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Trouble with pastor

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I am 27 and have attended the same small church my whole life but I have really struggled recently with our pastor. He has been at our church for roughly 4 years and I have had questions about him from the beginning. Some strong Christians in our church have left because there have been some issues with him, mainly questions regarding his resume, the fact that he has been married and divorced twice, and that for a few months he was pulling sermons straight from the internet, reading them almost verbatim, and not crediting anyone. I know we all have short comings and I have spoken with him regarding some of these issues and done my best to give him grace and move past them. Lately, however, there have been further issues that are more difficult to address.

 

Last year, he went on a retreat and was supposed to be there for 4 days. However, he left on the first day and went to visit his children (whom he rarely sees). I have no problem with this if he informed anyone of his change of plans, but he did not let anyone at the church know until the treasurer was calculating his receipts and realized the location of the hotel he was in was in a different state. He was confronted about this and told the truth but he did not see how he had done anything wrong (and he still expected the church to pay for the entire trip, which did not happen). 

 

Also, a couple of years ago, he asked me if I was interested in a girl who was new to the congregation. He knew full well I had been dating another girl for sometime (we are engaged now) and needless to say since then my fiance has not really liked him. The girl who he tried to set me up with is now married to him.

 

Most recently, he has called me out in front of other members of the church for disrespecting him. When I asked what he meant, he referred to a joke I made (honestly, it was a harmless joke) and when I requested that we further discuss it alone, he did not want to. I apologized if I had offended him but he did not seem to care. 

 

I have been in prayer about the whole situation and I feel it would be best for my fiance and myself to leave, but I love so many people in the church it is difficult. 

 

Has anyone else been through a situation like this? Any advice?

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Hi there Tom and welcome :grin:

 

In regard to your church issue with the pastor...are there no elders in the church with whom you can discuss this with? thats the path I would take....I don't believe that walking away from a problem will solve it..it needs to be dealt with.

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WIP,

 

Thanks for the reply. I have spoken with an elder and they understood if I felt compelled to leave. Honestly there is weak leadership in our church. There are larger problems than just my personal problems with the pastor. It's a very confusing situation. I know some of the leadership now feels the pastor was the wrong selection and there is not unity. I am trying to do what is right for myself, the pastor, the leadership, and the congregation, but I am not sure what to do now. 

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Posted · Report post

seems like you need to find another church if the one you're in right now is not being led by a mature person or even a leader

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Posted · Report post

Welcome~!

~

 

Praying~!

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While some problems are not solved by walking away, there are some problems that need to be walked away from. While I haven't had the option of going to the same church all my life, perhaps this is the Lord's way of letting you know He wants you somewhere else. Churches without strong leadership are dangerous in that they can leave open doors for the enemy to step in and sow division. I'd suggest asking the Lord if He wants you somewhere else, and if so, where?

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While some problems are not solved by walking away, there are some problems that need to be walked away from. While I haven't had the option of going to the same church all my life, perhaps this is the Lord's way of letting you know He wants you somewhere else. Churches without strong leadership are dangerous in that they can leave open doors for the enemy to step in and sow division. I'd suggest asking the Lord if He wants you somewhere else, and if so, where?

If the Holy Spirit is not in the church it will fall anyway. I suggest you pray about this for a while and seek God's will for you, and not for the church. You may be amazed at the answer you get. God has a way of doing things differently to what we expect...

 

I attached this to walla's post because I agree with his last two sentences.

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I am 27 and have attended the same small church my whole life but I have really struggled recently with our pastor. He has been at our church for roughly 4 years and I have had questions about him from the beginning. Some strong Christians in our church have left because there have been some issues with him, mainly questions regarding his resume, the fact that he has been married and divorced twice, and that for a few months he was pulling sermons straight from the internet, reading them almost verbatim, and not crediting anyone. I know we all have short comings and I have spoken with him regarding some of these issues and done my best to give him grace and move past them. Lately, however, there have been further issues that are more difficult to address.

 

Last year, he went on a retreat and was supposed to be there for 4 days. However, he left on the first day and went to visit his children (whom he rarely sees). I have no problem with this if he informed anyone of his change of plans, but he did not let anyone at the church know until the treasurer was calculating his receipts and realized the location of the hotel he was in was in a different state. He was confronted about this and told the truth but he did not see how he had done anything wrong (and he still expected the church to pay for the entire trip, which did not happen). 

 

Also, a couple of years ago, he asked me if I was interested in a girl who was new to the congregation. He knew full well I had been dating another girl for sometime (we are engaged now) and needless to say since then my fiance has not really liked him. The girl who he tried to set me up with is now married to him.

