The headline from an online preacher magazines says a pastor fired because of his alcoholism is bitter at his mistreatment by that congregation’s leaders. Not good.
I’ll not be reading that article, thank you. But a lot of people will. Looks to me like he deserved what he got. But then, I’m neither his judge nor their advisor. But when a fired preacher walks away bitter, that does concern me.
No one deserves to pastor the Lord’s church.
Your bitterness feels like you no longer trust the Lord. Read Acts 16 again, preacher, and remind yourself how God loves to use setbacks and what appears to be defeats for His purposes. But the one thing He requires to pull that off is trusting servants who know how to sing at midnight (16:25).
That God would allow any of us to preach to His people year after year, declaring Heaven’s message to the redeemed, without giving us what we truly deserve–the fires of hell come to mind, frankly–shows Him to be a God of grace. Why don’t we see that?
Whenever I hear a Christian talking about not getting what he deserved, I run in the opposite direction, lest the Father suddenly decide to give the fellow what he’s asking for!
So, you were fired. Okay. Can we talk?
Call it whatever you will. Perhaps they dressed up the terminology and told the congregation you were taking an extended leave, with pay for three months. But you weren’t coming back. Or, you were taking a well-needed sabbatical for rest and study. But you weren’t coming back. Or you were going to the “wilderness” for some retraining and redirection for your ministry. But you weren’t coming back.
You will hold your head up and go forward and look to the Lord who called you into this work in the first place, asking Him to do with it whatever He has chosen.
Repeat: Hold your head up! Look to the Lord. Give this whole business to Him. And keep on doing that until no trace of resentment can be found on your person. Even if it takes five years!
Sure it’s hard. It’s very hard.
In fact, most people won’t be able to pull it off. They will grasp their hurt to themselves like a prized possession and refuse to give it up. Only those who truly trust the Savior can keep their eyes on Him, keep abiding in Him, and keep on trusting and loving and giving.
“The arm of flesh will fail you; you dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armor….”
What other things can the ousted pastor do, now that his status with the church is no longer in doubt?