Skip to main content

Don't you dare say, "Welcome to Ministry!"

This year has been a trying one, to say the least. Between Jason's roles as Senior Pastor AND District NYI president, we have not been without critics--and some more blatantly than others. My husband and I have struggled with both blunt and passive aggressive attacks against us, our leadership, and our methods. We have been gossiped about, lied to, taken advantage of, and, quite frankly, abused. We are tired. We have been beat up, chewed up, and spit out more than once... and each time we have gotten back up---bruised and beaten, we have continued...but even as we have continued, we have been broken....

And all anyone can say to us is "Welcome to ministry."

Honestly, I HATE that phrase.

It is such a lazy attitude for anyone to say, but even more so for a pastor to say it--and we have had several pastors say it to us.

"Oh, you're struggling with 'saved and sanctified' people being total jerks? Well, welcome to ministry."

Believe me, I understand that ministry is no easy feat. Being the hands and feet of Jesus in this world is a difficult task. There is no doubt about that. Making disciples is hard work. I get that. But what I do not understand is that pastors can brush off the fact that church people can mistreat a pastor and their family by saying "welcome to ministry"--

Well, I have news for you who would say that.

Jesus COMMANDED those who follow him to be HOLY AS HE IS HOLY!

To excuse the church's abuse as being a part of ministry is to abandon the call of Holiness that God has placed upon the church. 

To laugh and shrug off the church's abuse as being a part of the ministry is to laugh at the great commission to make disciples--the commission to empower and embolden Christians to be like Christ.

PASTORS: We really need to stop using "welcome to ministry" when a fellow pastor comes to us to share their grief. Instead, we need to work on offering the encouragement, prayer, and support need for that pastor to continue fighting the good fight.

Instead of brushing off the mistreatment of our fellow ministry leaders as "part of ministry," we need to do as God's word tells us and "bear one another's burdens."

I understand that ministry is a struggle, and there is an adjustment period. But pastors, ministry leaders, church officials--please understand that a pastor being abused by the congregation is not God's design for ministry and we need to be trying to help our abused pastors instead of shrugging off their pain.

We really need to stop with this apathy regarding how our fellow pastors are treated in their ministry roles. A pastor being abused by people who claim to be sold out to Christ is not okay--and should not be the norm in ministry--and we should not be excusing it as part of the norm. We need to be proactive in changing that. Otherwise, all we are doing is minimizing abuse and passing it off as "God's work."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Change in Tides

Well, I thought I would share a little of our personal journey with you all today. My husband, Jason, has recently accepted a position as Senior Pastor to Meadville Church of the Nazarene in Meadville, PA. We will be starting up there on the 27th of this month (August) and we have a lot of packing to do! This week, I have also started classes again. I started "History and Polity of the Nazarene Church"-- it also has "Foundations of Women's Ordination" intertwined in the curriculum. I am so excited about taking this class! I am learning a lot and there is a lot of confirmation of the results of my own studies. Super exciting. BUT-- the class is going to be taking place WHILE we move... so I am a bit on the stressed side. Somehow while taking care of the kids, cleaning our current home, and unpacking in the new parsonage, I will have to find time to do the assigned reading as well as the assignments-- this next month is going to be exciting.  But God has got

Digging for Water

  When I was a little girl, I would often go visit my grandparents on the weekend. While there, I had the privilege of drinking fresh well water.  Now, I don't know about you, but I loved the natural flavor that came from well water. I loved the fact that there were no added chemicals to clean it or enhance it. It was just good, pure, untainted, drinking water.  From the time I was a little girl, I became a bit of a water snob. Unless it is well water, I hate drinking from the tap. I can smell the chlorine (even though it has been filtered out) when I turn on the sink in a city. City water just does not taste as pure--as fresh. It is tainted. I have always preferred drinking from the well.  But most people don't have wells on their property nowadays. Why? Well, because they require work to install. In order for a well to produce good drinking water, someone has to dig deep into the ground. They can't just dig until they hit mud either, they have to continue to dig until inc

"Whom Shall I Send?"

When I was eight years old, I experienced God speak to me for the very first time. I remember, I was listening to my Bible on audiocassette and I felt the pull of God on my life strongly. I ran to my [now] adoptive mother and excitedly told her, “Mommy, God wants me to be a pastor when I grow up!” I distinctly remember her response because it was that response that drove the next eighteen years of my life. She smiled, and said, “Oh honey—” And you know the “Oh honey” that she said. It was the “Oh honey” that was saying, “There is no chance that you will ever live up to that dream—you are not capable of it.” But she continued. “Nicole, you can’t be a pastor. You’re a girl, and only men are allowed to be pastors. A girl pastor is just not done. The Bible even says so. It says that women must be silent in the church.” I never wanted to go against the Word of God, so I suppressed the call that I felt. For eighteen years, I kept reminding myself that God could not use me. God called men