 

Most recently, he has called me out in front of other members of the church for disrespecting him. When I asked what he meant, he referred to a joke I made (honestly, it was a harmless joke) and when I requested that we further discuss it alone, he did not want to. I apologized if I had offended him but he did not seem to care. 

 

I have been in prayer about the whole situation and I feel it would be best for my fiance and myself to leave, but I love so many people in the church it is difficult. 

 

Has anyone else been through a situation like this? Any advice?

I was involved in a situation very similar to this.  The men in our church called a meeting and elected two people to confront the pastor.  But before they had a chance, two others told the pastor, the only victor was the devil, and if it had not been for God's Spirit, that Church would have been completely destroyed. 

 

While some problems are not solved by walking away, there are some problems that need to be walked away from. While I haven't had the option of going to the same church all my life, perhaps this is the Lord's way of letting you know He wants you somewhere else. Churches without strong leadership are dangerous in that they can leave open doors for the enemy to step in and sow division. I'd suggest asking the Lord if He wants you somewhere else, and if so, where?

I agree with Walla, for in the Old Testament we see a time, just before Samuel reign as a judge that Eli's grandchild was called Ichabod meaning the glory has departed, a lot of Churches, forget to Honor God, and by doing so, many times His Glory will depart.

 

 

While some problems are not solved by walking away, there are some problems that need to be walked away from. While I haven't had the option of going to the same church all my life, perhaps this is the Lord's way of letting you know He wants you somewhere else. Churches without strong leadership are dangerous in that they can leave open doors for the enemy to step in and sow division. I'd suggest asking the Lord if He wants you somewhere else, and if so, where?

If the Holy Spirit is not in the church it will fall anyway. I suggest you pray about this for a while and seek God's will for you, and not for the church. You may be amazed at the answer you get. God has a way of doing things differently to what we expect...

 

I attached this to walla's post because I agree with his last two sentences.

 

 

Pray can change so much as Fez has stated, but if there are others as you have said in your church who have notice a problem, I would follow Paul's command prayfully, asking for God's guidance:

18)  For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn: and, the labourer is worthy of his wages.

19)  Against an Elder receive none accusation, but under two or three witnesses.

20)  Them that sin, rebuke openly, that the rest also may fear.

I Timothy 5:18-20

With two or three of you together confront your pastor in a spirit of pray, and as gentle as possible tell him your concerns.  Perhaps he does not realize what is going on.

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Posted · Report post

Also hello Tom, and welcome to Worthy, will be praying for your situation.

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To understand your situation more information is needed, specifically, Is this a church with a regenerate membership? If the congregation is mostly regenerate (real Christians, not pretenders), then if a pastor is unregenerate or unqualified, he is the one to be expelled, not a regenerate member. --------------- If your local church hired a man who was twice divorced, that raises the question of whether or not you go to a church of regenerate members. How could they hire such a man? Of course, I can't judge merely on that basis, since today a righteous man could be divorced by an ungodly wife -- nothing he could do about it. But the whole situation makes me wonder if your church is of regenerate members. It not, my advice would be that if you are saved, but the general congregation is not, you should find a regenerate church. ---------------- Take your qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy and Titus, does this pastor have those qualifications? (It is clear in the Bible that pastor-teacher is the spiritual gift that corresponds to elder=bishop; I say this from comparing the two and studying 1 Peter 5 where the elder is to pastor. Of course a man can have the gift of pastor-teacher and be disqualified from elder by his behavior.) Is this man "apt to teach"? Parroting sermons from the internet, raises doubt. -------------- Matthew 18 has a procedure for local church sin. Should you follow that? ----------- As to a righteous man leaving a church of sheep that has a wolf for a "pastor": ---------- Proverbs 25:26: As a troubled fountain, and a corrupted spring, So is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

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I do not believe the pastor is a wicked man, I just believe he is unfit to be a leader in the church based on the qualifications found in Timothy and Titus. When our previous pastor (who was a good teacher but had more difficulty connecting with people due to his quiet nature) left there was a real struggle to find someone who could evangelize well outside the congregation as well as energize people. I believe our leaders were so caught up in trying to find this person that they neglected other necessary qualities. Also, it is difficult to tell if someone is peaceful and gentle until you get to know them well. Again I don't think he is an ungodly man but I don't think he has the qualities to be a pastor. I am planning on talking again with an elder this weekend and I continue to be in prayer.

