Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Parable for Abused Pastors

And the Lord sent Nathan to the District President.  He came to him and said, "A rich man had a daughter with tuberculosis.  He married her to a man, but the man fell sick with her disease and died.  So the rich man married her to another man, who also contracted her infection and he died.  Five times this happened until the rich man could find no other suitors willing to marry his daughter.  So the rich man went to one of his servants and said to him, 'Marry my daughter or you will starve."  The servant protested, saying, "But master, surely if I do this, I will be like those men before me, falling ill and dying in my youth.  The rich man responded, “Surely not!  I give my word that, if you love her enough and be patient with her, my daughter’s disease will not take your life as it did those men before you.”

The District President’s anger was greatly kindled against the rich man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, this man will never arrange another marriage because he showed no mercy or wisdom.”

Nathan said to the District President, “You are the man.”

These words are not aimed at all men who wear the title "LCMS District President."  I thank the Lord for those men who have defended the shepherds under their care when they were attacked.  And I pray that He may grant us many more men to join the ranks of the faithful.


Paul D. Frazier said...

It's easier to sacrifice the minister instead of the congregation.
Is it just? No.
It's not the Gospel.
There is no reconciliation. There is usually only bitterness, anger, resentment.
But that is the Church.
It's like being a baseball manager. It's easier to fire the manager than the whole team.
We shouldn't take it personally.
It hurts like Hell, but that's the Cross we bear.

Anonymous said...

I paraphrased this to a pastor's wife whose husband was the fourth or fifth to go through the meat grinder at a certain congregation. It resonated. Their denomination's version of a district president, when asked why he hadn't warned him, said, "I'd have told you if you'd asked." My friend's husband was gracious and honest enough to warn the next guy in line.

Gregory Schultz said...

Then there's the pastor who resigned from his congregation on recommendation from the DP, and after six months, when the severance package ran out and the pastor was available to do pulpit supply and vacancies in said district, the DP said to him, "There's no place for you in this district; and we DP's have no idea what to do with guys like you. I can't help you. But go out and work hard and pray, and I'll keep circulating your name." Proverbially speaking, you understand...

Timothy C. Schenks said...

That daughter is surely a neighboring congregation of mine, which has chewed up at least four pastors. I have asked the two Seminary Presidents to refuse to send them a new pastor as they are now on the calling congregation list. I hope they listen as the District President sure didn't.

TimHTae said...

I am a youth minister at a church and I have been in a tough situation at a former church I was at where the pastor was lazy, incompetent, preached no Good News, could not lead, work with others, nor could he socialize authentically. Our circuit counselor found him to not be trustworthy with his staff, he did not make his visits to the home bound or sick, he held grudges and discouraged church workers. I say all this knowing that God has called this man to the congregation where he's at. However, after three-plus years, the congregation has lost around 1/2 its members, yet previously was a thriving congregation that had a pastor some 20-odd years. Pastors are not perfect.

I have no idea what struggle is. I am very new at the job. However, one of the prerequisites of being a pastor or a youth minister (my pastor has informed me), is being thick-skinned while continuing to preach the Gospel and not losing your compassion, care, and love for those you serve. There is no entitlement that pastors be treated well. They have one of the hardest jobs on earth. We, who know this, need to give them the support they aren't always receiving elsewhere, but pastors, I'm sorry to say, aren't infallible and some might just be fairly poor.

Living Water Lutheran Chirch Hot Springs Village Arkansas said...

Pastors should be removed from congregations due to immoral lifestyle, heresy, error and manifest laziness in performing the duties they were called to perform. The current "hire and fire" mentality comes from viewing the church as some kind of capitalist institution where clerics are ordered around like janitors. We have in this strange era the very odd requirement that parishioners "like" their pastor. It's been a happy coincidence that
I have liked all my pastors since becoming a Lutheran in 1985, but I would be more than happy with a pastor I disliked on a personal level IF they preached the gospel correctly and administered the sacraments according the Christ's command.