Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Lowlight of My Year

It happened a little before midyear. Just about my whole family had been plugged in and very involved in our church. We were there early and late. We loved it. We ministered and were ministered to. However, bad things happen to good churches.

Here is some of what I learned: (A very condensed version.)

Pastors do bad things when tired. Our Pastor was exhausted. A dream job came along and he took it. He had been a good pastor. He really cared for my family and many others. He made a bad decision of who would take his place. He only knew the guy for a matter of weeks.

Some pastors are evil. Looking back now, I would have to characterize the guy who took his place as a wicked infidel and charlatan. I don’t use those words lightly. He was Mr. bible babble. He could say it faster than you could hear it. He destroyed our church. He didn’t care about people, only his pet doctrines.

Leaders need to be strong, not yes men. The men who were supposed to be the leaders in our church did not do their job. They took the departing pastor’s recommendation of the new guy. They didn’t look into his background. If they had, they would have been warned of what was to come, by what he had done in the past. When his evil ways were exposed, they were afraid to oppose him.

Not all pastors are pastors; some are hirelings. John 10:12 says: He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. Sadly, this is what happened in our church. I don’t use this towards our senior pastor. After things blew up, he tried to make things right and through his actions the bad guy left. It was true of the associate pastor. Like a coward, he ran away.

Some pastors really care. Thankfully, we had a place to go when things fell apart. Our former youth pastor had started a church almost a year before. He gave us a place to land with no strings attached. We found a new home and a place to heal. He is real and cares for people.

You have to get back on the horse. There are not words sufficient to describe the devastation and broken lives left after this disaster. It was like being hit in the stomach. People were reeling. They were hurt and disillusioned. Would they ever trust again? But as the old saying goes, you have to get back on the horse.

All men will disappoint us. Only Jesus won’t. He is the only one we can put on a pedestal or give complete trust. We can’t give up because of what people did or didn’t do. Be assured, they or someone else will do it again.

We need other people. The devil tries to isolate us. When we are hurt is when we need people the most. We need someone to watch our back, to speak words of comfort, to point out our sin, to be a friend.

So, there it is. I know it’s raw but it’s real. I hope that the condensed version doesn’t leave too much unsaid and hopefully too much hasn’t been said.

Should I mention some highlights? Check back for that. In the meantime, what was a highlight or lowlight of your year?

Philip

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