife all getting in the same car and going to lunch together. They left my wife and I behind. What did they talk about over lunch? Well, he was a big complainer of what I was doing.
What can you do in this situation? Chase after them? Tell him he’s wrong? There really isn’t anything you can do when something like this happens. I attempted to spend all afternoon talking myself out of the obvious. Maybe they weren’t talking about me? Maybe they are just good friends? Perhaps they are planning my surprise party? (Still waiting for that one….)
This hurt. It hurts when you realize there is a meeting or a luncheon where the entire purpose is to complain about you, and you can’t be a part of it. You are left guessing what is being said.
The truth is you can’t do anything about this. All you can do is continue to minister in the way God has called you and let the naysayers do what they will. The good news is, God is bigger than ANY deceit out there. Trust in Him, not in people. If you trust in people, you will be let down every single time.
But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. – John 2:24-25
- Pastor Wildman
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