So I just read something that Clayton King shared on one of his older blog posts and I gotta say that it made me think…:
As much as a pastor tries to put up this bravado in church, it may very well be that in the inside he’s crumbling. It’s interesting to hear that even pastor’s see the “church people” that are more interested in quotas such as the number of people attending each service to the amount of money that needs to go into the church to who is giving financially.
Here’s the letter that Clayton shared that was sent to him::
I really appreciate the message that you preached at Newspring on “Protecting Your Pastor.” Since I listened to it on your podcast, I have been reading your blog, esp. the Monday blog posts about what happens in a pastors body and emotions after Sundays. I wish I could get the rest of my church to read your blog and listen to that sermon, but it would come across like I was expecting them to feel sorry for me.
I think I am at the point of burning out, quitting all together, or doing something really stupid. I feel like a stranger inside my own skin. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I’m really in a mess right now.
My ears ring constantly. My blood pressure is through the roof and I have put on 15 pounds in the last 9 months. It’s all because of the **** that I’ve been dealing with at church. People are getting saved, marriages are being restored, new people are coming, and God’s blessing, but Satan is attacking and he is using people in the church to do it. They will not change. They fight everything that’s new. They spread rumors and lies and keep stuff stirred up all the time. It’s never ending. As long as we kept the status quo, they loved me. Now they hate me, and the deacons are leading the charge against me and I don’t think anyone understands how lonely I am.
I never sleep. I just take naps, but I always wake up with my heart pounding like I jut ran up the stairs. I’ve tried sleeping pills, but quit because I got hooked on em. I am always tense and my neck and back hurt constantly. I have imaginary conversations in my head with people where I defend myself to them since no one else is getting my back. I don’t trust anyone in the church and have even become paranoid that my own staff are undermining me, even though I know this is all a lie from the devil.
I get shaky and scared every time I think about Sunday and having to go back to that church and the critics. I’ve had a couple of panic attacks. I can’t focus on anything anymore. I can’t even concentrate on small decisions like where to go eat dinner or what to wear. I snap at my wife all the time and I have no patience with my children at all. They all know something is wrong with me and I do too. I just don’t know what to do about it. I can’t tell anyone cause I might lose my job if they think I don’t have it all together. I just wanna be alone all the time and I am scared.I wish I had just one person who knew how to protect this pastor.
And here’s a response that was posted on this blog post:
Clayton, I am that Pastor, I did leave the ministry, five years ago and live each day wondering if there will ever be another time when I will feel used by God. “Church People” can be some of the meanest most cruel people on the planet. These people have no idea the damage they do to ministery families and to their own communities when they bring the work of God to a stop, just to “have their own way” and that is exactly what they get, Their Own Way!! Not Gods Way!!! Please pray for me that God will someday use me for His ministry. I am willing to be used in ministry wherever HE leads but I’m not going to play the CHURCH GAME ever again with CHURCH PEOPLE who only insist on following their own selfish desires while the community goes to hell in a hand basket.
It’s sad to see these men of God have enough with people like that, but not surprising.
My thought process is this, as much as there are men of God who do have the church’s priorities in check, there are men who are included in how the author of the letter and this response’s definition of “church people”. They lose sight of what’s important which not only to witness, but to make sure that their members get fed. Instead, because of their greed for money, they preach about money almost every other Sunday. They forget that God wants His children to give what they can and what they do give to give with happiness and love for Him.
I understand that sometimes this said type of man can feel pressure from those “church people” but at the same time you see to what degree their own selfishness plays a part in what they put as the most important for the body of Christ in that church.
I think that part of my way of thinking has a lot to do with my own pastor always talking about money and seeing how members of the church make it all about how more people have to give more money. And this is where the debate is, as much as my pastor LOVES to talk about money in his sermons, he said something quite contrary that if the members of the church actually were listening would be able to use his own words to cut down on his said importance of giving money to the church.
While in his sermon he told a story, and this bit got me::
This man gave nearly 90% of his assets he had to Christian organizations, and with that God blessed him greatly.
Assets, meaning not only money but other material things, for example: car, food, etc.
This is something the mother of one of my kids from Sunday School told me::
Someone in the church needed two hundred dollars to pay a bill and they didn’t have it. So I decided that I would give it to them. I told the Lord that this was His tithe. I knew God would bless me by returning it tenfold.
It’s not only about giving to His church, but also to His children. It’s all about having a giving heart.
I honestly think that the church and its members need to know that quotas are good, but sometimes the quality of every member and what they give is better.
Here’s the link to Clayton King’s blog post called “Protecting Your Pastor” which is where I got the first two quotes from: http://claytonking.com/blog/protecting-your-pastor/