Since 1996, I have served in church staff positions with a few brief down times. I have come to notice some disturbing trends during my down times.
#1 – Other pastors and other Christians look down upon you if you no longer have a church job, especially if you can’t secure one quickly. Something MUST be wrong with you if you left your church and another one won’t hire you, right? At least that seems to be the logic.
#2 – Pastors and denominational leaders who were once your friends don’t have time for you anymore. They won’t acknowledge your emails or phone calls. If you can’t do anything for them, what value are you to them? It’s almost as if denominational leaders are paid to like you (at least while you’re under their jurisdiction).
#3 – Church members who acted like they couldn’t live without you now act like you don’t exist. Some have even removed me from their social media. I typically spot those when I go into a church. They watch you like a hawk while you’re their hired hand and drop you like a hot potato the moment you leave their church. Did you notice I said THEIR church?
Dear pastor, you are valuable! You may have been hurt for a season, but you are not washed away. Your denominational cronies may have abandoned you, but the God who loves you hasn’t! Church members who only care about what you can do for them are a dime a dozen. Find true friends who will walk with you through thick and thin. You’ll probably have to look outside your denomination, but I guarantee they’re out there.
To pastors who have former pastors in your church, treat them like somebody. Don’t be intimidated by them. They’re really not in a position to harm you anyway. Love them through this time. Give them an opportunity to preach or minister in some capacity. You just might provide healing to their broken spirit.
Finally, don’t base your opinion on an inactive minister based on what you heard from somebody. Ask him for yourself! If something is wrong, ask God to show you.
There are many wounded ministers who gave their lives to serve the Lord, only to find that they showed up to the battlefield with little to no support from others. They, like you, need love. They are people JUST LIKE YOU!
10 thoughts on “You’re Only As Good As Your Job?”
Mathew, I was very disturbed to read what you wrote how people treat you when you are not in a ministry. It doesn’t make sense!!!!! These are Christian people???? I don’t know about other churches, but Open Door has a wonderful, encouraging, merciful family who is there to support you through whatever!!!! Praying God blesses you and you don’t have to go through those terrible times anymore.
This is certainly disturbing. I must clarify that there are places like you mentioned that are loving. I have had a few pastors be kind enough during this season to involve me in things, even if I did not join their church. My intent was to encourage pastors who experience this type of treatment because they can easily think that there is not a church that exists that will love them through this. I’m grateful that God has you in one of those loving churches. Cherish it daily!
Thank you, Matthew. I do cherish Open Door. May God find you the place you need to be real soon.
Thank you! I know God will direct and it will be just what we need.
You hit on a hot topic. It is unfortunate that these ministers are treated as outcasts.
Thank you for ministering to the wounded. The Lord said by His stripes we are healed. By revealing God’s healing and sharing our stipes He heals others.
We recently had a guest who spoke at our church who mentioned those who minister need to be ministered to.
So many demands are on those who lead and the judgement they face when people realize they are human is unjust. God showed me some years ago that leaders need their armor bearers. They serve without reserve and often neglect their own needs to meet the needs of others. An armor bearer does their best to make sure those needs are met. They carry the load so that the leader can focus on leading the battle. They keep guard and make sure the equipment is always on hand. This is just a brief outline of the duties of an armor bearer. There are other duties. I pray that the Lord sends you your armor bearer who will support you and your ministry. God bless you, your family and your labor for Him in Jesus name.
I love this idea of armor bearer. Thank you for your comment! I look forward to future dialogue as we grow in Christ.
While I am not a pastor, I certainly went through a lot with my church. It is hard to crave for acceptance and love from our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are not interested in giving a hoot about you. After a while, every time I interacted or entered the Church building, I felt as if I was a sick patient and they refused me a bed. Mostly, I was bothered by the fact there was no difference between my Christian family and the unbelievers, I was dealing with on a daily basis, at work. Through my frustration, I turned to God. After I surrendered, He took me at my word. I became His favorite rag doll in the wilderness. There, He broke me, I was shattered in millions of pieces on the inside to the point where I wanted to crawl out of myself. There, He taught me how to focus on Him instead of what people think of me and how they feel about me. He also taught me, the only way I can minister and love with His agape love is if I allow Him to work Galatians 1:10 through me so that they would no longer be mere words that I repeat, but the essence of my spiritual life.
The only way God works Galatians 1:10 in you and me is if He humbles and breaks our stiff necks. He brought me to my knees and reduced me to ‘nothing’. Some of them stopped talking to me as they felt I was not worth it. I was able to endure it all when I remember Christ’s humiliation and rejection. I held my head on high and chose to follow my redeemer’s path. After all, I am not above my Master. To make a long story short, I learned through His dealing with me whenever I meet someone who is, for lack of better words, nasty and unloving toward me, this means that God is trying to change me through this person. The focus is never the other person, but “I.” It was hard for me to accept this kind of way of working, from God, but once I did and embraced it, He showered me with His grace and I could see how every time I met with these people who had the power to hurt me, God would fill my heart with His Agape love so much that nothing could touch me. It took me about three years to master that much and I can tell you this is all part of the process of teaching us to love with the agape love. I can stand right next to someone who told me that they hated my gut and wish that I would die already, yet, my heart is not capable of feeling anything for this person but love. As I watched myself loving the unlovable and those who hate me, with a heart where even if I wanted to feel animosity, I could not, I knew it was not me living this life, but Christ living it in me.
As a bonus later on, He showed me how these same people who cannot stand me, they are nowhere near a close walk with Him. (it is the Pharisee thing all over again) There, I learned that because they judged me wrongly, God allowed me to see them through His eyes and right then and there, they were judged to the same measure they did to me. Until now, they have no idea that God had showed me so much about them. I do not rejoice either, knowing what I know about them because it is not about me. It is bad enough that most of them are deacons, elders and pastors of the Church, how can I rejoice knowing they are in charge of so many souls and they are blind. If anything I pray that they learn to acquire a close relationship with Him before it is too late.
So, I do not wish for God to take away these unloving people in your life, but for you to allow Him to teach you and remake you through them. In the end, the only approval and acceptance we need is from Him, then all will fall into place.
May you be blessed and be a blessing to others
I love you all, M.J. Andre
Very good word! Thanks, my friend!