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Partner with God and pursue that unconditional love that He has for you. It will change you and all the relationships around you for the better. God Bless! I think this was a great article. It definitely caused me to take a look at some decisions made in my own life. I believe that I have to love myself properly before I am able to love someone else and sometimes loving yourself enough to walk away is the best decision.

Unfortunately, because I believed that statement for so long…. I did stay…waaaaay too long. This article is HUGE. I have seen glimpses of him in small churches, where the pastor held a secular job, AND served as pastor. In this church type, everyone contributed and shared responsibilities evenly. There was no need for jockeying for salaried positions. Let me now share that I am a professional vocalist and musician. I sing with bands every week weddings, corporate, etc and make good money doing it. I have seen musicians idolize music, as well as becoming idols, so I was reluctant to mention my gifting.

Once it was discovered that was multi-talented, I was offered a role on the worship team. My issues driving me away now:. I have many beloved friendships that hang in the balance of me just wanting to drop everything and leave. I think this should be number 10 on this blog if you want to capture everything. I think what often happens is that someone characterizes one bad local church as the universal norm. There are some great local churches. I wish I had read this article a few years ago and been able to discuss it with my Pastor.

Maybe things would have been different today. I did the power point for church for 4 years and just left the church, to try and heal. I had served on the board during this same time, and ended up as treasurer. I got the rathe in the end — but she got her money due. It really was the beginning of the end. But, I was doing the weekly power point and enjoyed working with the Pastor and doing some incredible things for Christ. I tried to explain this to the Pastor and a fellow board member. Not until a week ago, after she had taken a new job, did I once again express my loss of not being able to worship on Sundays, when I so desired to do so.

But, this time, she shared what she does — look for the little things during worship. I am not sure when or if I will return to church. I grew up in a fire and brimstone church. Had to find my self spiritually in Los Angeles. A church should be the church of many, not the church of a few. I have so many gifts to give and freely do so — but I went from giving my all to the church, to giving none.

It is so sad. I know I am not alone. I know that there is a journey ahead. This article is one step in healing. Thank you! Many who have a long intimate personal relationship with the Lord and commune daily in the Word of God and love Jesus our Savior grow weary of the commercialization and business only component of the buildings called church…we take to the family and community needs right under our noses and become involved where we make and see the evidence of a difference…seed and tithing does not always have to be about money…it gets old and empty hearing that by so many pastors…then here comes their children and grandchildren…really?

I can relate to all the comments. Thank you everyone for your vulnerability and I send you all love. We saw too many things to mention including Pastor misusing funds, a leader embezzling money, affairs at leadership level, abuses…. I feel the worst, was the treatment of the people in the pews. All these broken people came to the church, only to be further broken.. We experienced more love and kindness from atheists. I feel closer to God away from all that toxicity. The church is no longer a light..

It seems worldly things have taken over.

I never had much of my inner healing or sanctification carried out within the church environment. It was when I came out of the church that I drew close to Jesus and He was able to sort out my mess, heal and deliver me. Going back into a church environment for me now would be suicide. Here is where the problem lies, looking to church leaders to act as mediators, the Holy spirit and the voice of God to us.

If we seek God with all our hearts we find Him. Not in the church, at home on your knees and on your face. Getting rid of sin and getting sanctified. The worst thing about reading your post is that hardly anyone will understand what you are talking about. They build using their own hands and call it gods work. What are all these denominations? To look in awe up to a holy god and look back down at the church system and services that take place and then call it gods willI needs to spend a while longer looking upward. Nobody can build gods kingdom apart from him.

It is not built by human hands the Bible states God is not man as if he needed anything, Jesus said apart from me you can do nothing. I see more than most people perhaps and after many, many thousands of hours of seeking God I have come to the conclusion that that I would probably not join his church either, anybody who thinks they would should consider just where their really at….. Consider this — Would you leave everything to follow him, leave everybody? Have you turned your back on all in its entirity what the world has to offer?

Did he not give you gifts you from heaven? Did he not give you power by his spirit? Did you bear the fruit of his spirit by the might of your own arm? Did you save yourself? Did you bear the agony of the cross for your own salvation? Was it your blood that washed away your sin? Get rid of the cliche, stock christian answers that you might want to retort with. Does anyone really understand just who it is that we are trying to serve?

The god of gods king of Kings, perfect, flawless, sinless. There was a time that men trembled at his word, but not today. Will man never stop with his boasting and pride will he never stop trying to make God in his own image? Do people not realise that only good comes from God? I could keep on but what would be the point what do I know.?

