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Posted: 12/19/2005 6:12:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 6:20:41 PM EDT
Wow. Man. I have nothing to say except that I feel compelled to pray hard for you (hard to admit, but that's unusual, coming from me). I'm sure you don't need me to tell you to keep your mind open for His guidance. It may be what He wants for you.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 4:41:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By XxSLASHERxX:
25+ years and I'm worn out dealing with unreasonable mean-spirited so-called Christians. I am going to get a Secular job. 2 Degree's and not in any field that would help me. I just can't handle it anymore...........................................



Everyone who has stood on that side of the pulpit can sympathize.

Jesus wasn't complimenting us when he called us sheep. Sheep are dumb, stubborn, nasty creatures who can make you want to kill somebody.

So are church members.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 4:57:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By XxSLASHERxX:
25+ years and I'm worn out dealing with unreasonable mean-spirited so-called Christians...



That's exactly what started me on the path to doubting and eventually leaving the church. I understand exactly what's going on in your mind. It's not pleasant, but anything that leads you to truth - the world as it really is, rather than what you'd like it to be - is good in the long run.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 4:58:57 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 5:08:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:
There's a job you need to be able to take a sabbatical from, though I doubt it's possible from an economic standpoint.

Can you take a week or two off after the holidays and have someone cover for you before making a decision?



Unfortunately, in many churches that isn't possible.

In many, if the Pastor doesn't work his tail off the whole thing falls apart.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 5:20:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 6:03:08 AM EDT
I just got back into ministry after a 4 year break. Here's some advice someone who was there, went out and is now back in.

1. Talk to your congregation's leaders. They might surprise you. If they know how bad you feel they might give you the break you need. If they don't offer to help, shake the dust off your feet and move on.
2. Some of the larger churches now have what are called "pastor-in-residence" programs. You get paid to recuperate and just be a member of the church until you are ready to get back into full-time ministry. I think if you go to Leadership Journal on-line and do a search you might find some information about it.
3. If you decide to get out for a while, you might see if there is a Hobby Lobby or a Chick-Fil-A in your area. They are both ran by Christians and should have more respect for your background and understand that being a pastor has prepared you to manage in a secular environment. I was a manager at Chick-Fil-A while out of ministry and if I had to work somewhere other than the church, I'd got back.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:53:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By XxSLASHERxX:
25+ years and I'm worn out dealing with unreasonable mean-spirited so-called Christians. I am going to get a Secular job. 2 Degree's and not in any field that would help me. I just can't handle it anymore...........................................




Ever thought about just going to a different church?

Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:01:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 8:15:45 AM EDT by fizassist]

Originally Posted By XxSLASHERxX:
25+ years and I'm worn out dealing with unreasonable mean-spirited so-called Christians. I am going to get a Secular job. 2 Degree's and not in any field that would help me. I just can't handle it anymore...........................................



I'll be praying that you find God's will in this situation. If you're worn out, something needs to change. God doesn't let his people get worn out when they're going down the His road.

ETA: My Dad has been a pastor for 30 years, so I know what it's like.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:05:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 8:06:28 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
Ever thought about just going to a different church?




Not always a good idea.

Lots of denominations won't have much to do with a pastor from another denomination. Even if one is accepted into another denomination sometimes the joiner is considered an outsider by the new denomination and a traitor by the old one. Not all denominations are like this, but some are. YMMV.

If you mean try another church within the same denomination, that might be an option. Still, it is hard to uproot one's entire life and family and go fight it out at another church. One must completele re-establish one's entire reputation, put down the rebellion that manifests whenever there is a vaccum in leadership, etc.

I know several pastors who have gotten out of it entirely. One became a deputy sherriff. I asked him why he chose that profession since people will still treat him badly and he will still be dealing with the worst aspects of human nature.

"Well at least as a deputy if somebody trys to harm me I can spray them with OC, beat them with a baton, or shoot them with the issue Smith and Wesson pistol. Much easier than praying for them. And odds are, unlike the church administration, the Sherriff won't be dumb enough to believe every crank who makes a complaint."

Anyone who thinks pastoring is easy has never tried it.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:14:38 AM EDT

If you mean try another church within the same denomination, that might be an option. Still, it is hard to uproot one's entire life and family and go fight it out at another church. One must completele re-establish one's entire reputation, put down the rebellion that manifests whenever there is a vaccum in leadership, etc.


Actually, that's pretty much a way of life within the SBC.

