My baby is sleeping and my husband is on his way home from dropping one of our daughters off to visit her father for the weekend and the other one is with Grandma and Grandpa since it is our anniversary weekend. I contemplated making some pumpkin spice chai and sitting down to read a book because I am truly in the middle of a good book (or two- which by the way it is difficult to read 2 books with similar topics and keep them separate in your mind!). However, something weighs heavy on my heart and has been for a few days, or awhile even.
This week, something unfortunate happened and it caused a huge split in the church. We got a new pastor in December (and he has been a great pastor so far) and he agreed to give the current staff 6 months on board with him to find out if their styles would meld together per-say. Well, this last week, one member was let go. I have been in churches long enough, and enough that have lost pastors in my mere almost 30 years of life to know that this cycle happens. You get a new pastor on board and sometimes it does not work out with all the previous staff and so some go on their own and some are let go. Pastors come and go, and while I love this family and it is unfortunate, it reminds me of a sermon that one of my previous pastors preached for his candidacy Sunday before he was the pastor at my church; it talked about how mother eagles will literally push their babies out of their nest to get them to soar and really sometimes that’s the only way eagles can soar, with a little push. And I believe this family will do great things for God wherever He leads them next and I will miss them, but God’s plans are not mine or anyone else’s. They are HIS.
The truly unfortunate thing is though, that seeing this all take place, and oh the joys of social media (to see how much I love it, please check out my prior blog of that title), we now think we have to express every single opinion, no matter how much it hurts people. I have seen such an outpouring of anger and borderline hatred to our new pastor all in the name sake of “loving” on this other family. My heart goes out to both parties involved!
But I also have a righteous anger. I have friends who have left this church because they have not felt love from the people. No one has cared when they left the church, no follow up calls, nothing. Even to the point, one lady I see on a frequent basis asked what all this was about and said it’s almost like these people have died because it has become a shrine of sorts. She was even more hurt that nobody cared to call her and make sure things were okay, even after she has been missing from church for 2+ months! My heart ACHES to hear this.
Christians, we need to wake up! If we give treatment to one family who is leaving the church, shouldn’t we give similar treatment to each one who leaves the church? Why leave one family out just because they weren’t pastors. Pastors come and go ALL THE TIME, it is part of church history and dynamics. We need to start caring for the wounded and stop shooting our wounded! Facebook has made it all too evident for people to see who is getting favoritism. Like I said, it is unfortunate this is all happening, and I love this family too, but I support my pastor because he is the man, we as a church, elected with overwhelming majority, I might add, to minister God’s Word to us. We need to step up and value the personage of every single person who has left the church. Maybe if we had, maybe there would be less people who leave our doors. Maybe if we did, less people would stop calling us hypocrites. It is time that we start doing things to prevent people from leaving for good rather than letting them walk out the doors forever because they are not in the hierarchy of the church leadership!