May God bless you Rachel. Stay blessed!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness I feel u on such a deep level soo much on this.. Attending church is physiologically too difficult for me. Everyday I think of the times that I was sexually abused as a child. Seeing a church from the road gives me anxiety and going inside I break out in sweats and get the shakes. I know God is everywhere and I can talk directly to him without attending any kind of church service.

I wish there was somewhere children could go to for help if they are sexually abused by an adult. The thing is, some children do not know that they are being abused. I was sexually abuse by my cousins n brothers n I kept it inide of me for years. I started attending a Christian Church n started going to woman retreats n God has shown me his love for me.

Chris Tucker Hello. This is absolutely evil and unconscionable. I, too, was abused as a child, but not in church. There is help out there for PTSD, and recovering from sexual abuse. I hope and pray you avail yourself of it. Another reason for not going: …I was 45 years in music ministry. It just feels weird to sit in the pews after so many years of being actively involved in worship and sitting at the front.

No glory, believe me! But I enjoyed the process of being involved. Now that illness has forced me to retire, I just do not feel comfortable going to church, except on the occasions where I am filling in for the current musician. It is a dislocation kind of thing! I really think the today church totally is not what God head in mind, people run from church to the world because of the confusion u find. I have been saved for 10 years, called but nobody cared about my calling, rather was only used for something else. Today I just want to go out there preach to non believers and come home.

I no longer have that joy of going to fellowship. I really think we should only use home sells to fellowship not church that needs more than Faith. Today church feels like jail. Something is wrong. Listen to all this people hurting so bad, because of today church. Something is horribly wrong. There for we have to change and work with the church to make it better, when they will let us. Regarding point 5. This is not exclusive to us, as God uses many people in many walks of life to be three-dimensional thinkers who become great innovative achievers.

I have spent time both in and out of the church. My first 6 years out of the church was the most spirituality productive ever. I drew so close to God and He taught me all sorts of things about Him, laid a solid foundation in the scriptures, how to get healed delivered set free from strongholds, addictions, bond ages, receive miracles and breakthroughs in my own life.

Things that I never ever learnt in all my 12 yrs in the church. Church is for spiritual babies and people who just want to play and have their bottoms wiped by others. I am so much more happy and stable outside the church walls and being much more productive as a believer in reaching the lost, discipling and changing our world. That is not to brag but its the truth. Rachel, I very much appreciate this, as I in some ways find your experiences corresponding with my own.

Blessings to you! Because of what I now do i spend a great deal of time on my own, I believe it is a price we have to pay if we want to be close to Godand really know Him. I do love it this way because I have less interference and less persecution. The loneliness and isolation can be hard at times but I am finding that if i stay in worship daily, ask God for the right people to fellowship with during each week then I can strike a good balance.

Churches to me at the moment are a place to visit but not to live if that makes sense? Rachel, spending time with others in fellowship is church. I think for the most part it has to be people who are authentic like the people you are asking God for to come into your life. I know people are going to get offended by this but church should not be number one in your life. That pursuit of really pouring into God should be number one in your life, that relationship with Him. Let Him eventually give you the desire to attend a church someday. The only way I can attend church is by taking my eyes off of people and completely focusing on God.

If you are not there yet that is okay. What I am reading in a lot of these posts is that people are looking for something outside of themselves when they should be looking on the inside and let God fill whatever we are missing. I believe that is what you are doing. This article is terrible. It is pretty much telling hurting church leaders to get over their pain. What a joke. Great read!! Raised Roman Catholic, I attended a private nun-haunted school. Although there are a few okay nuns, most were elderly, mean, and not suited to dealing with young children.

That said, I did not attend mass for many years, feeling I was unworthy. When I married a lapsed Lutheran, we decided to joint an Evangelical church. Then, finally, we joined a Lutheran church in our Minneapolis suburb. The others were okay. We left after two years. I think of churches as man-organized businesses. My relationship with Jesus Christ is eternal. At least most businesses in the private sector throw a little money your way if you work for them. I am not bitter; however, if I did see the above-mentioned woman anywhere, I would ask her to please step away from me.

Churches, as is the world, are full of people who think they know better, know everything, are insulting, and just plain insidious. I know this to be the truth, as I have a sister supposedly a devout Roman Catholic who is this way. I do not intend to ever speak to her again. I would like to apologize on behalf of the church. Reclusive christianity is a wonderful place for those hurt by the church.

As our churches give up sound doctrine and biblical teaching for what seems a mixture of what our itching ears want to hear and thrill rides for the so called unbelievers, we Christians get left in our sin and trespasses without the gospel that sets us free. I need the law preached and explained from the pulpit each week to bring me to repentance. All of these things come from the text being read in context.

