During the past three months I have been attended a church service on Sundays in my area. The situation of this church is that their long time senior pastor retired and they hired a new senior pastor at the end of August, 2018. The paid staff at the present time consists of two pastors. The second staff is the youth pastor and leads the children’s ministry. The senior pastor they hired is young with a young wife.
The senior pastor is a self-confessed go getter. He wants results and he wants them quickly if at all possible. He subtly warned the congregation one Sunday not to cause him to fail. One of his greatest fears is that he will not meet the expectations of family, friends, and the church. One Sunday morning a church member gave a healing testimony about her son. Shortly after this the senior pastor gave a testimony of an experience that he had while at seminary in California. He said that gold dust proceeded to burst forth from right around him and spread throughout the building. He said that he was covered in gold dust because he was the ‘best worshipper’ in the service. He tends to use humor and tries to make people laugh, but I thought later that his statement was not that funny. There have been a few times where I have questioned what he has said. This pastor has also given the congregation some insights into his early years. He was and is very competitive. He and his brother competed constantly with each other while growing up in trying to outdo the other. He is the son of an immigrant pastor who has worked hard and long in ministry.
Recently, the senior pastor began a series on giving and tithing. He made the statement that if a person cannot ‘get behind the vision of this church then they should consider giving somewhere else’. The vision that I have been able to determine so far from attending Sunday services is to build up a savings account where money can be withdrawn to support various needs and causes in the community as he sees fit and as opportunities come along.
This church has been struggling for a while. It’s gone through several stages, several ups and downs and right now they appear to be in a depleted condition. I attended this church for a few months in 2009 and they were doing better then. Attendance at this church is down.
My thinking is that the pastor needs to nurture and support the people attending the church at this time. To forgo some of his goals of impacting the community and minister to the people he is leading. My guess however, is that the elders of the church want him to promote church growth and greater giving. This is sad because this requires energy and vision that just doesn’t seem to be available to the people at this time. Sometimes we just need to sit at the feet of Jesus and be held so to speak until we are strengthened and renewed. There is nothing wrong with that from my point of view.