Why Some Churches Cannot Keep A Pastor

It is not uncommon these days to find a church looking for a new pastor every couple of years. Though some denominations rotate their ministers into new pastorates in a cycle, usually four year increments, many groups do so because of internal problems which are not by design. Is Christ honored by the changing of pastors because of unresolved problems and conflict? Is it healthy for a community to endure the endless procession of ministers through their hamlet? This post seeks to shed some light as to why this seems to happen so often.


In my years of ministry, I have narrowed down this issue into the three most common reasons as to why churches cannot seem to keep a pastor. Though there are other issues that can be addressed like a declining membership due to the local economy in relation to meeting the financial obligation of a particular pastor and simply picking the wrong pastor, most churches, who are on a continual search for a pastor, are infected with a problem which seems to plague them for many years.

Personality Conflict

A common problem that surfaces in the ministry is that of personality conflict. Let’s face it, some people are not going to sit under certain pastors. That is understandable and inevitable. Assuming the church picked the right pastor according to God’s will, people who cannot remain under a certain pastor should seek to find another church, if possible, where they can grow and mature. What usually happens, in this case of personality conflict, is a family or families campaign to remove the pastor and have the church find a new one.

Now you would think that after a pastor or two in a seven or eight year stretch would cure the problem, but it doesn’t. Many times, it is not the same people who campaign. With each cycle the players change up and the church spirals ever downward. Sometimes it is the pastor’s fault and other times it is the congregations fault. Either way, if a church rids itself of a pastor due to the campaigning of a family over conflicting personalities, then the church will likely repeat the misfortune again and again.

Power Struggle

Another common issue in a local church which results in the perpetual search of a pastor is that of a power struggle. The question becomes, “Who is going to be the pastor?” Granted, there are many dictatorial personalities occupying the pulpits of many churches, but that is not the sole issue and not the case 100% of the time.

In ANY venue, where there are people rallying to a common purpose, there has to be order. Whether it is a little league baseball group or a business on main street, there must be an orderly chain of command and responsibility. The secular world understands this, but many of God’s people forget it. Furthermore, God has set things up so there will be the proper and orderly way of conducting the affairs in His church.

Many times I have seen churches divided and conquered by a domineering family or group who thinks they can do better than their pastor. Constant backbiting, gossiping, and numerous other sins are committed by these self-righteous people. Thinking they are doing God’s service by ridding themselves of this awful man, they, in fact, aid Satan in defeating the purposes of God for that church.

I have seen a power struggle take place numerous times and the people involved do not know or understand that they are the issue. They honestly cannot see that they are the hindrance to keeping a pastor. What’s worse, is the pastors are limited so much that they cannot overcome the issue. It is such an unfortunate circumstance.

Poor Ministry Philosophy

No matter how you slice it, philosophy of ministry has a huge impact on a congregation. With each new pastors that comes along, he will seek to project his vision and philosophy. If this happens to a congregation numerous times in a relative short span of years, then it can become a cancer in the church. This is especially true when a pastor and church are miles apart in their ideology. Even after carefully selecting a pastor, this conflict can arise.

Churches are generational. That is, it will have to reach each successive generation if it is to perpetuate. Churches are either going to be a center for ministry and a place to carry out the Biblical mandates for its existence or it will become a social club. If the ministry philosophy of a church adopts situation ethics, or begins to distance itself from its Biblical mandates, then it will soon start losing pastors. Basically, poor ministry philosophy will send a pastor down the road!

Conclusion

While this post has not fully expounded all of the possible reasons why some churches cannot seem to keep a pastor, it has given some common factors which fertilize this awful situation. Remember that God gives pastors to churches for many reasons. When pastors move too rapidly, then churches cannot mature as well. Consider:

(Ephesians 4:11-16Ephesians 4:11-16
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: in: or, into stature: or, age 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: speaking...: or, being sincere 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.  

WP-Bible plugin
) “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (KJV)

Pastors and churches have to work together to accomplish what God intends for them to do. Splits and splinters only serve to benefit Satan. Finding new leadership energized by selfish motivations will never be right! I hope that this post has mentioned something that would help a fellow Christian deal with this plague.

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Originally posted 2011-04-20 23:35:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pastors: The Under-Appreciated

Many times, pastors are under-appreciated in the churches they pastor. Of course, this is not the case in every church, but it IS the case in most. Pastors are not looking for an easy road, nor are they seeking “pats on the back”. They simply would like the respect and appreciation from their congregations as the individual members would like if they were holding the office of pastor. Needing to feel appreciated is not an unreasonable request of anyone; including pastors.

“Pastors Make Great Whipping Posts” – says a disgruntled church member

Pastors do understand that they are the “whipping post” people use for many reasons. It may be that a person or persons in the congregation are living in open sin and rebellion against God. As a result, the pastor is ridiculed for preaching against their particular vice or sin. In other cases, the animosity is more subtle. It may be that the pastor is begrudged for not meeting certain expectations. Regardless of the scenario, and there are way too many to describe here, pastors are just not appreciated very well. Instead of being thankful for a Bible preaching pastor, many are content to criticize EVERYTHING!

Praise God For Faithful, Pastor-Loving Church Members!

In spite of the under-appreciation pastors face, I am glad to report that many faithful, God-fearing followers of Christ DO, IN FACT, appreciate their man of God. It seems that this group is dwindling each year, but they do exist! No matter how many people, in any given congregation, try to help the pastor perform his obligations and to encourage him along the way, the pastor knows that his ONE supreme issue is PLEASING God alone. It really does not matter what people think, but it does encourage a pastor to know he is appreciated for doing right!

A Poem Says It All!

The following poem is from Pastor James Ruckman of Glory Bound Baptist Church of Hoven, South Dakota. In his words,

“I wrote this April 12, 2011 after speaking with five separate pastors, in a one week period, who were dealing with situations either within their families or churches that were very discouraging.  God’s man and his family are subjects of the relentless attacks of Satan who is seeking to wear out the saints of the most High.”

“There is a man that God calls “The Pastor”,
He stands in the gap for my family and friends;
He preaches the Word to saints and to sinners,
He stands for the truth and refuses to bend.
He is hated by some, despised, and rejected,
As He preaches the unbending Truth of God’s Word,
He is loved by His Father, in the beloved he’s accepted;
And he’ll be rewarded by his Savior and Lord.

So preach on my dear fellow pastor; keep laboring,
Our Lord’s coming soon, of this I am sure.
He’s promised a crown to those who’ve been faithful;
So preach on my dear fellow pastor, preach on.”

- Pastor James Ruckman

Conclusion

As a pastor, we should seek to help our fellow pastor friends as much as we can. Praying with them, laboring alongside, and passing along an encouraging word can mean everything. As a church member, we should seek to help our pastor in every way possible. There will ALWAYS be someone in the congregation that does not appreciate the pastoral leadership they encounter. We should, however, do what we can to make our pastor FEELappreciated. It sure goes a long way to insure that relationships remain strong and sweet fellowship can be maintained!

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Originally posted 2011-04-12 16:44:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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