Sadly, this is extremely rare these days. The qualities you mentioned are a red flag that she feels incredibly lost here on earth. For this we Christians can only empathize and try to listen to what the meaning is behind the actions and somehow love. I understand your isolation. No need to feel any guilt. I would recommend taking the time you would have spent at church to develop your own belief in the text.

Again, I understand and my deepest apologies. Grace and peace to you. Honestly, I just want to pray, but Anglicanism is fairly dead in the U. Maybe the church is flawed. Same here, I feel church has shifted focus, its no longer about Christ but about something unknown. I even asked myself if the idea of today church iscrealky what God had in mind. Your comment resonates with me because I, too, went to Catholic school all of my life and have experienced the meanness of many of the nuns who taught me.

I once worked for a Catholic non-profit center that catered to women experiencing a crisis pregnancy. People on the outside thought we were one big happy family but in reality, we were one big back-stabbing dysfunctional family. Since the receptionist was not college-educated, they kept reducing her hours until she asked to be laid off so that she could collect unemployment. They asked us to put it in writing. I put it off as long as I could since I did not feel comfortable doing such a thing, but they insisted that I provide in writing what I had observed with her.

Good to see you! Have a nice day and thank you for all that you do. He also heard confessions. He heard her confessions. This represented a very strong conflict of interest to me and between that and some other things that I had observed there, I put in my resignation. They did not take it well and seemed to hold it against me.

I could not tell them the truth about why I was leaving my job with them. They were unfair with me and thought I should work weekends and stay longer in the evenings because I did not have any children. Because of this, my personal life was not seen as important or valuable. I was newly married and lived 50 miles away. Yet, they seemed to think that I should spend all my free time there because I had nothing else better to do with my time. I thought many times that I should report them for discrimination but seeing how they internally operated, I decided against it, feeling as though they would somehow try to ruin my professional reputation.

I observed that these so-called Christians were very vengeful. They also treated many of the women who went there for help with their pregnancies very poorly. One woman was so sick from morning sickness that she could barely walk to the bathroom to vomit. I pointed to her where the bathroom was and she ran to the bathroom reserved for employees only.

I was speechless. She insisted the woman take a pregnancy test which I can understand but when she could barely walk I told her to just set the urine sample on the counter. I had planned to take care of it and do the pregnancy test there since the poor lady was so weak. They are very lucky this woman did not pass out in the process. It was all very cold to me. Anyway, I could go on an on with examples of their hypocrisy but I think you get the point. I think that there is evil everywhere, even in the places that are supposed to be the most holy. A wise and good friend once told me to view the church as one big hospital where sick people go to get well instead of seeing them as an already finished product and good Christians.

I have found this advice to be very helpful. I go to Mass to pray, to give homage to Christ,a and feel close to Him. It serves those purposes. I, for the most part, do not expect anything from my fellow parishioners. I pray for them and I let them be an example to me of what I never want to become. And I go on with my life. Just with the people that I expected too much from in the first place.

Thank you all for your wonderful and thought-provoking experiences and testimonies…I am so caught up in feeling I am suppose to have a membership in a church and desiring not too due to my observations of those who are suppose be a pillar to help me encounter God and most often I am disappointed. Anyway I do feel church can be more of a social gathering than a meeting of like-minded people who truly want to be saved.

Anyway be blessed people, and may God continually be with you and guide you. I really appreciate the […]. Not Really Realizing it? In our tradition, a pastor who leaves a church retires or for whatever reason is not permitted to worship at that church until the new pastor is in place and invites the former pastor to return. That is usually a year or two. This is intentionally designed to give the congregation time to grieve the leaving of one pastor and get ready to search for and call a new pastor — and then for that pastor to settle in.

In the meantime, we are the only church of our denomination in the county- and the next closest one is 40 minutes or more away. So, sometimes, not going to church is for different reasons- and I would offer up burnout as a major factor! Keep the posts coming! What an absolutely horrible policy!

I was associate pastor in a congregation when the senior pastor retired and I was allowed to stay through the call process. When the new pastor arrived it was wonderful. I was at another congregation where I was the transition minister and the retired pastor sat in the pew every Sunday and then criticized every change, accepted the triangulation as necessary, and never allowed the congregation to move on or forward.

It was hell for everyone and made for church conflict and dysfunction. My family every time say that I am killing my time here at web, except I know I am getting knowledge everyday by reading such good posts. Website: Ling Fluent si trova in erboristeria. None of the 9 apply to me or any of the majority of clergy who refuse to step foot in a church again.

Most if not all have been drug through hell by the church. We have seen the dark side and managed to get out before it sucked us dry. I left Christianity to find Christ again. Thank you for expressing my thoughts. So they disbanded the youth, only to get some one a year late who looks like them talks like them.

