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Posts Tagged ‘church conflict’

I remember the first time a church leader let me down.

I grew up with a church home in the Presbyterian denomination.  God and my mother were very proud of me, especially when I accepted Christ as my Savior as a teen.  Taking a turn for the secular, I let God down from the time I started college to the time I had my first child.

I returned to the church structure I knew, the Presbyterian church, in a new town.  My first adult church.  Growing in the Word, growing spiritually. This personal relationship with God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit was new for me, and quite wonderful.  Like wooing a new love.

One day, I was asked to serve as an “Elder”, which is like the Board of Directors.  I felt great about that because 1) someone saw potential in me. Don’t we all crave attention?  Look at me! Look at me!), and 2) I looked young all my life, so now I could be an “elder” officially.

We know what often happens when someone hollers, “Look at me!”, don’t we?  They usually end up in the hospital.  Maybe it’s a Southern thing.

Well, that’s pretty much what happened to me.  I ended up wounded.  My dear beloved minister (DBM) was going to retire.  Consequently, he had an opinion on who should succeed him, my dear beloved associate minister. I happened to agree with him.   However, it doesn’t work that way in the Presbyterian Church.  A committee (and yes, they are just like the government) goes through this long process of picking a new pastor, and during this long time period the church has an interim pastor.

My DBM asked me to make a motion at the Elder meeting to try to establish this new person into a leadership position, so she could slide into the pastor-ship.  Seemed like a good idea to me at the time.

Much to my surprise and consternation, I received push back at the meeting and a thorough dressing down later from another Elder for bringing it up inappropriately.  So much for trusting my DBM.

I remember feeling betrayed.  Out of control.

My dear beloved associate minister reminded me who WAS  in control, and it wasn’t me.  It was the One who lives in me.

Forgiveness is a neat road to follow, and I did, and I loved my DBM again.

That was my foray into church politics, and I hope and pray that Jesus never wants me to do that again.

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