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Thread: I think our Pastor is becoming a dictator

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    Default I think our Pastor is becoming a dictator

    I really need some help understanding a few things and I'm hoping someone can respond with some Bible verses. I may be wrong about this, but I think our Pastor is becoming kind of a dictator. I understand that my husband is supposed to be the high priest in our home and I am learning to follow his leadership better than ever before while he is learning to lead in our home better than ever before. Any church I've ever been in before, many jobs, such as greeting, have been volunteer positions. However, every job at our church is assigned. One week you might be greeting at the door and the next week you might be helping in the chidrens' Sunday School. It doesn't matter what you prefer to do or how you feel the Holy Spirit is leading you, you will do the job that is assigned to you that week. Most jobs the women are not permitted to do alone. We have unmarried women who are permitted to do only a few jobs and they usually have to have a married couple working with them with the married man doing the leading. This even applies to greeting people as they enter the building. Also, the Pastor says that this is a Pastor led church, therefore the congregation doesn"t get to vote on anything. We don't even get to vote in new members. Now the Pastor wants every member to be assigned to serve the community at specific times and places. It doesn"t matter if you already minister in your community, even if you live a distance from the church. We are to be assigned our outreach ministry responsibilities. I am very uncomforable with the direction this church is taking and I wonder if someone here can direct me to any Bible verses that apply. I can't really take this up with the Pastor because I'm only a woman and a member of the congregation. What I think doesn't carry much weight. On the one hand, I find myself hoping my husband will lead us out of this church very soon. On the other hand, I dread looking for another church. It's so hard to find one that is Biblically sound..


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    I was always taught the Preacher runs the Church and if you don't like they way he runs it find another. I can tell you that it is not a Church I would attend! When a Church starts Mandating all those things it isn't where I want to be. Going to Church is a Voluntary thing and if it becomes "Work" and not a place I enjoy attending then I would not stick around! As far as scriptures go it sounds like a "Works" Church. You have to do X amount of Community Service etc in order to be a member of the Church! Also you Vote on People who can be members of your Church? Again I would not attend a Church that does not accept any and all! The Church I attend has all Nationalities and Social/Economic status's. We have Homeless who come in and we make them Welcome. Any way I am sure there are better answers coming these are just my thoughts given the information you gave. One Scripture that came to mind when I read your post was Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. We are saved by Grace and not Works. And even if the head of the Church says the same thing in my book when he says you have to do X amount of Community Service to be a part of the Church then to me it becomes a Works Church!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZCowboy View Post
    I was always taught the Preacher runs the Church and if you don't like they way he runs it find another. I can tell you that it is not a Church I would attend! When a Church starts Mandating all those things it isn't where I want to be. Going to Church is a Voluntary thing and if it becomes "Work" and not a place I enjoy attending then I would not stick around! As far as scriptures go it sounds like a "Works" Church. You have to do X amount of Community Service etc in order to be a member of the Church! Also you Vote on People who can be members of your Church? Again I would not attend a Church that does not accept any and all! The Church I attend has all Nationalities and Social/Economic status's. We have Homeless who come in and we make them Welcome. Any way I am sure there are better answers coming these are just my thoughts given the information you gave. One Scripture that came to mind when I read your post was Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. We are saved by Grace and not Works. And even if the head of the Church says the same thing in my book when he says you have to do X amount of Community Service to be a part of the Church then to me it becomes a Works Church!
    The churches I've been a member of in the past never really let the congregation vote on new members. I misspoke. However, after the Pastor ascertained that the person understood salvation and allowed him to join, he was presented to the congreagation as a formality. The new member was always unanimously accepted because the Pastor has already accepted him. It just helps the members of the congregation feel that we have a say in what's happening in our churdch. However, this Pastor won't even throw his congregation that bone. I wouldn't belong to a church that accepts any and all as members because I think we need to be sure the person knows what it means to be saved and has taken that step of faith. However, I do believe, unless they're just deliberately stirring up a lot of trouble, people who are nonmembers shpould be allowed to attend. As far as this being a works church, our Pastor says that, by God"s grace, we are saved by faith and works are not required to get us saved or keep us saved. On the other hand, he says that not doing works proves we are not saved. He uses the verse in James that says that faith without works is dead to prove his posotion. I do believe we shpuld be ministering inside and outside our church and it's a great idea for the church to help make serving oppotunities available to us. However, I believe this Pastor squelches the Holy Spirit because he won't allow us to serve as we believe the Lord is leading. We have some elderly women in our church who are being sqeezed out of church ministry that they enjoy and are capable of performing because he doesn"t like the waay they do things. I am going to be praying that the Lord either change my Pastor and hs way of leading, change my heart or move either the Pastor or my husband and me. BTW, thank you for your response.