To reach the ones who are the same. There are more details to which I am not wanting aired out. The church that I have just resigned from is a dead church — alive in name only as was the church in Sardis. They has committed unthinkable acts and said unimaginable things about me as the pastor but because they are and have been a dead church since we began there 3 years ago, we have been able to forgive them.

But because this is the only church of our denomination around for over 60 miles, my husband and I have chosen to stay here. This was no easy decision for us to make, but after much prayer and fasting, we believe this is where God has brought us and until He tells us to leave, we will remain faithful. We have told ourselves that it could be for the two or three individuals who have been very hurt by what has been done to us, or because like the church of Sardis, we are to be the remaining faithful ones, or maybe they will repent and return to their first love, or possibly our denomination will use us to plant a new church in this area.

I, too, have done this. Thanks again. There is a change in relationship status with the church that can be challenging to navigate. Am I an ex or an alumni?

Deus caritas est (December 25, ) | BENEDICT XVI

Was I pushed out and unwelcome, needing to recover, or am I a graduate who was released and comes back to a reunion? Ultimately, all things have somehow been reconciled in Christ, though we may not see it yet. In that deep, mysterious truth I find surrender, rest and release. He is able and willing to restore all that the locusts have eaten, to set things right, to prepare a table before us, to bring us safely home. I relate, however — I suffer from depression.

I sit and cry and no one knows — I spend parts of my day at my secular job, in tears. I submit to whatever is going on, as I realize there is no perfect church — if it was perfect, it became imperfect the moment I arrived. I just sit. If the pastor has something that he wants me to do, I do it stuff that others may not want to do. Still marching like a good little soldier — and I feel so, so fake!!!!!

This applies not just to ex leaders but also the members of the congregation. I can relate to what your going through. Sometime gifts are not made public. God does not want us to be lifted up by our gifts but only lift him up. Keep praying, seeking God, and be faithful and God will make room for all gifts. Praying for you. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed sitting in a pew after 35 years of leading worship. I completely understand what it means to leave a church after leading in one.

For many years I was a deacon and a Sunday school teacher. I only had a few kids to teach and that bothered me because I felt that I was failing due to the lack of kids. What I mean is this, once you see how the flawed, yes flawed people run a church, it is impossible to unsee. If I ever go to church on a regular basis again I will not allow anyone to see me as a potential candidate of leading anything. I have had my share of it and I am done. What exactly were you attempting to accomplish by writing this?

For me, this kind of thinking, writing, and speaking was why I decided to step away from my pastoral position. Initially I intended to attend another church as a lay person and even visited a few with my family. But after being away from it a bit and gaining some perspective, we realized how little we missed any of it. There was no intentional intellectual dishonesty on my part at the time but its liberating now knowing what I actually believe.

I agree. I think the article has a lot of trite recommendations etc. Although I agree with some of it. I understand the value of the church. I also understand the issues on both sides. I also believe most church teams lack accountability and understanding of where people are today. In a bubble with no clue. I volunteer and do my best to put blinders on to all the bull.

I have plenty of my own issues for sure. That honor should be taken in a sacred mentality. Much of church sucks. But I still believe in it…. Some of us were so burnt and abused as leaders that we have PTSD about attending church the way we used to. Please add that to the list. I agree with you Eric, wholeheartedly.

It had gotten to the point, that I would go home from leading church service and would cry, cry, cry. It was hurtful to see. Eric, you are right. You realise you are surrounded by hypocrites whose mission is to destroy your life and everything you are doing no matter what good you have done for God or for them. They are just like that. And what makes it worse is that they are your Pastor and fellow leaders. So push on soldiers. The war is not yet over! A club mentality. I am married to a former pastor who thankfully works as a full-time hospital chaplain.

I was also a leader—a church musician who was driven out and hurt by people who knew me my entire life. Watched me grow up in the church. Even though this incident happened when I was 22 years old I am now 49 I still feel the wounds. I feel a lot of guilt and shame and pain. Sending blessings of light and peace your way. Yes I agree. In our town I have a choice of two or three churches and will attend from time to time, but not looking to get involved unless the Lord tells me to.

Suffered too much rejection at the church where I was a voluntary pastor. No power or presence just flesh or false anointing or wrong spirits. I decided I wanted a divorce and I knew that if the church fired me, people would be mad. I needed a little distance. A few weeks turned into a few months, and then it got cold outside and then it rained and then I was tired and then… and then… and then….

I love my church. GPC was my church before she was my employer. Pretty much Thank you for this article. I was a part time your minister for 3 years, while also working a regular job. A lot of apply to both ministry and career.

Experience Love & Acceptance by coming home to the Catholic Church.

