This is the first of a series of posts in which I confess something that many readers may not know about me, with the hope of generating some discussion on the topics. In short, read…then respond. It really is that simple.
The first confession is this: I am a former youth pastor. I very rarely bring it up anymore, because not only has it been a while, but it’s not something that I choose to be defined by. I’ve also found that it sometimes generates a morbid curiosity, assuming there was something scandalous involved. And in some ways, that’s true.
But not like you are likely thinking, so I’ll explain. The church was a small congregation, and it was my first official position after having spent many years helping other pastors in another much larger church. Perhaps I was naive, or too idealistic, but soon discovered many things about the church that really did not seem to fit at all:
- The church board had many members that were splitting their time between this church and another one (oddly enough, the one I’d spent all those years with prior).
- There was an amazing amount of politics going on, despite the size of the church. Some of it I did not find out until I received a call after I left from the previous youth pastor. Some bizarre stuff.
- There was a growing dichotomy between what I was being told in private by the senior pastor and what was being said from the pulpit (from the pulpit, full support…in private, not so much).
- The senior pastor had said more than once that he did not feel he had a “calling” to ministry. His father was a pastor, though. (So apparently it was just a job).
- After I gave notice, there was a meeting in which things were discussed–the kids were not allowed, but I had several parents and others that went, and told me about it afterward…let’s just say truth was not in abundance.
It was a difficult time…despite our short time there, I’d grown to really love the kids. Though it took a while, I realized I was there for that very reason–to bring light to the issues. And I am at peace with it now.
So here’s the discussion: without naming names, what things have you seen in churches that simply do not belong? And more importantly, and without nice little Christian-ese platitudes, how do we fix?
This is the first of a series of posts in which I confess something that many readers may not know about me, with the hope of generating some discussion on the topics. In short, read…then respond. It really is that simple. The first confession is this: I am a former youth pastor. I very rarely…