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    A closed mouth gathers no feet. Unknown

    Inside there's a thin woman trying to get out.
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    I see red flags all over the place. He sounds like a control freak more than anything else and I'd find another church. There's no leading of the Holy Spirit there. When a church becomes the Pastor's church OVER being God's church, its time to leave. Just my 2 cents.
    "Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."Isaiah 40:31

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    I see red flags all over the place. He sounds like a control freak more than anything else and I'd find another church. There's no leading of the Holy Spirit there. When a church becomes the Pastor's church OVER being God's church, its time to leave. Just my 2 cents.
    Couldn't agree more.

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    Thank you Sunshine and Angelka. You are echoing my concerns. I will continue to pray for the Lord to intervene in some way. My husband isn't quite ready to leave yet. He feels a sense of responsibility to this church and is trying to make things work, but he is also becoming discouraged.


    Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

    A closed mouth gathers no feet. Unknown

    Inside there's a thin woman trying to get out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshine2777 View Post
    I see red flags all over the place. He sounds like a control freak more than anything else and I'd find another church. There's no leading of the Holy Spirit there. When a church becomes the Pastor's church OVER being God's church, its time to leave. Just my 2 cents.
    Ditto.
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jadeeyes View Post
    I can't really take this up with the Pastor because I'm only a woman and a member of the congregation. What I think doesn't carry much weight.
    Alright, at risk of coming off like a feminist (I'm not, lol)... the fact that this Pastor has impacted you to the point of saying "I'm only a woman" makes me cringe. If you are feeling like that, and like you don't have a voice because you are a female and "only" a member of the congregation, think what others in your church must be feeling too!

    Now, I'm all for strong Pastors leading their church and putting their foot down about teaching the gospel as they are lead to teach it... but this does sound like a human trying to act like God, in that they are not allowing the Holy Spirit any room, or particular people's callings and strong points to make an impact. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and should treat each other like family, not like a dictatorship. I'd keep discussing things with your husband, as his opinion is indeed very important.

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    Does Paul not talk about different members making a body and the importance of each body member? People are blessed with different gifts and interests and should be able to let the Holy Spirit guide them. And to take away service from the older ladies?? What a shame. I am sure they have so much to offer and really enjoy their service. Honey, I think this Pastor is wrong. And like Kliska said, for you to feel you are 'only a woman' is not right, either. I am all for leaders being men. But the Church (Big C) stretches from sea to sea and there is plenty of work for every man, woman and child. In your shoes, I would be very discouraged with my Pastor. You know, Pastors are humans and they make mistakes. If you love your church and feel you are being preached The Word, I can understand why there would be reluctance to leave. Maybe you and some of the other members could discuss this with him. It seems the women are not being utilized to the fullest potential, what about the men? Do they enjoy having 'assignments'? Praying is the absolute right thing to do. Let us know what happens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliska View Post
    Alright, at risk of coming off like a feminist (I'm not, lol)... the fact that this Pastor has impacted you to the point of saying "I'm only a woman" makes me cringe. If you are feeling like that, and like you don't have a voice because you are a female and "only" a member of the congregation, think what others in your church must be feeling too!