I want to go back and apply these 9 to the other areas of my life—relationships, community, small group, mentoring. Thus is a huge find. Again thank you!! I might venture a thought on why key volunteers such as elders and key ministry leaders drop out: 1. The pastor is trained to know the scripture but has no idea how to manage or lead. The pastor has an extreme need to control all the decisions and does not know how to delegate. The pastor does not know how to lead a team or work in the context of an elder board. Key pastoral staff who do not know how to mentor staff to realize their potential.

The churn index among staff turn over is high. Making sausage can be challenging at best. People without managerial skill sets create a reluctance to be involed in with the church in the future. Ever business man knows the importance of these qualities. It would make a good class at a seminary. It was a good article. Thanks for the thoughts.

How about… Making sausage can be challenging at best. Honestly, I used to be okay with a good conflict in the past. I still lead a cell group, and I help with an intro class for the church, but I will not tolerate the garbage anymore. Most of us have unrepentant callings that linger even when we wish we could put them in hibernation.

I learned a long time ago that our gifts can also become our burdens, our blessings can become our curses. Pastors tend to be all or nothing creations. So, I have preached this unpetitioned message to say, not only should ministers help the church, but the church should utilize their ministers. I have totally quit church So hurt GOD show my a lot last few years through a very difficult time. It is part of me GOD is totally awesome fantastic But …. Ezekiel 34 is for you. Psalm 23 is for you. He will offer you a time of healing and refreshing. Keep on praying and realize that in reality, that it is going to take time for the healing and forgiveness to take place.

You realize that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Just as you are, I pray to love Once again those who have harmed me In the end we want to please the Lord Jesus Christ and bring honor and glory to His name. Lean completely on the Lord. He accomplished everything for us on the cross. John I have also experienced a similar situation where you said we have been tripped and made to stumble …..

I am not a pastor am a sister but I have been very involved in the church and I was always aware of Eph but are we to be part of the local church no matter what? It is not a case of looking to the left or to the right, the Lord knows how often true believers have to overlook such things. I would never deny the fact that Jesus Christ gave us a Biblical Church pattern.. What are we to do when words …. I love your response to this article. I have been wrestling with a feeling of detachment. She asked my opinion and I replied. Polite but standoffish.

I go to worship and we had to step back a bit. We meet our pledge and help out as volunteers when possible but it just got more and more demanding and expected for us to do more. I found this article very enlightening. Carey, to be honest, all this IS true to some extent. But, what happens if you lead, serve hard, are totally committed and then uncover fraud committed by the senior pastor and are asked to leave when you try to address it with him?

This despite persevering for months to try to resolve the issue, i. When, because of taking up the responsibility as a leader to not compromise on truth, the tables are bizarrely turned in an act of denial and defensiveness and you become the one at fault?

How do you ever practically recover from that hurt? How do you ever see the way to serve, let alone attend church, again? The bottom line GOD is still amazing awesome fantastic keep your passion on him. Healing will come if u focus on him. It took me 10 months and I struggled with a critical spirit mostly, I started to pray for God to give me his eyes for his people. God is near, he has never left lean into his strength not your strength. In my 45 years as a believer, I can say unequivocally that nearly all my deepest personal wounds have been inflicted by and through the church.

So, I get that. I guess.

9 Reasons It’s Hard to Attend a Church Once You’ve Been Involved in Leading One

It seemed that this was the culmination, the nexus of all the otherwise seemingly disjointed paths God had led me down for so many years. And for six years, though it was far from easy, I was all-in. My team grew from just me and a single maintenance person to fourteen people comprising three divisions that covered maintenance, operations, and food services.

Then, just as it felt we were hitting our stride, as quickly as it began out of nowhere it was over. The pastor of nearly 30 years was released under difficult circumstances and the church was in upheaval. After a year of turmoil and the team struggling hard to keep the Body pulled together, the young former associate pastor was appointed by the elders to the senior pastoral slot. Over the next few months, I and several of my management team colleagues were dismissed and the new guard began shaping the place to suit their vision.

I saw myself serving the church I loved for years to come. So, yeah. And although it may not look that way to most, I do still love the church. I do still love God. Well, as I prefaced my repost of your article, two things I know: The struggle is real. And its a lot more complicated than you think. Bless you, man. My experience sounds so similar to yours that my heart aches, not out of pity- but out of empathy.

The loss is like none other… and I, like you, am still recovering three years later. I struggle to attend weddings or funerals or any type of church function as well. I watch church online now too, not able to actually be in the church. Never thought it would be like this… not in a million years. Yet here we are. I experienced betrayal, abuse of authority, and so many politics that were tied to age discrimination it was unbelievable. The praise team is exhausting. The effort is demoralizing. The anxiety is unnecessary. Hope is Important.

