We have witnessed many churches who decided they no longer wanted their pastor for one reason or another. I have heard such complaints as a pastor using too much Scripture, his wife not smiling when she sang, the pastor having announcements at the end of the service instead of at the beginning. The petty list goes on. Unfortunately, these petty things add up and churches use them to justify ousting their pastor.
The link above tells a story of an Alabama church that fired its pastor. The pastor states that he was fired because he invited African-Americans to visit the church. If that is true, that church ought to shut its doors! If you think I’m being too harsh, so be it! There is nothing Christlike about that!
The deacons of the church reported that the pastor was not visiting the members or only a few. I know this statement will ruffle some feathers, but that is not the primary work of the pastor. (Millions of people gasping for breath while some are needing medical attention) Ephesians 4:11-12 says that God gave pastors to the church “for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry”. That means the pastor equips the church to do the work so they can function without a pastor. Novel idea, huh? God came up with it. Furthermore, Acts 6 records the apostles choosing 7 men who were full of the Holy Spirit because the widows were complaining that they were neglected. The purpose was that the apostles could give themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer. If you don’t believe me, read Acts 6 and Ephesians 4 and let God show you without trying to force church culture on the Bible.
To illustrate this point, Dr. Frank Page (former president of the Southern Baptist Convention) used to pastor a church in Augusta, GA that averaged around 1,000 or more people. He left to pastor another church. A friend of mine saw another staff pastor from the church in Georgia. He asked how the church was doing while without a pastor. The staff member said, “We’re growing.” My friend said, “How are you growing without a pastor?” The staff member said, “Our small groups are ministering to each other and to those outside the church.” Churches don’t grow when they are selfish and expect the pastor to do all the ministry while they soak it in.
Am I saying the pastor should not visit? No! I personally look at “visitation” as too cold and formal. I believe that churches are built on relationships…pastor with people, people with each other. I’ve learned that many in the church don’t want a visit from the pastor; they just expect it. My conclusion based on the book of Acts is that the church should naturally be living life together. That is health and life in the body of Christ!
Try that biblical kind of Christianity. You just might like it.