    Now, I'm all for strong Pastors leading their church and putting their foot down about teaching the gospel as they are lead to teach it... but this does sound like a human trying to act like God, in that they are not allowing the Holy Spirit any room, or particular people's callings and strong points to make an impact. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and should treat each other like family, not like a dictatorship. I'd keep discussing things with your husband, as his opinion is indeed very important.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoyJoyJoy View Post
    Does Paul not talk about different members making a body and the importance of each body member? People are blessed with different gifts and interests and should be able to let the Holy Spirit guide them. And to take away service from the older ladies?? What a shame. I am sure they have so much to offer and really enjoy their service. Honey, I think this Pastor is wrong. And like Kliska said, for you to feel you are 'only a woman' is not right, either. I am all for leaders being men. But the Church (Big C) stretches from sea to sea and there is plenty of work for every man, woman and child. In your shoes, I would be very discouraged with my Pastor. You know, Pastors are humans and they make mistakes. If you love your church and feel you are being preached The Word, I can understand why there would be reluctance to leave. Maybe you and some of the other members could discuss this with him. It seems the women are not being utilized to the fullest potential, what about the men? Do they enjoy having 'assignments'? Praying is the absolute right thing to do. Let us know what happens.
    I had to stop and think about this. On one level, I was being a little sarcastic when I said I', only a woman. But the Pastor really does seem to have issues with women. He seemsto be very uncomfortable with strong women ad he does not usually allow women to serve unless a man is present to lead them, except for his wife. If I was a widow, my capacity to serve in thsi church would be greatly diminished. As things stand now, I can barely serve at all without my husband there to lead me. I could never teach a group of teen girls. My husband would have to be the teacher and I would have to be his assistant and my husband doesn't have the gift of teaching. There are so many ways in which I think he has set himself up as a dictator and there is no talking to him. It's his way or the highway. And when someone leaves because they disagree with him, he makes sure the rest of us know that the person left due to selfishness and if a man agrees with his wife that it's time to eave that church, the man is not being the leader God has called him to be. In other words, everyone who finally leaves because he is a dictator or because this church doesn't provide for the needs of the family, our Pastor chalks it up to their sinfulness. The Word of God is preached at our church, but it is not strictly adhered to. As for the 2 ederly ladies, sometimes they are a minor pain. They are elderly and they like to do things their own way. But the issues involved are very minor. They have been trying to serve where they have some talent and feel led to serve, but the Pastor is almost copletely blocking them from serving where they feel led to serve and trying to force them into a very tiny serving role doing something they don't necessarily feel called to serve. I am very frustrated and very sad and I'm also angry about the way these 2 women are being treated. BTW, men can serve without their wives. My husband frequently serves without me. I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels. I am not permitted to serve the way I feel called and I am also not permitted, according to this Pastor, to choose how I will serve in the community. We will be assigned ways and places to serve in the community. At any rate, I would need my husband to choose any community ministry for me and to serve by my side. So, I will continue to pray and talk to my husband, but I already feel like I'm done with this church and may start staying away from some of the events the Pastor has mandated. I'm not 5 and he's not my Dad or husband. In fact, he's young enough to be my son.


    Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

    A closed mouth gathers no feet. Unknown

    Inside there's a thin woman trying to get out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadeeyes View Post
    I had to stop and think about this. On one level, I was being a little sarcastic when I said I', only a woman. But the Pastor really does seem to have issues with women. He seemsto be very uncomfortable with strong women ad he does not usually allow women to serve unless a man is present to lead them, except for his wife.
    You seem to be level headed about this, so I do wonder what other not-so-level-headed females feel like in this church... I would imagine they feel pretty low. So, his wife gets special privileges?

    If I was a widow, my capacity to serve in thsi church would be greatly diminished. As things stand now, I can barely serve at all without my husband there to lead me. I could never teach a group of teen girls. My husband would have to be the teacher and I would have to be his assistant and my husband doesn't have the gift of teaching. There are so many ways in which I think he has set himself up as a dictator and there is no talking to him. It's his way or the highway. And when someone leaves because they disagree with him, he makes sure the rest of us know that the person left due to selfishness and if a man agrees with his wife that it's time to eave that church, the man is not being the leader God has called him to be. In other words, everyone who finally leaves because he is a dictator or because this church doesn't provide for the needs of the family, our Pastor chalks it up to their sinfulness.
    Yeah... this guy doesn't sound like a kind under-shepherd.

