Sunday, November 25, 2007

Church Politics .1 of 3

My life whole I've heard people say the reason they don't go to church is because of church politics. Christians will use it as a reason for why they don't attend a church and non Christians use it for why they don't want to. Even people who do go to church complain about church politics. So you might be wondering..."you're 23 Tyler, what on earth could you tell me about church politics? You haven't lived enough to know about that." Well let me tell you...

After I graduated high school my parents threw me a graduation party and invited a lot of people from church, including a lot of the pastors since my dad was the senior pastor. Not many people showed up and little did I know at the time that it was the beginning of a rift at the church. That same October the elders asked my dad to step down from his leadership role and give the speaking and main leadership duties to the then associate pastor who my dad had hired a few years before. My dad agreed, but when they announced it to the volunteer leaders many of them were outraged and asked my dad to not accept this change. So he stood firm. After many church member meetings, 8 pastors from the church gave their resignation to my dad (my dad was the only pastor left).

That same weekend my dad apologized for being self seeking and gave his resignation from the church. Make no mistake about it, the leaders of the church wanted my dad gone and to this day there are many of them who do not like my family or my dad. That next summer I went back to that church to watch my friends on the youth worship team lead for the adult service. I remember walking in and people just staring at me like I was breaking the law. I sat in the very back of the balcony and left as quick as I could.

That was four years ago and now I know only one pastor out of the nine who is still at that church. That graduation party was the beginning of a disrespect the other pastors and elders had for my dad and so they didn't send me a card or come to my party. I didn't know it at the time but it was the beginning of the hardest six months of my life. In my life, church politics have been very real and because of that I think I can shed some light on the subject.

Are politics a reality in church life? Yes. Will that ever change? No, I don't think so.
Next time I'll look at why I think they exist.

4 comments:

mirandita said...

that was excruciating to watch. it was absolutely horrible seeing what they did to your family (and i'm trying real hard to be careful with my words because this subject makes me a tad bit angry). it was ridicuous hearing what they were trying to sell us about the 'truth' about your dad and his motives. i hope you and your family know that we stood by your side the whole way and love your family dearly.

the hammacks heart the brauns.

chad said...

I would have came to your party...

GodSide said...

Politics - my least favorite part of church...and I think I can say Gods least favorite part as well.

In my short years of ministry I have seen some pretty nasty stuff to. While it discourages me and often makes me want to throw in the towel, God constantly reminds me...if people like us leave church leadership than who is left?

I remain to please Him alone.

Vin Thomas said...

It was good to see you and rose this last weekend. I look forward to reading part 2 and 3...

vin