I'm not saying it should be that way. A pastor ought to be able to stay with a flock for his entire career. But it doesn't happen that way.

Sadly (and I offer this as commentary on the SBC, not on Slasher), there are plenty of preachers in the SBC nowadays, and very, very few available PASTORS.

Our church hasn't had a pastor in 18 months. We can find people to come preach all day long, buut nobody wants to be a pastor anymore. The days of having a pastor who lives in church-funded housing, on the church grounds, and spends his days tending to the business of the church, seem to be closing.

Nowadays very, very few people want the committment of being a real pastor - so I really hate to see one wanting to give it up, though I certainly understand his frustration. We used to have people that showed up once a month so they could vote against whatever was brought up at the business meeting. I don't understand it .
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:42:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 8:43:31 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
Actually, that's pretty much a way of life within the SBC.

I'm not saying it should be that way. A pastor ought to be able to stay with a flock for his entire career. But it doesn't happen that way.



And the churches that do the best usually have a stable leader who has been there for a very long time. God put Moses in charge for 80 years.

There is some wisdom in that.



Sadly (and I offer this as commentary on the SBC, not on Slasher), there are plenty of preachers in the SBC nowadays, and very, very few available PASTORS.



Of course.

It is much easier to preach an hour of hell-fire than it is to invest one's entire life into the people of a church. Pastoring is about care and leadership, not just preaching.

If someone doesn't love the people of the church and isn't willing to give of themselves to them, then they aren't worthy of adressing them in the first place to my way of thinking.

God has called SOME to be evangelists....but He has called more to be pastors. Yelling at people for an hour is NOT doing God's will. Girding yourself and washing their feet....now THAT is Christian charachter.



Our church hasn't had a pastor in 18 months. We can find people to come preach all day long, buut nobody wants to be a pastor anymore. The days of having a pastor who lives in church-funded housing, on the church grounds, and spends his days tending to the business of the church, seem to be closing.

Nowadays very, very few people want the committment of being a real pastor - so I really hate to see one wanting to give it up, though I certainly understand his frustration. We used to have people that showed up once a month so they could vote against whatever was brought up at the business meeting. I don't understand it .



Ah, young grasshopper, there are no new problems. Only new people with the same old problems.

Unity is THE single biggest problem in Christianity today, indeed, it is problematic everywhere. Show me a church who is absolutely one in purpose and mind, and I will show you a unicorn. They are almost that rare.

Even my church, though we have a genuine bond of love and brotherhood unlike anything I have seen at any other church, still has problems with what the mission of the church ought to be and in getting much of the layity to fulfill their part in the grand scheme.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:05:00 PM EDT
I can empathize. Few things will wear you out emotionally like being an ecclesiastical leader. I remember losing hair back in 1995 from being responsible for a small branch of members in Betijoque (pronounced bet-ee-hoe-ke), Venezuela. I was only 20 at the time. I was really emotionally drained.

I pray the Lord guides you in these difficult times.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:33:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 1:38:03 PM EDT by redfisher]
Fox News just did a story about clergy-burn-out.

Seems it is very wide-spread in times following tough-times or disasters

9/11
Katrina
etc

In fact, they cited numbers of up to 30% of clergymen have left the gulf-coast area!



Depression, health problems, and one man who said "I just didn't want to be around people anymore"

Amazing. I would have imagined that times like those (these) would add a renewed sense of purpose.

Not the FOX story, but related
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:02:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rodent:

Originally Posted By XxSLASHERxX:
25+ years and I'm worn out dealing with unreasonable mean-spirited so-called Christians...



That's exactly what started me on the path to doubting and eventually leaving the church. I understand exactly what's going on in your mind. It's not pleasant, but anything that leads you to truth - the world as it really is, rather than what you'd like it to be - is good in the long run.



Same here.

I know God is there, but I have serious doubts about the whole religion industry as a method of redeeming myself to him.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:58:44 PM EDT
i know i should be encouraging here, but i don't know what to say. i've seen enough in the churches to pity any clergy/pastor/minister/whatever and am surprised they tolerate the dysfunctional loudmouths as well as they do. if ministers could fire members of their congregation, they'd probably be happier. I wouldn't do your job for anything. I also appreciate that you've done it. good luck in your decision.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:59:25 PM EDT
A Pastor has to be the highest calling one can partake in. It also has to be the most demanding and stressful thing a human can do.