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We were fairly blind to the problems in our churches until God was preparing to move us. It was never an easy thing to leave friends. But each time we did not go church shopping but God just opened an unexpected door to visit another church and our visit turned into a stay. The last time was to attend our granddaughter's dedication. We never looked back. It reminds me of the children of Israel in the wilderness. When the glory of God moved on, they pulled up stakes and moved with it. But each time both my husband and I felt exactly the same way about both the new church and the church we left, but sometimes for different reasons..

Hope this helps, and welcome.

Willa

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Oh Yes! Not really the same situation, but my family is also having trouble with the leadership of our church. It just seems like no one's listening and we really want to leave but we just can't. God needs you in that church. He put you there for a reason, I guess you just have to talk about this issue with the body. (Deacons and some leaders) .It might be helpful. If you can't take this situation tho, then I suggest you have to leave and go to a church where you will be spiritually healthy, but remember.. if you're not in that church, then who else has the 'guts' to rebuke your pastor?? You are there for a reason.. Keep praying , I'm afraid, your pastor's not fit to be a leader at your church. Keep the faith bro! Will be praying. I know how it feels..God bless!

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You mentioned that the previous pastor had left.  I wonder how long he had been at your Church?  Was he asked to leave? The issues you mentioned concerning your present pastor sound serious alright.  The divorces could be justified, but not giving credit for an online sermon has no defense.  You sound to be apprehensive enough recognize a need for action. If you are no longer being edified there and there is a seemingly split in the leadership, I would say that it is time to leave.  

 

Personally, I have not experienced your situation.  But I have not returned to some Churches that I have visited due to the lack of edification.  One in particular was the version of Bible that they used. I have now and will continue to pray for your needs.    GBU

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I do not believe the pastor is a wicked man, I just believe he is unfit to be a leader in the church based on the qualifications found in Timothy and Titus. When our previous pastor (who was a good teacher but had more difficulty connecting with people due to his quiet nature) left there was a real struggle to find someone who could evangelize well outside the congregation as well as energize people. I believe our leaders were so caught up in trying to find this person that they neglected other necessary qualities. Also, it is difficult to tell if someone is peaceful and gentle until you get to know them well. Again I don't think he is an ungodly man but I don't think he has the qualities to be a pastor. I am planning on talking again with an elder this weekend and I continue to be in prayer.

Seems to me you need to be commended for your long suffering and patients but I believe you already spoke the verdict.

It doesn't matter how much we like someone or feel compassion for the person God's Word is the absolute. If this man has a living spouce and is married to another he does not qualified to be a pastor. As you know one unconfessed transgression in the congregation can rob the whole assemble of a blessing, for God does not walk over His Word.

Also, if the assembly does not have confidence in the undershepherd he can not help them.

 

I like this one: 'True compassion is to do the will of God'. Scripture for this is when Jesus at the pool of Bethesda walked by many that were much more serious than the man with the palsy which he raised up and then turned around and walked out.

Edited by 2404
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Welcome praying.

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tom, welcome to Worthy. I can see you're clearly broken inside, concerning the church that you've attended  for so many years and this Pastor, whose actions are obviously questionable. I'm sure you and your fiancée have discussed this together. I know you are torn, whether to remain or depart. I can only recommend that you lean upon your Savior's everlasting love for you and trust His leading in this situation. Also, rest in Him and know that prayers are being offered up, for both you and your fiancée.

God bless you,

David/BeauJangles

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Blessings Tom

     Welcome to Worthy.........I was in a similar situation where the congregation became divided during the whole process of finding a new Pastor after our long time Pastor was suddenly taken from us in a fatal car crash.....it was a very difficult time,many members left & those of us that remained stayed simply because it was so hard to leave one another(which was one of the many wrong reasons for staying)

     Personally,I liked our new Pastor but was not comfortable with a woman Pastor......after much prayer I moved on & I can only tell you that it is not easy to make the transition even when the Lord is pointing the way but we have to trust God and eventually we see that He always knows best......it took a long time but finally I can see why God moved me............Don't do anything until you are sure where the Lord wants you

                                                                                                                                                                   With love-in Christ,Kwik

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When our previous pastor (who was a good teacher but had more difficulty connecting with people due to his quiet nature) left there was a real struggle to find someone who could evangelize well outside the congregation as well as energize people. I believe our leaders were so caught up in trying to find this person that they neglected other necessary qualities.

 

Hello and welcome!

