Thursday, January 03, 2008
Difficult Decisions in a Small Congregation
A friend of my wife is a pastor at a local church here in Houston. She is just getting started, and with that, her membership is that of a newly planted church. She is the pastor, and everything else, while working a second job. She has had some recent issues with theft from someone in her congregation. They have taken things from her home. They have stolen from the collection plate. They have even forged her signature at the local pharmacy and picked up medication intended for her. This is an individual that she invites into her home every week. Someone she is close to. Someone that she has known for a while. She is very confident that she knows who the individual responsible for these things is, but is unsure how to approach the situation. As she struggles to live out the calling God has for her in her life, she is attacked at every angle from satan.

Question: Has anyone had had an experience with this before? If so, how did you deal with it? This is a very difficult time for her right now.


  posted at 12:35 AM

At 9:01 PM, Blogger X said...

How difficult! No answeres here but I will pray for her.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger JD said...

Thanks, Angela. I appreciate that. Sometimes a little prayer leads to a big answer.


At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus tells us to love each other--not to continue to enable them to abuse us! The pastor needs to have a "confrontation"--yes Christians can confront each other! And as a pastor--in a parental type role--she needs to give a bit of tough love--like we do with our children. This is unacceptable behavior--that should not be tolerated--even to the point of bringing in the police--she is breaking the law!

If we tolerate evil--we actually enable evil--which means we are participants in evil. This is not God's plan for us.

At 1:31 AM, Blogger JD said...

It hurts me to see her go through this and I can understand the fear of confrontation. One of the most difficult things to do is that. I have been put in a number of situations with that the last few weeks at work due to my new position there. I mentioned to my wife that she ask the person to leave and not return, but she said that her friend did not feel comfortable going down that road yet. I hear you though, Tara, it is hard...especially when we are called to let our brothers know when they are sinning.


At 10:55 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I would have to agree with tara that a confrontation needs to happen. Some pratical advise for your friend though is to get someone else involved. This is the ideal situation that the chair of Pastor Parish Relations to be brought into. Explain the situation to him/her and ask for their presence at the confrontation. This keeps it the situation out of he said she said. Also this provides the pastor with 'back-up' if there is a fall out after the conversation.

This is a tricky situation no matter what way it is handled. But your friend doesn't have to do it alone. The Chair of PPR is suppose to be there for the minister and this is one way that person can live into that role of leadership within the church.

One other practical advise is make sure there is definite and real proof. I had a similar situation, although only two occasions when the staff at my last church thought a parishioner was stealing something. I never came out and accused but I asked this person specific questions which made that person nervous and the thefts stopped.

My prayers are with your friend.

At 6:56 PM, Blogger JD said...

Thanks for your input Rev J.


At 9:03 AM, Blogger Anne Marie said...

I realize this post is not new and the situation may be resolved, but as an employer I agree with Rev. J. Sometimes simply gently bring up behavior that needs correcting will result in a correction. If it dosn't then it's time to drop the hammner with law enforcement etc.

As an employer we are required to use stages of correction, talking, writing up and removal. As a pastor I imagine the stages need to be softer, but w/o correction that person is headed down a dangerous path.


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