Church would only serve as a platform for my personal ambitions. I choose to be Spiritual everywhere I go. I assume life to be easier either way. I can not find a church that understands the truth. They cant get past some kind of works to cover their sin. None of them have a clue of the depth of the bible.

Terms like salvation, truth, eternal life, born again, kingdom of God, kingdom of Heaven, love, spirit, flesh, etc. They do not understand the spiritual walk, are all walking in the flesh and have absolutely no gifts of the spirit or fruit of the spirit although they will make up all kinds of stories to make themselves feel better. When you try to show them the truth in scripture they attack you instead of having an iron sharpens iron type of discussion. They can not show you where you might be wrong in your understanding of the Word so they attack and run.

The Bishop Stanley Searcy, Sr. Streaming live via Internet. I live in both of these cities, and these are where I attend! Check them out in person or on Facebook or Internet. You be the judge! Be Blessed and come join us! We might be just what you are looking for. Ron, you are so correct about the church of today!

I cannot find a church that is in Love, operating in the REAL gifts of the spirit, or just simply preaching truth. Lots of corruption and wickedness in the last church where I served. My whole family was abused for standing up for truth. Sorry Carey, but most of what you said is way off base. I truly believe that if you really want to grow in the Lord, you actually have to leave the church!! This compelling book will challenge you to look beyond the externals of contemporary church life with its glittering buildings, extensive programs, beloved celebrities and political muscle and find a relationship with God that will bring his powerful, life-changing presence into everyday circumstances.

I have never believed that there is any validity in being hurt by the Church. Love, grace, maturity and unity are a fantastic arsenal to fight against offense. Until it comes at you with lies, fraud, oppression, abuse of power, deceit, betrayal from the pulpit. The Shepherding Movement has become so subtly embedded in Church doctrine and is the root of unchecked abuse of leadership. If this hurts those who are engaged, those who lay down their lives for the Church, lay leadership, how on earth will we be able to protect the Sheep whose faith is fresh and new?

One rule for him and his family…another rule for everyone else. Please pray for us. Not sure what the Lord wants us to do but its hard to go to work everyday and enjoy the ministry under these circumstances. I love the church, love serving the Lord here but the pastor really needs to move on…or we do.

Not working in a healthy situation. Pray that God would direct our steps as He has for the last 40 plus years of ministry. Make God first right now whatever you do. The Rev 12 sign appears in just a couple of weeks and your pastor would do well to get right with God at all costs.

You forgot Spiritual Abuse and Pastor worship. Tired of serving Jezebel. It is hard to attend a church after being a leader in one because after awhile you have become accustom to what might feel like the right way a church should be in all areas of ministry. You get use to a certain order of service, preaching style, music, spiritual atmosphere, the attitudes of the people, etc… It could be whatever.

I was a leader in my old church and I left because I got remarried and my wife now did not feel comfortable coming to my church while my ex-wife is still a member. My ex-wfie divirced me for reasons that are not even biblical. We just were on two spiritual levels and kept bumping head.

Anyway, I left the church and now am looking for a new one. I have been to many churches but for some reason they do not feel right. It is hard and I am strongly considering opening up my own church. My prayers are for you to realize why we are a part of the church of Jesus Christ. Christ is the head, and if we are to lead others to him.

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We are saved by grace and not we of ourselves. It is Christ Jesus who died for us giving us the right to his inheritance. We must live by every word of the spirit of truth and forsake our ways, and take on the mind of Christ in order not to fulfill the lust of our flesh. Walk in the spirit and not fulfill our worldly lust. We should count up the cost,it sound easy,but we must know Gods Will, if you have,then hold on ,think about the sheep..

I can relate! Then you have monthly anniversary fees, pastoral fees, building funds, have to provide toiletress, light bulbs, cups, napkins, and etc. All from a congregation that mainly consist of folks on public assistance, disability, or some other monthly income. The pastor even told a lady who had been homeless and was trying to get disability, that she owed in back tithes. What made it so bad is. This same Pastor tells his congregation that they must call in if they are not going to be at church or bible study. He even went to a church were one of the members were visiting, and took the member out of the church.

My situation right now is that I am unable to go to church and the sadder part is that I am very happy about the fact that I am unable to go to church. It is quite a relief. I know soon I will resume church and that thought is depressing. It will be a new town, a new church, but still! Every time someone tells me he or she is a pastor I run in the opposite direction. I love church. I quit the corporate world to join ministry and now I am going back to the corporate world but will still do ministry, just not in church.

I was a paid ministry leader for 15 years and was abused by a pastor who used me as their scapegoat for their wrong doings and many other wrong things that are just to much to go into. I also brought along another pastor and then eventually two more when the situation continued to escalate.