Anyone that can do what they do earns my respect above most men in this world.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 9:52:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sigarkar:
i know i should be encouraging here, but i don't know what to say. i've seen enough in the churches to pity any clergy/pastor/minister/whatever and am surprised they tolerate the dysfunctional loudmouths as well as they do. if ministers could fire members of their congregation, they'd probably be happier. I wouldn't do your job for anything. I also appreciate that you've done it. good luck in your decision.



I am different enough to know that I'd be one of the first fired from a church, but the possibility of witnessing the expulsion of self righteous-"holier than thou because I tithe 11%" types would be precious.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 7:19:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By XxSLASHERxX:
25+ years and I'm worn out dealing with unreasonable mean-spirited so-called Christians. I am going to get a Secular job. 2 Degree's and not in any field that would help me. I just can't handle it anymore...........................................



Ask God to divide the wheat from the chaff. I will pray for you.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 9:33:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 9:33:54 PM EDT by thereisnospoon]
Slasher,

I do not know your exact situation, but I can understand how hard it is to be in your shoes. I spent about 9 months building a small church in Birmingham, in the shadow of the MEGA churches, and worked with our preacher very closely. I was e Deacon. After God brought over 150 people together, discord among the membership eventually destroyed the congragtion and it seperated to find homes at other MEGA churches in town.

It was very sad to see as many of those folks spent almost every Sunday evening after services in our home fellowshipping. My home was used for most of the fellowships and impromptu get togethers. We always ended those nights with songbooks open singing acapella until 2 or 3 in the morning. My home was never happier...

On some Sunday evenings, rather than having a church service we met at our building and gathered a list of names of visitors, friends, relatives and co-workers of our members. Then we would divide up into teams of 3-4 people and go knock on these folks doors. We would take pies that our ladies made and offer them as a way of saying "Hello" [Uh, we called it the Pie ministry...Lame, but effective...we baptised a man in his late forties whose mother attended our church and his father, who had been unfaithful, started attending Church regularly. Both are serving in bigger cngregations to this day...].

During a medical crisis involving my wife, many of those members came to my home and did daily chores and stayed with my wife so I could work, brought food and watched my newborn son. Her condition was very debilitating physically at one point she was in ICU for almost a week and then hospital for nearly another....during that time various members kept my son in their home and fed me. Both my wife and I are from "up north" and family was unable to help, but this little congregation nursed us back to life. Neighbors were amazed when they asked about our Church and found out we had only known these people for > six months and that we were not a MEGA church...

The preacher eventually had to go "part time" and when he did I offered him a position at my vompany doing a manual labor job. He took it, and we traveled four days a week, 24 hours a day for another 6 months before he finally decided to move on to antoher congregation. He too, questioned his abilities and desire to continue to serve God as a preacher...It was tough to watch.

In the end our little congregation disintegrated because of pettiness among our members and a Leadership problem among our Elders. Surely that day the Devil and his minions rejoiced!

I don't know if sharing this helps, but felt led to tell this to you. I have never been the same since and have been unable to serve God to the capacity I was as a member of that congregation. My peacher friend has moved twice since that congregation, but now has found a long-term home in the North Georgia mountains, his birthplace. He is happy and continues to serve GOd and his fellow man. He truely is one of the good guys out there.

God bless you in your journey. I hope you find peace...
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 9:50:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By XxSLASHERxX:
25+ years and I'm worn out dealing with unreasonable mean-spirited so-called Christians. I am going to get a Secular job. 2 Degree's and not in any field that would help me. I just can't handle it anymore...........................................



Everyone who has stood on that side of the pulpit can sympathize.

Jesus wasn't complimenting us when he called us sheep. Sheep are dumb, stubborn, nasty creatures who can make you want to kill somebody.

So are church members.



That's contradictory to every single member of this board who suggested what I needed was to go to Church.

But then, I already knew that. I've been there, and seen some of the worst of my fellow man's behavior right there in the house of God.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 4:15:29 AM EDT
Hey why don't you become a Mormon. We are always looking for those willing to serve. At the least you would be responsible to check in on 2 to 4 families a month as an Elder. You could teach sunday school, youth, Mens group etc. At the worst you could be a Bishop/ Pastor some day and that usually isn't for more than five years. When you get retirement age you could serve a mission. There is always somewhere to serve. But one thing a Mormon prophet said" No other success can compensate for failure in the home". So no matter what you do take care of home.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 4:40:54 AM EDT
Originally posted by Swingset


That's contradictory to every single member of this board who suggested what I needed was to go to Church.

