(In our experience, most of the Lord’s people are wonderful and most of His churches are filled with sincere and godly workers. But once in a while, pastors come upon sick churches led by difficult people who seem to delight in controlling their ministers. When they find themselves unable to do this, they attack. Pity the poor unsuspecting preacher and his family. What follows is written just for them.)
“But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues….” (Matthew 10:17)
You and your wife–please adjust gender references herein as your situation demands–went into the ministry with heads high, hearts aglow, and eyes wide open, idealism firmly tucked under your arm, vision clear and focus solid.
As newly minted ambassadors for Christ, the two of you were ready to do battle with the world, eager to serve the saints, and glad to impart the joyful news of the gospel.
Ministry was going to be great and noble and even blessed.
That’s what you thought.
You expected the work to be hard, the hours long, and the needs great.
What you did not expect was to be blindsided by members of your own church leadership–to be slandered by people you counted on as friends when you took a courageous position, criticized for something you did well, even lied about.
You knew there would be vicious people “in the world,” outsiders who do not believe in God, cannot discern spiritual things, and will not subject themselves to moral absolutes.
You were ready for that.
What caught you completely off guard was to find members of that sweet pastor search committee which brought you to this town with glowing recommendations and high hopes now turning on you, accusing you of misrepresenting yourself to them, blaming you for the ills inside their church family that were present long before you became their shepherd.
Some you loved best are now leaving your church, saying unkind things about you and your family.
You are stunned, puzzled, frightened, and more than a little angry.
Questions bombard you and rob you of sleep.
Continue reading “Blindsided by opposition. Welcome to the ministry, pastor.” »