    The Word of God is preached at our church, but it is not strictly adhered to. As for the 2 ederly ladies, sometimes they are a minor pain. They are elderly and they like to do things their own way. But the issues involved are very minor. They have been trying to serve where they have some talent and feel led to serve, but the Pastor is almost copletely blocking them from serving where they feel led to serve and trying to force them into a very tiny serving role doing something they don't necessarily feel called to serve. I am very frustrated and very sad and I'm also angry about the way these 2 women are being treated. BTW, men can serve without their wives. My husband frequently serves without me. I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels. I am not permitted to serve the way I feel called and I am also not permitted, according to this Pastor, to choose how I will serve in the community. We will be assigned ways and places to serve in the community. At any rate, I would need my husband to choose any community ministry for me and to serve by my side. So, I will continue to pray and talk to my husband, but I already feel like I'm done with this church and may start staying away from some of the events the Pastor has mandated. I'm not 5 and he's not my Dad or husband. In fact, he's young enough to be my son.
    We wives are under the leadership of our husbands (as long as they line up with God), not men in general. It sounds like this pastor is taking things to extremes. Also, if the man/woman situation really is mismatched; like a male would be able to teach a roomful of young females, that seems a bit off to me. Decorum and order should always be followed, but this sounds like a whole other ballgame with women being looked on as second-class believers.

    Do keep prayin! Hope it all works out for you and your husband!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliska View Post
    You seem to be level headed about this, so I do wonder what other not-so-level-headed females feel like in this church... I would imagine they feel pretty low. So, his wife gets special privileges?



    Yeah... this guy doesn't sound like a kind under-shepherd.



    We wives are under the leadership of our husbands (as long as they line up with God), not men in general. It sounds like this pastor is taking things to extremes. Also, if the man/woman situation really is mismatched; like a male would be able to teach a roomful of young females, that seems a bit off to me. Decorum and order should always be followed, but this sounds like a whole other ballgame with women being looked on as second-class believers.

    Do keep prayin! Hope it all works out for you and your husband!
    Thank you. I so appreciate all the responses on this thread. I really needed a sounding board. I have a couple of friends I can bounce things off of, but they also attend this church. I don't want to create dissension and I wanted to hear from someone who is not involved in this situation. Maybe others could help me see if I am off base in any way. Nobody here has changed the situation, but I feel more confident that I am not just reacting emotionally. I want to serve God in my church and I want to be held accountable. And my husband has made strides in taking on his role as leader in our household while I have been learning to step back and alow him to lead.However, the other men in my church don't have headship over me and my husband doesn't have headship over the other women. I really think this Pastor has little respect for women. He would deny that, but it appears obvious to me and other women in our church. I seriously doubt we will still be there when summer rolls around. I hate to leave and I don't look forward to having to search for another church, but short of God changing things, that's what we might have to do.

    Thank you to everyone who has responded to this thread. You have helped me to be clear that what I thought was not right, truly is not right.


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    A closed mouth gathers no feet. Unknown

    Inside there's a thin woman trying to get out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadeeyes View Post
    The churches I've been a member of in the past never really let the congregation vote on new members. I misspoke. However, after the Pastor ascertained that the person understood salvation and allowed him to join, he was presented to the congreagation as a formality. The new member was always unanimously accepted because the Pastor has already accepted him. It just helps the members of the congregation feel that we have a say in what's happening in our churdch. However, this Pastor won't even throw his congregation that bone. I wouldn't belong to a church that accepts any and all as members because I think we need to be sure the person knows what it means to be saved and has taken that step of faith. However, I do believe, unless they're just deliberately stirring up a lot of trouble, people who are nonmembers shpould be allowed to attend. As far as this being a works church, our Pastor says that, by God"s grace, we are saved by faith and works are not required to get us saved or keep us saved. On the other hand, he says that not doing works proves we are not saved. He uses the verse in James that says that faith without works is dead to prove his posotion. I do believe we shpuld be ministering inside and outside our church and it's a great idea for the church to help make serving oppotunities available to us. However, I believe this Pastor squelches the Holy Spirit because he won't allow us to serve as we believe the Lord is leading. We have some elderly women in our church who are being sqeezed out of church ministry that they enjoy and are capable of performing because he doesn"t like the waay they do things. I am going to be praying that the Lord either change my Pastor and hs way of leading, change my heart or move either the Pastor or my husband and me. BTW, thank you for your response.
    You must have missed my point on Works. When you are REQUIRED to do X amount of Community Service to me it is a Works Church. As with Giving of Tides, Giving of your Time should be cheerfully given and not mandated. When it is mandated then it isn't cheerfully given it is a requirement for attendance. That is a Works Church in my opinion. I volunteer to clean our Parking lot at least weekly, Go on our community Outreach program at least once a month, Greet People at the Door on Sundays and Wednesdays and Go to Prayer 3 days a week. But I do them willingly and would probably leave my Church if a Pastor "Required" me to do any or all as a condition of Membership then I would have to look for another Church. (I am not Boasting or patting myself on the back about what I do just giving you an Idea as to my commitment to my Church). We have a lot of members who do not give of their time or as much as others some due to physical limitations and some due to just not being committed to the Church. But to me that is between them and God. Again this is just my opinion but that is what you wanted.

