Manipulation and Leaving your Fellowship?

Discussion in 'Biblical Advices' started by In_His_Love, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Manipulation and Leaving your Fellowship?

    Hello friends,

    I come to you humbly seeking counsel (Pro11:14) and encouragement (Heb3:13).

    Over the past few months my wife and I have been feeling the Lord leading us out of our particular fellowship. There were indications along the way that pointed to such but we didnt receive confirmation until recently. We've been deep in prayer seeking His will for us. Last week, we both received a word from the Lord that He is asking us to take a step out in faith and that He has something planned for us outside of our current church. Upon receiving this confirmation I sought the counsel of some solid Christian friends and received further confirmation that a step of faith is what He was calling us to.

    I spoke with our Pastor last night about how the Lord was leading us. I only mentioned that we received a word from Him and left out anything that wasn't relevant to that word (Pro17:9). I was very surprised and discouraged by his reaction. He was very defensive (which I somewhat expected) and even angry. His only focus was that there would be no one to fulfill the ministry duties my wife and I had taken on and mentioned that if we left before the Lord brought someone into those positions that we would be "flaking" on the ministry. He went on to tell me that he didn't believe the Lord would call me out without raising someone else up to take that position (referrencing Moses and Aaron).

    Furthermore, Pastor has a 6 month "servants rule" where one cannot serve until they've attended the church for 6 months. So ideally, he would have us wait until someone was brought into that position and then another 6 months for the candidate to "qualify." I feel that waiting for his ideal situation would be waiting on the approval of man and not responding to the call of God. As you can imagine, I have no desire to see the belly of a whale.

    The only closure he offered to the conversation was that we could do what we wanted to do but choosing to leave would be flaking on the ministry. Then he stood up and walked out.

    I feel that he is being shortsighted and focused more on the brick and mortar church than the direction and calling of God. I also feel that the way he presented the situation was forcing us to choose allegiance to this church and ignore God's call or be considered a quitter and a flake. I feel this is extremely manipulative and not representative of the sheparding character of a Pastor. He didn't even ask what the Lord was doing in our lives, how He specifically spoke to us, or what He possibly had planned for us. He focused soley on his loss and nothing else.

    On a side note, I know that it doesn't matter but I feel some may be wondering if we are employed by the church or volunteers. We serve as volunteers unto our Savior and are not compensated by the church. We feel that there are those who are called to make a living through full time ministry and others who are called to give of their time to the Lord. We feel that in our specific situation, serving is a blessing in itself and compensation is the last thing we need. Depending on His plan for us we are open to either full time ministry or to continue serving as He has called us in the past. I know that is a complete tangent and really has no revelance to the problem at hand but I figured someone may be wondering.

    I can undertstand him being dissapointed that two of his sheep are being called elsewhere. What I can't understand is how our service, or lack there of, is the only thing that is a matter of interest. I'm also frustrated that he thinks we are walking out on the ministry and have no concern for those in the wake.

    Am I off base with this type of thinking or do you agree that there are some issues of concern?

    I should mention that our decision is made and am not seeking advice on where my allegiance should lie.

    In Christs Love,
    The Flake
  2. In_His_Love first let me say welcome to CFS. Your Pastor is simply reacting in his flesh which is something we are all capable of. He is more than likely feeling the stress and pressure which comes with leading a church and may be trying to organize and keep things together in his own strength. I personally believe the Lord likes us to come to those places so we can be reminded of the "without Me you can do nothing"and "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".
    Personally I would follow the lead of God no matter what. If you have peace in your spirits that God is leading you elsewhere go. Your current Pastor may have to bend his rules a little to fill your shoes but the world will not end. Perhaps the offer of training a new person would be helpful but even this is to be the subject of prayer. God may want your current Pastor to be in the fire so to speak as He may be working something out in him.
    Never presume, allways pray and be led of the Spirit- in this way you will be assured that both God will be glorified and you will be in the center of His will.
    Once again it is a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you. Many blessings in Jesus wonderful Name, your brother Larry.
  3. Very true, Larry... very true !


    Also -

    I_H_L - please allow me to just add something if I may. I have many clergy colleagues all over the world. Most are non-denominational, but there are many who are following the protocols within denominations. I have seen Ministers in some cases, who are faced with losing parish members, take it personally as if something they themselves did or didn't do is responsible. If they loose members, it becomes an ego and self-doubt scenario sometimes and they can be affected personally rather than allowing God to take care of the matter. As unfortunate as it is, we must also mention that whenever a Minister looses members of the flock, the tithing monies that go to the church and himself are reduced. That also comes in to the picture in some cases and creates an uneasy and uncertain feeling within the Minister concerning his or her retirement security.