 

My heart sank when I read this. It sounds like perhaps the leadership of this church have lost sight of what a Pastor is... because evangelising well outside the church is not a priority. As far as energizing people.... that is not a pastors job at all. This is assuming that energising is meaning to make them feel pumped and excited for the things of God or church? These things are nowhere to be found in 1 Timothy or Titus. A pastors primary role is to teach the Word of God correctly and skillfully, to edify and equip the saints. Because of this extremely important first priority, a pastor needs to be immersed in the word of God, studying it closely and being doctrinally sound is of upmost importance. So many churches seem to be looking for a vibrant speaker, or a clever and engaging story teller, or someone who will "hang out" with them alot... but none of these things are necessary, and actually take away from the pastors primary work. Although It makes the Pastors life easier to be able to "connect" with people on a social level, it really is not important. If the pastor isnt all that glittery, there are deacons and elders in the church who can easily fill that gap if it seems to be necessary. The Pastor is the one who is dishing out the sermons, and making alot of the decisions... they are literally feeding the flock, so you want him to be a man of the Word and prayer more than anything else.

 

Unfortunately if the people chose this man... they may have lost sight of what is needed. The Pastor sounds like he has some bad fruit that is contrary to what should be showing in a man of God who studies the word diligently, is in prayer, is truly regenerated. Of course nobody can judge that, especially not me, only knowing this small amount of information about him it would be absurd to make wild assumptions about his salvation, but, what I am trying to point out is that i believe your concern is genuine. I do not think you are being unreasonable or paranoid or anything like that.

 

Being a member for such a long time, if you have been a dedicated one who loves the Lord and serves where you can and has made an effort with leadership, your concerns ought to bear weight with the leadership. Unfortunately, you cant do much more than express your concerns in a humble and respectful manner. If all they do is sympathise but nothing changes, it may be time to move on. Sometimes, you can be the difference in a church that is struggling. But sometimes you cant. Be in prayer. Read the word daily, keep on growing in God yourself, wherever the Lord takes you, whatever the outcome here, if you conduct yourself in a Godly manner and keep bringing it to God, you will be okay. If you can talk directly to the pastor yourself with sincerity of heart wanting to work out the issues, it could really strengthen the both of you. But if he is an unreasonable and proud man.... it wont be so pretty. Resist temptation to gossip to other church members. Even if its just expressing concern looking for advice. This will cause more disunity and is devisive. Approaching leadership is the right way to go, so your doing the best you can. Be encouraged, when you do things in a God-honouring way, God can work with it.

 

I have prayed for your situation and hope this works out for the best. I cant tell you to leave or to stay, only you can know the answer there. But dont give up to easily. For one, in alot of churches, leadership/pastors change quite regularly (3 year turn around) and it would be a shame to leave a good church if God changes the pastor not to far down the track. Secondly, prayer can change things.Pray for your pastor, speak to leadership, stay humble.

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The spirit of this seems to be that of gossip as some of this has traveled through areas of more than two... and

the one it is formed against is not present! We must be careful in all our ways before God as He loves all equally!

It would have been better to post I have problems with my Pastor and what do I do? Instead this seems a proliferating

of the gossip! This is the warning of this verse

Gal 6:1-2

6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual,

restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself,

lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so

fulfil the law of Christ.

KJV

We are not a people who take pleasure in the wrongs of others but are a people who will give of ourselves to God

for the use of putting the problems to the death where they belong... Love, Steven

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You asked if anyone here had experienced similar problems and sadly I can say yes.  We left our church about two years ago for several reasons and one included the fact that I discovered the pastor was also stealing sermons from the internet and reading them almost word for word.  He never gave credit to the true author of the sermons and even accepted thanks when he was told what a great message he had preached.  When confronted about this he and the deacons didn't see much wrong with it!!  There were other issues as well but from just that aspect alone I would say leave, how can you respect a pastor who steals?   I am also truly baffled how a church could call a pastor who has been divorced.  Clearly a violation of scripture.  I would say run away from that church as fast as you can, it is a hard thing to do but hopefully you will end up in a situation like my family, we finally found a great church where we just recently joined and am much happier at.  It is a church that is doing much more for God as well and He is blessing it!  Be in prayer over the situation and spend lots of time in God's Word.

 

Michael

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In light of enoob57's comment id like to clarify, I believe you should speak directly to your pastor about the issues (respectfully and prayerfully) first. If he will not listen and things cannot be resolved you then consult one or two in leadership about the issues. This would be the biblical way to go about it. My post was so long and all over the place I dont think that was clear so im just making sure. There is a fine line between seeking advice and gossiping. Its wonderful to have a place like this to consult believers outside of the situation to recieve some insight. But even here it can easily become gossip so things like this have to he handled carefully and spoken with the right heart motive. I hope I have been helpful and had every intention of trying to show how to solve the problem.

Bless you in your endeavour to make things right.

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A Worthy welcome to you.  I will be praying about this situation.

 

Peace to you and God bless you much,

PrairWarur

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