Saturday, January 07, 2006

Unintentional After-Pastor

Unintentional After-Pastors
Conversations with some colleagues this week has illustrated the high incidence of unintentional after-pastors. These are folks serving churches where clergy misconduct happened before they arrived. At best they were told “Oh, my the way…” just before assuming the position of pastor. Some were not even informed at all. To walk into such a hostile environment unprepared, can be deadly!
One individual realized recently that they had served a succession of wounded churches and was not aware of this until taking a closer look at each church. This person is on the verge of getting out of ministry all together, and the Church would be poorer if that happened. I know of some very creative, loving dynamic, caring people now gone from pastoral ministry because they ended up in an after-pastor church which chewed them up, spit them out then blamed them for not “fixing” the church.
When will denominational leaders get a clue? They cannot continue to send unprepared clergy into these rats nests. Just the expense of training new clergy to fill the demand is massive, not to mention to human toll and spiritual damage done in churches where the trust was violated, make this a major concern.
My life calling is now; to eliminate the unintentional after-pastor!
I propose to do this by offering training, education, support and guidance for intentional after-pastors. These will be folks willing to subject themselves to this unique healing ministry.
I also will continue to advocate for complete disclosure of church situations before any appointment or call is offered. Denominational leaders will be well served and so will the wounded churches, if well prepared, supported and informed clergy serve these after-pastor churches.
Mainline denominational churches are concerned about the membership losses and are attempting to apply programs aimed at church growth to reverse this trend. Unless the churches wounded by clergy misconduct find healing and wholeness, the downward spiral will continue.
Any one willing to work on this effort with me, is welcome. Please respond using the “comments” link below.
For more information you may check out my web site at:
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