This pastor did eventually face church discipline from the elders not just because of what they did to me but what they did to others and has been fired. What I struggle with is the lead pastor not being truthful to the congregation from the pulpit. To Struggling…What you have been through was tough. It is so sad what goes on in churches today. If we keep dwelling on it, it will rob us from our joy of being His child.

Healing will come on due season… The lord always takes care of his children. I absolutely feel your pain. As a teenager I was banished from a church in the most painful ways…through an announcement on the pulpit. I was accused of having an affair with a sugar daddy. The truth of the matter is that the said man was my biological father whom I had been spotted with several times. A few weeks later someone in the church went to the leadership and told them that the man they were accusing me of having an affair with was my father.

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They sent the person to apologise to me but I refused to accept the apology and I demanded that they make the apology on the same pulpit they humiliated me through. Of course that never happened, because the church leadership did not want to admit their mistake. Struggling, I work at a church now and they did that to someone I worked with. The exit tactics for several ministry assistants have been presented in a way that preserve the face of the pastors.

I am personally struggling as I cannot do my workload anymore due to the rapid growth of our churches. I find myself struggling with anger and frustration and now I am crying a lot. I wish I could believe that and let go of the burden I feel right now. Praying for healing for you and your situation. Hi, my husband and I recently joined a marriage ministry at our church.

We were super gunho and both felt very called by God to serve in this way. My husband missed a bible study with one of the other leaders — to be with our family. But, there was no grace — just anger and resentment from them, blame and judgement. We attempted to resolve it, but it still feels like an elephant in the room and now we both feel like we walk around the ministry with a Scarlett A on our chests. Let me just say, that he missed just one night of bible study, which has nothing to do with the Marriage Ministry except similar people are in both venues. Now, instead of being excited about it, we feel heavy hearted and judged.

We are both thinking about leaving and finding another ministry. But, the attitudes from others in leadership have left us with a sore taste, wishing we had perhaps stayed on the other side of the curtain. Completely unsure of how to push forward through this. We have prayed on this for weeks. But, we really need someone to talk to and work through it with but it seems like there is no one.

Disillusioned and unsure. Hey there! Interview several other teachers or leaders in the church, asking about their understanding of their authority. Do they recognize that authority? Do they implement it well? What stumbling blocks or gifts do they have in common in the exercise of their authority? Search the Scriptures, using a Bible dictionary or topical concordance, for references to other biblical leaders, such as Moses, Deborah, Peter, Paul, and Priscilla.

Do they have any characteristics in common as they exercised their authority? What faults or weaknesses might they have had to overcome to lead? What lessons do they teach you? Read and discuss one of the books about spiritual leadership browse for "spiritual leadership". Use the questions for reflection for your own study or with a group of teachers or other leaders.

It is more often shown in the consistent small acts of compassion and concern that continually remind the people in your class that they are not alone. Sometimes what seems like an insignificant word or action provides the bit of grace that enables a person to envision a hopeful future. True caring does not try to force or control another; caring does not shame or bully a student, whether the student is two years old, or twelve, or thirty-five, or ninety.

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A significant way you can care for the members of your class is to pray for them and to provide opportunities for class members to pray for one another. Listening attentively without interruption or formulating an immediate reply is one of the most respectful things we do to show our care. On the surface, listening appears to be a passive act; but in reality a good listener is highly involved in the communication process.

As you listen to someone, you are not just listening for information. You are listening for the feelings, hopes, and dreams that the other person is revealing. You become a safe companion as the person explores new ideas or reevaluates previously held beliefs. Listening is a holy endeavor. When you listen carefully to another person, you communicate that you value the person. This kind of deep listening conveys understanding so that the other is empowered to grow and learn. As a teacher, you have the opportunity not only to listen to the members of your class but also to help them listen to one another.

Listen not only for facts but for the feelings behind the facts. Give the person speaking the gift of a nonjudgmental presence. Avoid jumping to conclusions about how the person is feeling or what the person is thinking. Look at the person as you listen to him or her. What the person is saying with his or her body language is as important as what he or she is saying with his or her voice.

Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. When listening to a child, move to the same physical level as the child. This may mean that you need to sit on the floor or kneel. Your role is to listen, not to fix. Caring also takes on a more tangible form. Members of a Sunday school class in an urban congregation receive a voluntary offering each week. Every few months, this gift is sent as a contribution to a different missional ministry. The class includes several persons who are among the working poor.

When one of them had surgery, the class used a third of their aggregate offering to purchase a grocery store gift card for that member. Studying about caring for "the least" takes on power and authority only when group members actually do care for others. Think about the class you teach. In what ways do you care for the members of your class? In what tangible and intangible ways do they care for one another?

