When I left Manitowoc I believed it
was the best thing for the church. The
constant strife between the elders and me was not healthy for the church or for
my family. I believed that God was
calling me to an associate position where I could focus my strengths in small
groups and discipleship. Through a
series of events my wife and I found ourselves in Houston, Texas. The church seemed to be a growing and
thriving fellowship where the small group ministry was multiplying quickly; or
so I thought.
There were five full time pastors, a
full time facilities manager, a part time junior high pastor, a part time
counselor, a bookkeeper, and two part time secretaries.
I knew things were not as they appeared when
one of my first lengthy conversations with the Senior Pastor had to do with the
ousting the Worship Pastor.
beneath the surface was an ever growing division between long standing members,
who were represented by the worship pastor, and the new people who joined under
the ministry of the Senior Pastor.
in the middle.
was divided as well.
There were those
like me who were brought in by the Senior Pastor, and those who were long
standing members like the Worship Pastor.
The growing chasm resulted in a show down when the Senior Pastor
announced a shift in his eschatology.
Those who wanted him gone swooped in and capitalized on the issue because
it was a departure from the denominations theological position.
Though I didn’t agree with his new position it
didn’t affect the gospel.
committed a moral sin, and his ministry had produced new believers.
In the end it came down to his ability to hold
the church together.
asked him to resign it tore the church a part.
Half the church left, and a church that sustained eleven pastors and
staff was now forced to reduce it by eight.
And though I had warned them of the necessity of getting their financial
house in order the Elders made some short sighted decisions that sped up the
need to let eight of us go.
everyone go but the Worship Pastor, the Counselor, and the children’s
Eventually they hired a new
Senior Pastor who came in and let the counselor and the Worship Pastor go to
bring in his own people.
To say the
least it turned my world upside down.
went through a sever depression and wondered if I could ever be in ministry
I pursued my doctorate thinking
that maybe God would lead me into another venue.
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about
the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
Why can’t we avoid the foolishness of our selfish
I Hate Church because it turns
leaders of good will against one another for reasons other than the
I’m just saying…