Questions For Pastors When Being Forced Out

Hurricane_off_FloridaImage via Wikipedia

I have not read any statistics on this lately, but I am sure that a vast majority, upwards of 90%, of pastors have faced the situation of being forced out of the church in which they pastor. It is never a pretty picture, and usually ends in a bad way. Why does this happen? Should a pastor ever leave? Though these questions seem to be easily answered, it is not so simple when you are in the middle of the hurricane fighting to strengthen the things that remain!

Sometimes you feel that nobody cares about you. Having faced a form of this on a couple of occasions, I know exactly how it feels when the people that you love, pray for, help, and would die for, want to see you leave. It is also quite amazing how a pastor is treated by his fellow preachers when he does leave. It seems that when a pastor shares all of the gory details, making himself look good, that pastors are quick to get behind him. However, when a pastor tries to keep things “hush hush”, somehow he is always the problem; obviously hiding something. The truth of the matter is that neither scenario is 100% accurate.

Listed below are some questions that a pastor should ask himself when he feels that he is being forced out!

#1 – Pastor, Are You Digging The Hole Yourself?

  • Many times, pastors are the ones who are digging the hole in which they find themselves.
  • Look around and see if there are others in the hole with you!

#2 – Pastor, Are You Doing Right?

  • Sometimes, as pastors, we forget that we are capable of being the problem.
  • Before we dogmatically place blame upon certain members of the congregation, let us be sure that we are not guilty of some sin; public or private!
  • Like God did with King Saul, He might be allowing trouble to come our way to chasten us!

#3 – Pastor, Are You Seeking God’s Glory Or Your Own?

  • Being a glory hound will bring a church split in a hurry.
  • Your agenda, reputation, and will is not what is most important, no matter how spiritual you make think they are.
  • Pride in our own lives can be subtle and hard to detect.

#4 – Pastor, Are You Falling On The Wrong Sword?

  • Sometimes the issues (SURFACE ISSUE) which precipitate the forcing out of a pastor are complicated, but they can be rightly discerned.
  • Is the issue you are dieing over worth it?

#5 – Pastor, Are You Walking With God?

  • Being in the center of God’s will is what is most important!
  • Contrary to popular opinion, it is sometimes the will of God to clear off a spot and do like Moses and Joshua… “Who is on the LORD’s side” – “Choose you this day”
  • No matter how bleak things might seem, knowing for certain, the will of God brings comfort!

#6 – Pastor, Are You In Consultation With Your Pastor Or Another Objective Brother?

  • When in a difficult situation like is being described in this post, one needs help from their pastor.
  • War should not be waged alone, and it should not be waged by twins either. Don’t surround yourself with people who you know to be 100% agreeable with you.
  • A fresh pair of eyes can make the difference between victory and disaster!

#7 – Pastor, Are You Mistaking The Actions Of A Few For The Consensus Of The Majority?

  • When hurt and troubled, the giants seem to be in the majority!
  • No matter how much venom is being spewed at you, take the high road and remember that not everyone is against you!

#8 – Pastor, Are You Looking At The Bigger Picture?

  • The problem you face, when being forced out, is much bigger than you and your family!
  • As hard as it is on family and friends, keep the big picture in mind!
  • There will be another brother to follow you if you do, in fact, leave the church. Please try to avoid a scorched earth policy… for his sake!

#9 – Pastor, Are You Wanting To Leave In The First Place?

  • Are you just looking for an exit ramp!
  • If you are looking for any excuse to leave, then leave and keep your mouth shut!

#10 – Pastor, Are You Willing To Admit Possible Mistakes And Work Things Out?

  • It could be that the whole reason you feel pressure to leave is from a mistake on your part.
  • Regardless of the actions taken by others, try your best to admit your mistakes, bear the consequences and move on WITH the congregation.


Leaving a church voluntarily or by force of opinion/vote, is never easy. In the best of circumstances, when a pastor leaves a congregation, it is difficult to move forward. Often, people are caught in the middle and never recover fully from the unfortunate course of events. Assuredly, if a pastor considers the aforementioned questions, then he possibly can make a better decision about whether or not to leave the church he dearly loves.

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Originally posted 2010-12-08 11:36:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

4 Ways God Establishes A Pastor’s Leadership

Today’s pastors are blessed to have so many living examples around them to emulate and learn from. Even if you are in a sparsely populated area, you still benefit from other pastors’ experiences by way of modern technology via the internet and through publications such as periodicals, newsletters, books, and religious newspapers. Whether a pastor studies the Scriptures to learn how to be a better leader and/or through contemporary examples of what to do and not to do, there is a wealth of material to grow from.