    [ In my case, I do not accept tithing, donations, freewill gifts, offerings, collections or reimbursements of any kind, under any circumstances. Therefore, we are not registered as a non-profit institution or organization because we generate no revenue. My Ministry is one of GIVING, not taking. My private sector investments and holdings over the years have allowed me to do this as my gift to the persons that I assist with their spiritual education and their walk with Our Father in His Word. ]

    Your Pastor may fall into one of the issues mentioned earlier, and in any case please do what you are led to do by God and let no man prevent you from doing God's Will as you are led to those tasks by The Holy Spirit.
  4. Brother Bo is right on!:)
  5. Brother Bo is always right on! :)

    We must watch not to stand in the way of God's work in other's lives.
  6. In_His_Love;
    Welcome to the forum and I am sorry to hear that you have gotten that treatment upon sharing that the Lord is calling you out of that fellowship. It would be so nice to find a few shepherds that are more taking care of their sheep than rounding them up...Remember; no matter what: it is better to obey God than man. Man can just really give you a hard time, but God has your life in His hands...

    Take care; holding you and your wife in blessed.
  7. Please do not put me on that pedastal brother I am afraid of hieghts.
  8. Perhaps the LORD is sending a message to or about your pastor and or church. . . Maybe the Lord doesn't like the six month servants rule:rolleyes: You can be sure that if our father in heaven has called you away he has plans for the vacancy left behind. The problem lies with the pastor and church and you can rest assured that the Lord will straighten them out. Don't let it sway you from doing what He has called you to do.

    BTW welcome to CFS

    Sincerely His and
  9. In_His_Love

    I would have to say that you are doing what is right if you believe it is what God is telling you to do.
    It almost sounds like your Pastor has more faith in what you and your wife do than what God can do for that Church if you leave. I think it would have been more appropriate if your Pastor would have said something to the effect, “Don’t worry about the ministry duties, with God, all things are possible”
  10. I don't think they are crediting you with being wise....but with following God's guidelines. "You are always right" and we can tell because you agree with what God has revealed in Scriptures.

    When we do that we all appear wise. :)

  11. I just experienced something similar in the church I just left.

    Sometimes well-intentioned persons have trouble trusting God. They see the capable people God has given them to accomplish goals and forget that God can do what He wants with or without them.

    I told the pastors at my former church they need to focus on doing what is right and not worry about certain people getting mad and leaving. That God would continue to provide as He has in the past as long as they seek to please God first - but if they don't God might take away all that they are fighting to hang on to.

    Not my wisdom nor insight This is what the Bible tells us.

    They tried so hard to hang on to those people, that they didn't do what was obviously right to do. Those people left anyway, and about four others, too. The ministry has fallen apart and is just a shell they are trying to rebuild.

    I've learned in life that when I am willing to give up something that means a really really lot to me to do what God wants me to do, often God lets me keep that thing which I wanted to keep.

    But if I lose it, who cares....I've still got Got!!! :)

    Do what God leads you to do and pray for those who struggle with it.

  12. In HIs Love,

    As I read your post, it boggled my mind that there is a 6 months servant rule, that one cannot serve until they have attended the church for 6 months. I know there are many different churches, with many different rules etc.. I don't understand them all, I have not studied them all. I do not judge any of them.

    Most recently in my life, I have really found the Lord and started trusting in him. He picked me up from where I was and brought me to a new town where I knew only one person.. the person who told me about the job here. I prayed to the Lord that with that I had a need to have Christian friends and a church be brought into my life. Upon arriving here, I was seeking God each and every day as well as a church to call home.
    I attended an awesome church. They were in the process of starting a Celebrate Recovery program. They offer a divorce care program as well.
    I inquired about the divorce care program and started attending. I met with the one Pastor about Celebrate Recovery as there are things that I am recovering from in my life and the lessons I learned I have asked the Lord to use my brokedness to help others. Come to find out the group of folks had been praying for women to be involved in the program as the one woman who felt it in her heart to start this program had moved. I am now in the process with about 15 folks starting this program here in this community.

    My whole point is that if I had to live by rule of attending a church for 6 months and not being able to serve for 6 months, this opportunity of the Lord using me would not have been possible. I listened to the Lord with much prayer and have followed him as you and your wife are.

