A gold mine of stories for me was the year I worked on a church plant in Orange County, CA. I’ve already posted a couple stories about the Senior Pastor I worked with. (the pre-planned, not-fake hug, sin is messy) I suppose I should give him a made up name, like one of those “the names have been changed to protect the innocent” deals, or Law & Order episodes that are “ripped from the headlines.” He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and was pretty direct with people so I’ll call him Pastor Blunt.
During one staff meeting at Pastor Blunt’s house, he was in strong disagreement on a certain issue with another volunteer on the team named Mark. As their arguing got louder, their body language grew more visibly frustrated and aggressive. Finally, they were standing up in each other’s faces and shoving each other. I tried to calm them down, but to no avail. Now, this was yet another incident on a long list during my experience at this church and I was getting closer to resigning. So I told them I was leaving, and to call me if they wanted to act like adults and have a meeting. I only lived a few miles down the road, so I got in my car and left. Full disclosure: my team was also on Monday Night Football so it was a good excuse to go catch some of the game. ;)
About 15 minutes later, Pastor Blunt calls and says “where are you?” I said “I went home.” He asked me to come back, that everything’s fine. (He thought I was just outside on the porch waiting for them). When I got back, I got a half-hearted apology but the conversation quickly got turned around on me. Pastor Blunt decided to lecture me and somehow make me the guilty party:
“You know, we’re a family and sometimes in a family brothers will argue and pick on each other and even wrestle and fight. And the other family members can’t just get up and leave, we have to stick together and learn to deal with each other.”
Pastor Blunt always had a way of passing the blame onto anyone but himself.
I caught up online with and old classmate from some of my ministry classes and she told me about her horrible first pastoral experience. She took a youth pastor job working under a female Senior Pastor. She was excited to learn from a woman in ministry, particularly the Lead Pastor. Unfortunately, it’s a common story: the older pastor who is supposed to lead, encourage and mentor the younger pastor instead becomes jealous and distant when the younger forms relationships in the congregation. In this case, the Senior Pastor was having conflict with some church members and saw the young Youth Pastor’s popularity as a threat. My friend had experienced some other problems but was trying to work through them. Things started to get worse. Instead of discipleship, communication and reconciliation this pastor resorted to gossip and lies. She accused the young Youth Pastor of being a lesbian who admitted a crush on her mentor. The young girl was mortified and left the church.
What are some stories you’ve experience of “Pastors Gone Wild!?”