But then, I already knew that. I've been there, and seen some of the worst of my fellow man's behavior right there in the house of God.



What one does in a church building and how one lives his/her life is between him and God.

Incidentally, my dad was the same way...he was insulted by some low-life at church who told him his children weren't behaving properly. My dad never set foot in a church building again. Too bad for him, he missed out on A LOT-friendship, fellowship, love of his fellow man, singing (my dad has a beautiful voice and once sang in a minstrel [yes he's that old]).

Yes there is a fair share of christians mistreating each other, but that is the sinful nature of man. Once again, I would think someone as well read and as learned as you would know that. What's in that stack of books you inherited????

Slasher, sorry to hijack your thread, but I can't believe this guy...

Again, I pray that God would hide you in the hollown of his hand and give you a time of peace and rest. Everyone, even the most staunch supporters of any movement, need to refill their cup from time to time. You can only give for so long before you need to get a refill...
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 4:50:42 AM EDT
I have a friend of mine you is a Methodist pastor. She just moved to a rural church back in July and is having a difficult time getting the church members fired up and involved. She is very discouraged. My wife and I try and remind her that she can't change anyone. If the people aren't responding it is not her fault. It is a spiritual problem with the people. I know her very well she is an excellent pastor. Coming from a Baptist, well that says something!
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:03:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 3:47:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1cheapshot:
Hey why don't you become a Mormon. We are always looking for those willing to serve. At the least you would be responsible to check in on 2 to 4 families a month as an Elder. You could teach sunday school, youth, Mens group etc. At the worst you could be a Bishop/ Pastor some day and that usually isn't for more than five years. When you get retirement age you could serve a mission. There is always somewhere to serve. But one thing a Mormon prophet said" No other success can compensate for failure in the home". So no matter what you do take care of home.



That might be a hard thing to do.. don't you think? I am not meaning this in a flame/mean-spirited way but switching denominations and beliefs is a hard thing to do.

thanks,
Ron
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 10:59:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DoctorCheney223:

Originally Posted By 1cheapshot:
Hey why don't you become a Mormon. We are always looking for those willing to serve. At the least you would be responsible to check in on 2 to 4 families a month as an Elder. You could teach sunday school, youth, Mens group etc. At the worst you could be a Bishop/ Pastor some day and that usually isn't for more than five years. When you get retirement age you could serve a mission. There is always somewhere to serve. But one thing a Mormon prophet said" No other success can compensate for failure in the home". So no matter what you do take care of home.hr


That might be a hard thing to do.. don't you think? I am not meaning this in a flame/mean-spirited way but switching denominations and beliefs is a hard thing to do.

thanks,
Ron



There may be some doctrinal issues to clear up there, but this thread raises a fundamental issue. In the LDS Church there is no paid ministry. Everybody volunteers. There is a basic difference in how you perceive someone that you are paying to provide spiritual leadership as compared to someone who is providing that leadership voluntarily. There is also a basic difference in how you behave as a leader when you know money is involved as compared to when you are doing it of your own free will. From both sides of the coin, it is perhaps more difficult when someone is being paid to be a pastor.

Historically, there have been a lot of bad effects when people within churches have not had to labor for their own keep and minister voluntarily. Conversely, there are good examples of how supporting yourself with a regular job and also working to bring others to Christ through ministry has had very good results. The mormons turned the Utah wasteland into a thriving, prosperous community, just after years of brutal persecution in other states. The Jews did the same thing in Isreal beginning in the 1920s or so. It was a vision of success that required hard physical work from everyone, and some amount of spiritual work by all.

King Benjamin in the Book of Mosiah, in the Book of Mormon, is perhaps the best example of how this can work. He said:

(Chapter 2)

[11] But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and consecrated by my father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.

[12] I say unto you that as I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold nor silver nor any manner of riches of you;

[13] Neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons, nor that ye should make slaves one of another, nor that ye should murder, or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery; nor even have I suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness, and have taught you that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord, in all things which he hath commanded you --

[14] And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne -- and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.

[15] Yet, my brethren, I have not done these things that I might boast, neither do I tell these things that thereby I might accuse you; but I tell you these things that ye may know that I can answer a clear conscience before God this day.

[16] Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.

[17] And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

So there are ways to continue in the ministry and still have a secular job. Pastor Tom, I know that the Lord has a plan for every single person. He knows where you will be next week, and next year, and he knows how to help you be happy. All you have to do is get him tell you what to do. He will.

-grommet
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