“Diotrephes who loves the preeminence…” (3 John 9)
In one church I served, the assistant pastor had been there for over 25 years and was long past retirement age. After I learned he was working against my leadership, when our people started talking about his retiring, I jumped on that bandwagon. We set a date, with his complete involvement, and the congregation gave a generous love offering. Then, just before the big day, the personnel committee informed me that they were asking him to remain in place. He would not be retiring.
Yes, they “informed” me. They didn’t ask.
He gladly stayed on, seeing himself as the savior of the church against this young whippersnapper of a pastor. (I was 46, not exactly a kid.)
And no, he did not return the love gift.
Why would he want to hold onto the job? It seemed to give him a sense of prestige being a prominent leader in the city’s most storied church. That and a dollar would have bought him a cup of coffee.
If you conclude I had more problems in that church than just the assistant pastor, you would be correct. I ended up leaving after only three years on less than ideal terms.
What’s funny about that–sad funny, not ha-ha funny–is that two years later, I heard the new pastor was trying to get him to retire and having a time of it. I had to smile.