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    Indeed sounds like this Pastor is taking things to the extreme. I will be praying for you because it is hard finding a new church. In fact so hard that honestly I don't feel like looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshine2777 View Post
    I see red flags all over the place. He sounds like a control freak more than anything else and I'd find another church. There's no leading of the Holy Spirit there. When a church becomes the Pastor's church OVER being God's church, its time to leave. Just my 2 cents.
    Ditto

    Quote Originally Posted by jadeeyes View Post
    Thank you Sunshine and Angelka. You are echoing my concerns. I will continue to pray for the Lord to intervene in some way. My husband isn't quite ready to leave yet. He feels a sense of responsibility to this church and is trying to make things work, but he is also becoming discouraged.
    Sometimes the most profound statement a person can make about a church's actions and direction is voting with their feet. I'll pray that your husband's eyes are opened to what is going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by jadeeyes View Post
    I had to stop and think about this. On one level, I was being a little sarcastic when I said I', only a woman. But the Pastor really does seem to have issues with women. He seemsto be very uncomfortable with strong women ad he does not usually allow women to serve unless a man is present to lead them, except for his wife. If I was a widow, my capacity to serve in thsi church would be greatly diminished. As things stand now, I can barely serve at all without my husband there to lead me. I could never teach a group of teen girls. My husband would have to be the teacher and I would have to be his assistant and my husband doesn't have the gift of teaching. There are so many ways in which I think he has set himself up as a dictator and there is no talking to him. It's his way or the highway. And when someone leaves because they disagree with him, he makes sure the rest of us know that the person left due to selfishness and if a man agrees with his wife that it's time to eave that church, the man is not being the leader God has called him to be. In other words, everyone who finally leaves because he is a dictator or because this church doesn't provide for the needs of the family, our Pastor chalks it up to their sinfulness. The Word of God is preached at our church, but it is not strictly adhered to. As for the 2 ederly ladies, sometimes they are a minor pain. They are elderly and they like to do things their own way. But the issues involved are very minor. They have been trying to serve where they have some talent and feel led to serve, but the Pastor is almost copletely blocking them from serving where they feel led to serve and trying to force them into a very tiny serving role doing something they don't necessarily feel called to serve. I am very frustrated and very sad and I'm also angry about the way these 2 women are being treated. BTW, men can serve without their wives. My husband frequently serves without me. I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels. I am not permitted to serve the way I feel called and I am also not permitted, according to this Pastor, to choose how I will serve in the community. We will be assigned ways and places to serve in the community. At any rate, I would need my husband to choose any community ministry for me and to serve by my side. So, I will continue to pray and talk to my husband, but I already feel like I'm done with this church and may start staying away from some of the events the Pastor has mandated. I'm not 5 and he's not my Dad or husband. In fact, he's young enough to be my son.
    Wow! I fear for any little girl raised in this church because the message this Pastor is sending to every one of them is that their God given gifts are worth nothing unless they are married and unless a male is telling them how to use those gifts. I think it is wonderful when churches encourage their members to participate, serve in the community and volunteer at all levels, but to dictate who, where, and for how long - that's not Biblical.

    And to basically say that an unmarried woman is not allowed to serve is crazy! God used Rahab, a prostitute, to save the spies in Jericho. God can use ANY of us in any way he sees fit. For the Pastor to dictate that females can only serve under their husband, that is misguided, sad and very very dangerous. He's twisting God's words and Jesus's teachings to create his own little empire.

