copyright(c)2016 Daneille Gray Snowden
THE UNTOLD SECRET IN PASTORING
There is an untold, yet known secret Pastors don't hardly share ; because it happens way too much and hurts deeply.
It causes pastors and their families to feel isolated, and sometimes ashamed. They begin to question; "What is wrong with me?"
This secret event causes the 'knee-jerk' reaction of backing away from close relationships, with not being able to trust others.
This 'secret' is: When people within the church get upset over one thing or another; leaving their place of worship, in addition they stop talking to their Pastor's. They may continue relationships with others within the Body, but definitely not with the pastor.
In my own personal life (of 51 years) only one time in it, has anyone become upset over an issue that resulted ending the relationship. And I have never done that to anyone else.
Most people, because they care about the relationship they have; will try to 'talk-out' their differences and work on rectifying it; I know I have. Communication is truly vital; being open and honest with one another continues the friendship.
Yet, this is NOT the case when you pastor a church.
First of all, when a Pastor comes into a community (led by the Lord); he comes to SERVE. He comes out of Love for His Lord, Who in turns fills the Pastor & his family with Love for His Church. Thus, this shows in their reaching out in various ways and time. Such as: visits to the hospital, homes, counseling, praying with them, funerals, and even at the kids baseball games! Initially; becoming a special 'part-of-the-family'.
Pastors and their church body; laugh & cry together. Also they definitely pray A LOT together, worship together and even eat together!
Yet, when someone gets upset about one thing or another; it could be big or small; most people; up and leave without truly talking it through with their pastor. They may call others in the body; but not the pastor.
Some (not all) will not stop there either; they will go around and then speak vile words about the pastor and his family. This of course doesn't display the TRUE CHARACTER OF OUR LORD JESUS whatsoever. It displays the divisive character trait of Satan himself. [Harsh, but true.] John 8:44
This takes me back to the SECRET of feeling a hurt by someone they served and befriended; then, in turn: abandoned so easily.
How is this not like what our dear Lord faced when the disciples abandoned Him as He hung on the cross? Oh, such strength He portrayed before all of mankind. The indisputable LOVE He showed as He hung all alone saying; "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!" (Lu. 23:24) This wasn't just for His persecutors, but for those who betrayed and abandoned Him too!
The average within each church body of individuals doing this, ranges from 20 to 25% of the attendance. Let me tell ya, ONE is enough!
Thus, regardless of the size of the church; this happens all the time, everywhere!
This post is not going to be a : 'How To End Disputes Within The Church' - no, it's about the Pastor and his dear family.
FIRST : KNOW THIS...Pastor, Pastor's wife and even children...YOU ARE NOT ALONE! And you don't have to look far either to know that.
SECOND: Pastor's, reach out to each other; share this pain! I guarantee you, that you will discover that your fellow colleague is facing or has recently faced this 'hurt' too.
THIRDLY: Ask the Lord to soothe your heart. Only He can do it; just plead the Blood of Jesus over this open (bleeding) wound. Speak His peace over you and your family.
FOURTHLY: Ask God to help you not become 'bitter'! Big one! So many pastors, and even more: pastors wives and children; become bitter & angry. This will only DESTROY! Remember, who wants to destroy you, your ministry and possibly even your walk with God? Yep, Satan ...the sly ole enemy of our souls! By giving into this anger...he has a FOOT in the door of your heart. No...don't let this happen! (Eph. 4:31)
-- If you have, ask God to reveal it to you. Then; allow the Holy Spirit to do surgery on your spirit. It will be difficult; like removing a tumor. But, it is worth it in the end!
-- Let His Joy come in and fill that vacant spot...and see Him do a great work in and through you!
FIVE: Talk with your wife and children! Oh please, you may be alright, but your wife may be in pain (or it's the other way around). And as a pastor's kid (& having PK's); I can also tell you the children feel hurt too! I would go to bed just crying seeing my parents mistreated as they were. I knew how sweet, and loving they were and how bad people hurt them. It caused my brother and I to question the church of Jesus Christ. For we felt the punch too often in our family. Thus, have a family time; discussing the events that happened. And do this as often as necessary. Have one on one with the kids; get them to talk it out and you share your heart too.
-- I also encourage you to 'get-away' as a family and or a couple. To be refreshed and refocused.
SIX: Talk with your leadership and if need be others who have seen this happen. Be guarded with your words...make sure they are words led by the Lord and NOT the flesh.
Like I said before; communication is essential for a healthy relationship.
Pastor, Pastor's Wife...children; know you are not alone; we are all in this together. Keep going forward; with the Strength of God...praising Him always. Look up, let Him become your all in all!
~Daneille (Co-Pastor for 25 years)