In a conversation the other day with my Pastor, he described, without names, the content of some of the 100 plus emails he received about his Sunday Sermon. What always surprises me, when we have this conversation or when he mentions it from the pulpit, is the gall of some people in how they address the man that God has put in authority over us. Or, how a member will come up to you or me between services and begins to criticize the service, which just took place. Or, the people who want to gossip about something going on in the church, or the pastor's family, or a staff member, or a ministry leader. I think I have covered most of the likely critical conversations, which you may have been or will be exposed too. Oh, there is one more, when a person comes up to you and says; " I want to tell you what so and so did, just so we can both pray for that person."
As long as the church is made up of people it will continue to go on. You have a role in it. As men in ministry, we need to cut it off at the pass, stamp it out and not even let the person get the words out of his or her mouth. It is all a form of gossip! Paul the Apostle and writer of most of the New Testament equated gossip to murder. Gossip cannot be taken lightly, it will destroy the person and the local church.
Support your Pastor through positive reinforcement for him, directly and with all of the people you talk too. He has been put in the position by God to lead the local church at this time. It is not a mistake. Actions speak louder than words; you and all the men in ministry, should be taking action that clearly demonstrates your absolute support of the Pastor.
I was told a true story about a Pastor who was caught in adultery. The person, who caught him, is a man of God and at the time was a subordinate to the Pastor having the affair. Making it worse the affair was with a church member. To the person telling the story, this was devastating as he looked up to the Pastor and held him in high esteem.
The person who made the discovery went to his mentor and asked what he should do. His mentor was and is an absolute man of God. His mentor told him, in no uncertain terms, that the Pastor, who was having the affair, was placed in authority over him. No matter what he was doing, he needed to follow and obey him as long as what he was directing him to do was not contrary to the Bible.
This is a true, although an extreme example. The Pastor, who had the affair, repented and was restored to his position.
The point is, even in the most extreme cases, we need to support the Pastor with our actions and our words. If someone tries to come against this, the best thing to do is grab that person by the hand, we will call him Jim, and walk him over to the Pastor and say: "excuse me Pastor, but Jim has something he wants to tell you."
That story will move through the congregation, you can count on it.
Frank Slovenec is the founder and leader of GTMMI; Glad Tidings Men's Ministry International http://www.gtmmi.com/
In Glad Tidings Mens Ministry International, we are active men in ministry making a difference, one man at a time.
Our vision is to love God, Love our families, love each other and love the community of San Francisco, CA. It is our mission to demonstrate this love in all aspects of our lives.