    Additionally the fact that he sees the need to publicly chasitise a family for leaving the church is vengeful. That is not of God.
    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZCowboy View Post
    You must have missed my point on Works. When you are REQUIRED to do X amount of Community Service to me it is a Works Church. As with Giving of Tides, Giving of your Time should be cheerfully given and not mandated. When it is mandated then it isn't cheerfully given it is a requirement for attendance. That is a Works Church in my opinion. I volunteer to clean our Parking lot at least weekly, Go on our community Outreach program at least once a month, Greet People at the Door on Sundays and Wednesdays and Go to Prayer 3 days a week. But I do them willingly and would probably leave my Church if a Pastor "Required" me to do any or all as a condition of Membership then I would have to look for another Church. (I am not Boasting or patting myself on the back about what I do just giving you an Idea as to my commitment to my Church). We have a lot of members who do not give of their time or as much as others some due to physical limitations and some due to just not being committed to the Church. But to me that is between them and God. Again this is just my opinion but that is what you wanted.
    I'm sorry. Actually, I did get your point which you made quite well. I just didn't make my point well. My point is that he seems to think we need to be constantly proving that our faith isn't dead by serving in the way he tells us to serve. Our church is a works church because we are expected to do several things as members. We have just been informed that we are expected to attend 2 church services plus one small groups session each week. We are also supposed to serve in a number of outreach activities and we are also to be assigned to serve in certain ways in church. The Pastor recently told a visiting couple who wanted to attend on Sunday evenings not to bother unless they would also be attending on Sunday mornings. That was a few months back and we haven't seen them since. I am with you completely. My husband and I have always willingly served in church, but I see all kinds of red flags when a Pastor starts telling us that we have to do certain works if we are members of this church. It's funny that we didn't receive all this information about all the works we have to perform to maintain our membership until some time after we became members.


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    Quote Originally Posted by IlovemyJesus View Post
    Indeed sounds like this Pastor is taking things to the extreme. I will be praying for you because it is hard finding a new church. In fact so hard that honestly I don't feel like looking.
    I don't feel like looking either, but we can't stay where we are much longer unless things change drastically. I pray that you will be led by the Lord to the right church.


    Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

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    Inside there's a thin woman trying to get out.
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    From what you have said, this guy sounds self-important, manipulative, controlling, immature, unloving, lacking in integrity, off-putting and demotivating. Did he choose this job because he wants to build the kingdom or because he is power-hungry? Overseers are told to be gentle and to control themselves, not [to my knowledge] to control others. Where is the humble-servant approach? Where is the gentleness and love? Where is the building up/encouraging of the flock? What would Jesus do?

    I hesitate to promote something that could result in a church split, knowing that the devil loves to use divide-and-conquer tactics with churches. However, I would wonder that the pastor might not only be causing discord, but also chasing numerous people off, and, worse yet, tragically souring some on Christianity (especially re newer or younger believers). What is the bottom line? Is the Gospel being preached accurately? Are people being saved? Would it be better to leave and let those that remain be fed in spite of his shortcomings? Or would that choice help you and DH, but allow the rest of the church to be damaged under his leadership? Is he chasing a lot of people away? Has there been a significant reduction in attendance? Is he causing general discord/divisions and damaging church unity? If he was made aware that he is alienating people away from the Lord, would he be: (a) open to changing his approach for the good of the church or (b) be willing to bow out gracefully? If not, would it not be better to just stop him if he is doing more harm than good?

    Have the church elders tried to talk with him? If so, and if that didn't work, have the church elders spoken to whomever is over the pastor? And if that didn't work either, since you have "official church members," can you send him on sabbatical to work on his outlook/approach or just vote him out if necessary? [Oops--never mind. I re-read the OP and see that the pastor conveniently doesn't allow the congregation to vote..... ] Is there another, more mature, Spirit-filled, knowledgeable man with a humble, servant nature who could take over and do a better job of representing the Lord/leading this flock?

    You asked for Bible verses. This collection is huge and addresses issues you brought up, as well as things mentioned by other posters. Not everything will apply, depending largely on "the bottom line," among other things. Maybe some of these verses will help you and DH weigh the pros and cons of the different options and decide what steps to take, e.g., whether or not to approach the elders, what verses should be emphasized to the pastor, etc.


