I talked to a former pastor today and heard his story about why he is no longer in ministry. It was heart breaking on a million different levels, not the least of which is the fact that it keeps happening over and over and over again!
History keeps repeating itself.
The faces change, but the brains do not. Apparently, thousands of denominational power brokers around the country are passing around the same one (brain, that is)!
Iâ€™m talking about a train wreck so easy to spot even a 3 toed sloth with 2 bad knees (do sloths have knees?) and going on his second hip replacement could easily get out of the way and still have time to eat a s-l-o-w lunch.
But churches are involved in these demolition derbies EVERY DAY! And thousands of churches a year split, close, or form yet another denomination (we need more of those like I need another hole in my head) as a result of these locomotive mishaps!
Wake up people! How long are we going to let an incredibly minuscule number of people dole out such a HUGE amount of damage? I mean, lay people are the church, and 99.9% of them are awesome, but there’s that 1% of control freak, empire building, church crushing, preacher eating imbeciles who seem to thrive on squelching God’s anointed. And we never seem to learn from these mistakes.
This is serious!
And to blow it off is a total disregard for what God says here.
Want the low down on what usually happens?
A relatively old (Methuselah comes to mind) church begins a slow but inevitable decline do to the fact that there are no longer any young (under 70) people coming. So, they do the following, in the following order:
1. Interview a new pastor (after blaming the past 187 years of decline on the previous 3 pastors who served a collective 2.3 years at the church).
2. Promise him room to lead as well as the sun and the moon (with a few stars thrown in).
3. Give him an unspoken â€˜6 monthsâ€™ to turn 187 years of disaster into paradise on earth.
4. Implement operation â€˜hangâ€™em highâ€™ at month 7 (In truth, itâ€™s automatic, so thereâ€™s very little implementation. The whole process is actually on mental and spiritual cruise control).
5. Operation, â€˜hangâ€™em highâ€™ takes anywhere from 1 week to a couple of years, depending upon the expertise and experience of the liquidating lay leaders, but the outcome is inevitable. Say goodbye to pastor whatâ€™s his name (was he ever really there?) hereafter referred to simply as â€˜experiment # 49.
6. Often, much of the staff will resign as well because it becomes crystal clear that building Godâ€™s church was never on the agenda. Instead, it was the â€œDynasty of the Deacons.â€
Wasnâ€™t there a show called Dynasty several years back? I think it was a pretty similar deal actually.
Anyway, I say all this to get to thisâ€¦
Knock it off!
Youâ€™re tearing apart Godâ€™s church because youâ€™re more interested in building up your own pathetic little fiefdom than you are in building God’s kingdom! It angers God and He will not leave this behavior unpunished.
So, my advice to power hungry lay leaders far and wide?
Start following the Lordâ€™s agenda rather than your own. Thereâ€™s an entire â€˜abundant lifeâ€™ waiting for you when you do. And who knows, if your heart is pure (no easy feat) He might even throw in the Sun and the Moon with several stars sprinkled on top.
So, hereâ€™s what I want you to do.Just write the following 87 gazillion times, â€˜I will never, ever, ever interfere with Godâ€™s anointed again without a real ethical, immoral or missional cause leading me to do so. And even then I will conduct myself in a biblical manner and seek restoration and unity at all costs.â€™Do this and maybeâ€¦MAYBE, youâ€™ll get 1 present this Christmas rather than the sticks and coals you have coming.
ASIDE: Part 2 of this fairytale fun post will deal with the pastors who abuse their position and authority. I will go even harder on them.