How does the class care for you? Read Romans Recall a time when you thought someone was not listening to you. How was this a stumbling block for you? What does this mean for how you will plan to teach? Invite other teachers or education leaders to review listening skills with you and to practice. Work with your class es and the church council to establish a caring ministry through your Sunday school and small groups in the community, such as taking turns at an area shelter or food pantry or working with an after school tutoring program.

Age-appropriate printed curriculum resources geared to the interests of students provide the content for a well-rounded Christian education. Part of the curriculum is the unspoken culture of a classroom. A warm, welcoming teaching space where all students are appreciated and valued is a powerful statement conveyed without words. This is a positive use of curriculum. On the other hand, a classroom that has an unspoken rule that declares, "It is better to be nice than honest," creates an environment where people are not willing to risk asking tough questions.

When spirituality is used to judge others, when words and actions in a classroom tear down one person in order to build another up, and when shame is used to get someone to agree, then spiritual abuse is occurring. Allowing an atmosphere in which such statements and feelings are part of the curriculum is a misuse of the power of curriculum. Another part of the curriculum is the knowledge and experience of people in the group.

A teacher with self-confidence to share the teaching role can invite others to bring their knowledge and experience to enhance the lesson. For example, a class member who has traveled to the Middle East can bring insight that illuminates the content of Bible passages. However, singular experience and specialized knowledge can be misused when it attempts to control people. For example, knowledge from a particular trip by one person can be presented with an air of superiority that discourages questions.

It is important for teachers to help students apply the content of each lesson to their daily lives. Finding meaning in life empowers people to share their faith with others and to learn more about faith and life. Read Matthew Students have some responsibility for applying the lesson; teachers have responsibility for presenting useful and appropriate lessons; but only God can transform lives.

Is there any system or rhythm to it? Do you have a plan or, for example, a personal rule of life a defined set of standards that you set for yourself regarding your practice of spiritual disciplines, life goals, personal study, and so on? If not, what would it take to make a plan that you will find compelling? Work with the other teachers and education leaders to explore your over-all curriculum plans. Are classes isolated, picking and choosing from a "menu" rather that taking a systematic approach with clear learning plans? Is there a flow to the Christian education and formation ministry that helps persons grow to mature faith, or are there recognized "stopping places," such as "graduation" for post-confirmation youth or settling in with the now year olds in the "young marrieds" class?

Examine the curriculum you use or are likely to use. How would you describe the theology? Will that help you and your class achieve your own learning goals? What time and effort are you willing to give to ensure that the curriculum is appropriately adapted to your group or class? Children need to be touched and hugged in appropriate ways to receive the nurture that allows them to trust and relate to others.

Youth touch one another through horseplay and then in affection as they mature and take an interest in the opposite sex. Adults shake hands, embrace, place an arm around the shoulder, and use other physical means to show support and caring to others. Older people living alone or in nursing homes report deep longing for a loving touch and "someone who calls my name. Teachers of children, youth, and adults must be aware of the power of touch—and the serious nature of abusing this power.

Touching other people in appropriate ways contributes to their well-being and enhances learning. However, punitive and sexual touching can be emotionally, physically, and spiritually damaging to people. Teachers need to think about the way we welcome, interact with, and say good-bye to students. A handshake is appropriate, but a pat on the arm for an older person or a pat on the head for a child can be either welcoming or demeaning. The recipient of your touch determines whether the touch is affirming or abusive, no matter what your intentions. It is wise to ask if a touch is ok before you do anything other than shake hands.

Read two stories of healing touch: Luke where a woman touched Jesus and Luke where Jesus touched a woman. Reflect on the power of touch, on the controversy it created, and the conversation it generated. What do these two stories teach you about the power of touch? Practice one or more of your spiritual disciplines using something you touch, such as a smooth stone, a small religious figurine, or prayer beads.

After gaining some familiarity and comfort with the practice, does it help you focus more on that particular discipline? How does adding or using something with texture affect your disciplines? If you have not already done so, participate in the Safe Sanctuaries training.

What we say over and over again gets in our bones and our souls and influences what we believe and how we act. Words can build up people or demean them. Teachers need to be aware of the power of words—both the words they speak and the words students speak in their class.

Affirming words, sarcasm, friendly words, and teasing words each influence a life for good or destroy self-esteem. If we constantly criticize someone, that person will begin to believe that he or she is not a capable individual. If children are told they are fat, or dumb, or clumsy, they will have difficulty developing healthy self-esteem. Humor, when used appropriately, can relieve tension and create a helpful environment for dealing with difficult topics or tasks.

However, humor can also be used in a cruel manner. Jokes that belittle another group reinforce old stereotypes and contribute to an "us versus them" mentality. Teasing can be painful for the person being teased.