Recently, I had the privilege to speak at a gathering where several pastors from our area were meeting for fellowship and encouragement. I spoke on the subject, “How God Establishes A Pastor’s Leadership!”. I would like to share in this post what God had me share with those precious men. It was certainly awkward preaching since many of those men could have done a better job in expressing the Lord’s principles of establishing His men. However, I was certainly honored to be able to speak.

4 Ways God Establishes A Pastor’s Leadership

The text was taken from 1 Samuel 10:261 Samuel 10:26
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.  

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where God sent a select group home with Saul; Israel’s new king. Though kings and pastors are not the same position, the principles of how God establishes his men in leadership are the same.

(1 Samuel 10:261 Samuel 10:26
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.  

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) “And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.”  (KJV)

The day Saul was anointed king was a grand day for Israel; or so they thought. Wanting to be like the nations around him, they insisted upon having a king to fight for them. This, of course, meant rejecting the theocracy they were presently under. God gave them a man named Saul to be their first king.

As Saul went back  to his home, he was probably in a state of shock since his journey started out as a task of finding lost livestock, but ended up being his inauguration as king of Israel. Nevertheless, Saul would be a man who started out right, but ended up a failure. His failure was not due to the fact that God did not provide the necessary supporting cast, but rather it was his persistent disobedience and flagrant neglect of God’s Will.

Important note: “Leadership involves the people God gives you!” I will not develop this introductory thought here, but keep this in mind as you read this post.

#1 – God Establishes Leadership Through Cooperation!

“… and there went with him…” emphasis mine

Several men, the number uncertain, went home with Saul to help him fulfill his role as king of Israel. From the context of our Scripture we should note that many did not think Saul should be the king. However, we notice a cooperative spirit among those, as the Scripture states, went “with” him. God could have easily said that they followed him, or preceded him or even that they met at a later time and place, but He didn’t.

Application can be made here in answering a simple question. “Do I have a cooperative spirit?” If the answer is “No!”, then it will be very unlikely that you as a pastor or spiritual leader will be effective in leading through cooperation. In fact, you will end up leading through a dictatorial spirit or be so far out in front that your people will lose sight of you. Leaders work together and share responsibility.

God sent Saul some people by divine designation who went along in a cooperative manner. God will help you develop folks just like this in your congregation over time. We are not speaking about “yes men”, but men and women that want to labor alongside you and help you be the leader God intends you to be! Their training may not be much, but it is your job to help them discover and cultivate their God-given spiritual gifts!

The story is told of a group of Special Olympic athletes who were running a foot race. They started out in competition with each other… moving their feet as fast as they could. Not too far up the track one of the runners stumbled and fell down. The other competitors stopped and helped the injured fellow get up and they actually carried him across the finish line in a group. What a picture of a cooperative spirit!

Working together for the right purpose has never been a bad thing. For some reason pastors and congregations forget this and miss out on an opportunity to see God build a beautiful work with them for His glory! Will you endeavor to lead by example and demonstrate a cooperative spirit? It might just change your church.

#2 – God Establishes Leadership Through Identification!

“… and there went with him…” emphasis mine

All too often, we, who pastor churches, forget that the people who join the church we serve in, as well as those who just attend, are people who WANT to be there. Regardless of the drama and issues that are always robbing our joy, people are at church, in part, because they want to identify with the church, it’s pastor, it’s doctrine and/or manifold ministries. If this were not a true observation, then a church would never grow and keep members over several decades.

Those men which traveled with Saul to Gibeah that day did so of their own free will. They went with “him”! No doubt, many left family and friends to be with Saul. Almighty God certainly touched their hearts and impressed upon them the urgent need to rally around Saul, but they still WANTED to do it. God put this desire in them! They wanted to identify with Saul and be a part of his cabinet and administration… so-to-speak.

The first battle Saul faced as king, as seen in 1 Samuel chapter eleven, helped to solidify his leadership. Many of those who were not in favor of Saul before the battle were definitely behind him after. So it is with us who pastor churches. As you lead your congregation, the battles you face will fuel the passion of many to want to identify with you! The question thus becomes, “Am I a pastor that someone would want to identify with?”

#3 – God Establishes Leadership Through Unity!

“… there went with him a band of men…” emphasis mine

The word “band” carries the idea of something that causes to encircle or unite. A wedding band is a symbol of husband and wife united in Holy Matrimony. This word can be used as a military term denoting the fact that there is a group of soldiers working for and fighting for a specific and deliberate cause. Thus we can see that there was a united group of men, who left the festivities that day, to be with King Saul!

(Psalms 133:1Psalms 133:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

133 A Song of degrees of David. 1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! together...: Heb. even together  

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) “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”  (KJV)

Contrary to popular opinion, to be unified does not mean you have done so at the expense of truth. Every pastor and congregation should be unified around the truth of God’s Word desiring to move forward in God’s will for them. (Ephesians 4:3Ephesians 4:3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  

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& Ephesians 4:13Ephesians 4:13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

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  

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) Those in a leadership position have a unique opportunity to display Christianity before the masses by leading in UNITY! When this is done, it can be an incubator for love, fellowship and maturity.

