Advice on Ministerial Wars
Ministry wars are inevitable. Therefore, the pastor must know the difference between a breeze and a tornado. The pastor who is insecure and suspicious of everyone will constantly be plagued by fears and doubt.
If you believe a matter requires confrontation or a war, contact older pastors in whom you have confidence and seek their counsel and advice. If you have mature and trusted men in your church, it may be helpful to seek their guidance. Regardless of the decision, you must stand up to the challenge and accept the outcome.
Most problems are power struggle or frustrated ambition on the part of some member. Your problems will most likely come from someone who is close to you. That is, a staff member, a deacon, a treasure, a music director or their wives. These people usually get offended because of a policy decision you have made or over budget allocations.
In order to minimize ministerial wars, communicate clearly and lovingly with your congregation. Be transparent in money matters. Give people more information than they need. Remember, people in the dark tend to be more suspicious and will believe the gossip mongers. Silence them, if you can, with light.
You should show humility, but never show weakness. A church that will not change, will not grow. Be slow to make changes and expect to lose some people when you do. The pastor should not seek war or start them. But, he must be alert to the fact that the devil uses wicked men and women to hinder or destroy his ministry. Therefore, get all the advice and help available to you; spend much time in prayer and when the war is over, move forward in victory to build a greater ministry for Christ!
I recommend to every pastor and church worker a book by Marshall, Shelley titled, Well Intentioned Dragons. You can purchase it at Amazon.com
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Marshall Shelley says
Thanks for the kind mention, Ken. I appreciate it. And blessings to you on your ongoing ministry to ministers.
Grace, strength, and joy,
I’ve also learned to “choose your battles wisely.” Some “wars” are not worth fighting… and others are “no-win” situations. A cliche says, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Too often we make “mountains out of molehills.”
Jim Seaman says
The same holds true in Law Enforcement. I have seen many who are promoted to positions of supervision and management that never gain the respect of the troops. These “leaders” are the unsure, uncertain and forever apologetic. These traits leave their subordinates unsure, uncertain and without direction. Yes, I have unfortunately observed this in some churches as well. People want their leaders to have compassion, grace and mercy, but also confidence with competence. If a leader lacks compassion he is seen as a bully. Without confidence he is seen as a wimp.
Ken Blue says
Jim, right on!