    I think about the people in that church that have special unique gifts and talents but are being told they cannot use them for 6 months.. that is unreal.. How can anyone put a time frame on God's will for their life? That is what I do not understand.

    Keep following your heart that the Lord is speaking to. May God bless you and keep leading you and your wife.


  13. May the Lord bless you and lead you in the ministry that He has called and put you in contact with like-minded and like-spirited believer in Christ with whom you can serve...Be blessed my brother. I would love to hear an update on how things have settled for you.
  14. I know I'm new here but I've been through this also. God was very clearly telling my family to leave our church, so we did. It created some hard feelings but we felt we had to listen to God. About 1yr later the board removed the pastor for some not very nice things he was into. Listening to God is the only way.
  15. Just some thoughts to ponder:

    God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light. He never in Scripture calls anyone out of something unless they are also called to something else. God is always positive and never negative. Paul was called out of Judaism to preach the Gospel. Priscilla and Aquila were called out of Rome to be in position to teach Apollos "more adequately" (Acts 18) Barnabas was called out of the Church in Antioch and "separated to the work which (God) had called (him)" (Acts 13). If you are certain that God is calling you to a work for him then don't let men stand in your way.

    God Bless.
  16. Hi everyone-

    Interesting topic. Yes, Churches will have thier problems. But, before thinking a Church should be left, who makes up the Church? Falable people. (That includes a human falable Minister.)

    Alot of times, Churches suffer because people think they should leave the church when problems or a problem arises. Even a pretty good sized one. But, God declares when one member of the Body suffers, the whole Body is effected as well.

    I'm not one to leave a Church so easily. I stay and make a stand for God. I work gradually, taking a stronger stance, the longer is necessary to get the Church's attention, or its Leadership.

    I'm known as a "tail twister" where I live, along with my good friend who is one. Both of us, singly or together, will stand for God no matter what anyone says. We stand as long as God guides us to. If they still will not listen, we back out then gracefully to let Satan take them where he will.

    God has helped many a Church thru us, but still, we've seen a few fall too. Two of three I know of, were revived with new leadership and whats left of thier Congregations. But, they are going again.

    But, for each Church, they are different. Under the Authority of the guidelines of the religion they belong to, many a variation in beliefs will be seen. We dare not judge any other people including the Leadership. But rather, be in fervent prayer, on our faces as a Congregation when a Church Leader is showing less Christ-like guidance.

    God started and instituted each Christian Church in existance today, and its the Congreations' and Leadership's responceibility to work as a group, to uphold God's Word for guidance and Christ-like thinking and operating in the one's they belong to.

    Each of you going to a church was lead there by God and if have stayed, drawn to stay there by God. Its not all the Pastor's responcibility to keep everything running smooth, but each of us as for our part too.

    Before we get to thinking a Leader or particular members of a Congregation are too out of context with God or moving that way, lets not claim they are bad, not to be followed, should be removed etc, but be bold enough to speak Truth to them in the Spirit of love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, temperance, yet joy, that they be uplifted, builtup, strengthened and prayed for, to be brought back rightly before God, remembering we are just as falable and guilty of being sinful as they are.

    God declares- "none, no not one is worthy." Its better we fight Satan for those straying away that God can bring them back, than to leave them go too easily and find another place to gather with the Saints.

    I'm not a full member of any Church Board, but have been chosen as a "call in honorary Member of 5 Church Boards when they have problems. Because I'm not afraid to stand nose to nose with Satan and send him packing, so the Church can have clear God guided minds again, to right thier thinking and operating back fully inline with God. Thats why I'm non-denominational.

    Yes, God can guide some people to leave a church. A close friend of mine was. But that was a move out of the area altogether, not just the church.

    Just like Jona, who kept avoiding doing God's Will. God finally made it work out so Jona was convinced, even tho Jona got angry about it. But, God's work thru Jona, turned that City- Nineva, around to repent. But, Jona didn't want to stick up for God, he didn't want to be singled out to speak to all those people by himself.

    But Jona didn't like that God turned from chastisement of the city because unbeknownst to Jona, God knew how they could be reached and turned back. Jona was so irritated, he even parked himself on a hill outside the city just to see what happened to Nineva. So, God taught him about having love, compassion, true caring for others, plus more.

    So, rather than be Jona and want to leave, we should stay, stand for God and be glad to watch God reach those needing His help to turn things around in the church.

    God Bless!!

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