    Humility/A Serving Nature/What Would Jesus Do?
    Mat 23:11-12 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
    John 13:14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
    John 13:15 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
    1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
    1 Pet 5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

    Gentleness
    Matt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. . . .
    Eph 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
    Phil 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. . . .
    Col 3:12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
    1 Tim 3:1-3 . . . not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
    1 Tim 6:11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
    James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

    Love
    1 Corinthians 13:1-4 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Building Up/Encouraging Each Other/Patience
    1 Thes 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up . . .
    2 Cor 1:3-4 Praise be to . . . the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
    Heb 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
    1 Thes 5:14 . . . warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
    Job 4:4 Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.
    Eph 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
    Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
    Is 50:4 The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. . .
    2 Tim 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

    The Holy Spirit, the Gifts and Letting People Use Their Gifts
    1 Thes 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:27-13:1 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
    Rom 12:4-8 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
    Eph 4:11-18 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all thing grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

    Older Women Should Teach Younger Women
    Titus 2:3-5 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

    Overseers Should Be Servants, Not Lord it Over Others
    (Also Service/Good Deeds Should Be Done Willingly, Not Because You "Must")

    Mark 10:42-45 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
    2 Cor 1:24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.
    Titus 1:7-11 Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach--and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
    1 Peter 5:2-3 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
    2 Thes 1:11-12 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Is the Pastor Building Church Unity or Causing Church Discord?
    1 Pet 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
    Acts 15:2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. (see also rest of Acts 15)
    Rom 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
    Rom 16:17-18 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
    1 Cor 11:17-19 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval.
    1 Cor 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace . . .
    2 Cor 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
    Eph 4:3-6 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
    Col 3:11-15 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
    Luke 11:17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.”
    Rom 15:5-7 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

    About Approaching the Pastor......Or Not
    1 Timothy 3:1-3 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
    2 Cor 2:5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
    2 Tim 2:23-26 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
    Gal 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
    3 John 1:9-10 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
    James 3:16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
    1 Tim 5:19-20 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.
    Mat 23:1-4 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. [see to vs. 13]
    Acts 5:38-39 “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
    Phil 1:15-18 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. . . .
    Is 55:10-11 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

    If You Choose to Leave and the Pastor Maligns You
    1 Pet 3:15-17 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

    And Some Miscellaneous Others For the Pastor to Think About
    1 Tim 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
    James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
    Luke 20:45-47 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
    Jer 10:21 The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.
    1 Tim 5:1-2 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
    Luke 11:52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
    James 3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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  19. #19
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    double post, sorry

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
    ______

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadeeyes View Post
    I don't feel like looking either, but we can't stay where we are much longer unless things change drastically. . . .
    jadeeyes, you don't say what denomination your church is affiliated with, and it's probably best not to. If it is 'sole pastoral authority' I can already guess. We attended a church like yours for about a year. We didn't like the fact that the pastor pretty much dictated how things were going to be done/not be done. The way your church is functioning as you describe is way off base, even for a 'sole pastoral authority' type of church. In fact, what you describe is one of the reasons that my family will never attend a 'sole pastoral authority' church again. We have heard countless stories where the pastor goes amuk with power. God didn't design the role of pastor to be 'sole authority'. Man has made it so. It seems pretty clear to me in reading the pastoral epistles that there is to be a plurality of elders to help lead. Right now, we are attending a Baptist church where the deacons function in the role of elder, and the Scriptures make it clear that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors.

    Finding a good church in this day and time is hard. If you live close enough to a city where there are some choices, it is easier. Personally, I prefer the IFCA affiliation. They have a web site that includes a church directory. www.ifca.org Not every IFCA affiliated church is listed, however. We found one recently that wasn't on their web site, and it is wonderful, though if we attended there, it would involve a 45 minute commute. In some cases, it's worth it to make the drive, if nothing local can be found, or if you live in a rural area. Don't worry about what the pastor might say, if you do leave. He shouldn't be commenting like this on members who depart, and everyone else knows that and won't pay any attention.

    One last word of caution, if you don't mind a little advice from an 'older' woman. It's really best not to discuss church issues with the two women from your church that you have used as a sounding board in the past. It really can backfire and cause you some difficulties that you didn't intend.

    -Lynn

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