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Conflict in church

The following post has nothing to do with my present church situation, thank God, but rather some stuff two friends are going through.

It follows typical and similar patterns.
Someone welcomes you with open arms...they are your best friend, your biggest supporter. Watch them....they will turn. When you stop dancing to their tune...you will become the devil incarnate.

Car park meetings, small group meetings. This is where the conflict is stirred up. Like a witch turning her pot..so the discontents turn their gossip.
The Pastor is very often the one under attack....why? Because their is so much money and power available (insert sarcastic smilie here)
No....often because he/she is a person dedicated to God, and His purposes. Often because they want something more for the church, for the church to grow, become missional, become relevant. For this...because he goes against the statue quo, against comfort, they are disrespected, gossiped about, openly slandered...and they are meant to take it, because they are the 'godly one'.

After fielding three conversations about this sort of crap this week, I reassured the people involved, they are not mad....it generally happens to us all.

Why do we put up with it? Many of us dont...we leave, we go do something easier. Our family suffers too much.
Others give in, and become the 'nice pastor' that people want us to be, but dont need us to be.

Others persevere and pray, and choose to lead with grace, strength and love, and true meekness. Not perfectly, plenty of humanity....but we choose to pray, persevere and lead none the less. And sometimes....heaven shines forth...and people are added to the family of God.

8 comments:

  Middo

1:44 pm

It really is such a shame. This sort of circumstance is such a depressing place to be in, both for the pastor and also for many church members!

I pray that God would strengthen more pastors to be the leaders they need to be, and not settle for 'the nice guy'. I also pray God send enough supporters to keep those Pastors going!

  roo

2:08 pm

i have alot of respect for those that stick it out. I bailed, for the very reason you mentioned, family. Those of you who stick at it are crazy ;-)

  Mark Edwards

2:13 pm

you cant let the jerks win Roo....:)

  Anonymous

5:44 pm

from my experience, this can be just as relevant to the way pastors treat one another, and the way pastors treat volunteer leaders. When we let our egos rule, grace and humility disappear from the most godly of people.

i think we all need to remember we are just as capable of treating one another like this, than just the "jerks" :-)

  Mark Edwards

9:13 pm

we are all human...and sinful..

  John Finkelde

2:38 pm

I understand what 'anon' is getting at but I reckon the jerks are in front on the scoreboard ;-)

Nevertheless ... crap happens cos it is in reality a war for the souls & hearts of people - it can be fiercely brutal at times

  Sarah

8:22 pm

Since I've left Perth my old church has been going through quite a few changes initiated by the pastor to look outwardly and spread the gospel. Some people have not liked it and they've bitched and complained to me, saying that people in the church aren't being cared for but after talking to them further it sounds more like they don't like change. I really feel for pastors....keep going, as you said people really need you to be the pastor you should be not the pastor who makes them feel comfortable. As much as I often disliked stretching myself, I realise I need it when it's done out of love and grace.

For more of my opinions on the topic, please see exhibit A http://sedshed.blogspot.com/2007/08/give-your-pastor-hug.html

  Mark Edwards

8:27 pm

I applaud your insight Sarah.
This is what I have been doing at Inglewood...and it has taken a lot of heartache and change.
No one likes to change, but all of us, myself included, naturally are selfish.

I dont believe Pastors should be there to pat people on the head, and keep them comfortable. New testament shepherds....what did they do? think about it.

There are too many people going to a christless eternity for us to make churches 'safe' and comfortable for christians.

It is painful...but the alternative is disobedience.

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