Many things can divide people and it is easier to divide than to unite. A unified church is not some utopian idea than can never be achieved! Unity is not the absence of different opinions and general disagreements, but rather the rallying around a common purpose and/or agenda leaving the peculiarities aside. Again, this is not a code word for COMPROMISE.

This thought begs the question, “Am I divisive or am I one who can work with others in a unified manner?” Nobody is perfect in this arena, and everybody knows it. No leader is without fault in this issue for many times when you lead, you have to clear off the path ahead of you. This in and of itself is divisive at times, but you can still lead in a unified manner!

The bottom line in is to do God’s will and let God unify people around you. Man is extremely limited in how much he or she can unify people. More times than not, it is a Providential situation that stirs the chords of unity in people. Remember, when God unifies His people, they are indeed UNIFIED! Saul was accompanied by men who were unified in purpose to follow him because God touched their hearts to do so!

#4 – God Establishes Leadership Through Purpose!

“… there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.” emphasis mine

When God speaks to people, as He did with those who followed King Saul home to Gibeah, He does so with a specific purpose in mind. “Where God guides, He also provides” as one man said. Where He leads people, He also has a certain way, or methodology in mind. Those in leadership, such as a pastor, need to “find out which way God is going and Go with HIM!”

Few things inspire people to follow more than a leader who is confident in purpose. Of course, this must be bridled by allegiance to God’s Word and will. As a man of God leads a congregation with a spirit of faith and confidence in God’s plan, people will follow him. If he, however, leads with uncertain speculation and fear, then he will not lead folks very far down the trail. This is not to say that there will never be times in which we do not have all the answers before we begin down a specific path in God’s will. (We will never have all of the answer!)

Having the “touch” is not some spooky experience that is found by spending time in a sweat lodge. This “touch” of God does not come by accident. People need to be in submission to God in order to discern His voice and subsequently follow His leading as the men spoken of in our text. This “touch” is ascertained as one spends time in prayer and in yielding to the Holy Spirit’s control.

Are you yielded to God with His divine touch? Are you someone who is Spirit controlled or self willed? Are you an illustration of someone who has the touch of God on their lives carrying out God’s purpose? People who have the “TOUCH” attract those who want to have the same!


This post, in no way, exhausts the subject of God establishing leadership. We have only scratched the surface.  It is our hope that the readers of this article will endeavor to be a student in God’s classroom of leadership! If this post was helpful, then please consider passing it along to a friend or share it on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.

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Originally posted 2012-01-14 11:00:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Heart To Heart With Pastor Ed Bowen – #7

Pastor Ed Bowen was saved on March 24, 1957 at a revival meeting at Horse Branch Church in Turbeville, S.C. at the age of 23. Brother Bowen has been married to his wife, Margaret, for over 54 years. After being ordained in 1960, Pastor Bowen went on to preach in various places until he became pastor of Cherryvale Baptist. Having been there for over 43 years, in 2000, he had to slow down a bit due to prostate cancer.

Though unable to do what he used to do, Pastor Ed has just changed venues. For over ten years now, he has been encouraging people via email. He has graciously agreed to be a contributing author to this website. This series of posts entitled, “Heart To Heart” are the fruit of his times with our Lord Jesus! If they mean as much to you as they do me, then EMAIL him and let him know about it!

An Independent Spirit

(Proverbs 3:5-6Proverbs 3:5-6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  

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) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  (KJV)

Let us beware of the pitfall of an independent spirit… doing only what is beneficial to oneself.

Lot fell victim to this attitude and lost a great deal by doing so. He lost his testimony for the Lord, lost his family to the world, and he lost the spiritual influence of his life. There is deception involved… for often we hold tightly to things we believe to be beneficial to us which are really harmful.

The choices we make are to be put before the Lord for His approval and clear direction. In all our ways, we are to acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths. If we selfishly choose according to our carnal nature, then we will often choose things which do not honor God and do not bring us blessing.

It is a solemn thing to realize that our choices affect not only ourselves but others also… even generations to come. Lot’s choice to move into Sodom affected his entire family and their eternal destiny. He was saved but they were lost.

Pastor Ed Bowen


Pastor Bowen is absolutely correct in his post. We need to be careful about our decisions and their consequences. We must set our motives, desires and ambition before God on a daily basis allowing God’s Holy Spirit to guide us!

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746934: Experiencing the Presence of God: Teachings From the Book of Hebrews Experiencing the Presence of God: Teachings From the Book of Hebrews

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Originally posted 2011-02-13 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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