First off, I'm thankful for this website and all its many different benefits... thank you Lord for prospering this vision!
Ok, right to it... I'm in a bit of a quandary right now. It's been a rather long complicated road to bring me to this point so I'll do my best to stick to the highlights and get to the point of what I'm seeking.
This all started with a decision from my 16 year old daughter asking her mom and me if she could start attending the adult bible classes with us. That occurred in January of this year and we talked about it, asked her of her reasoning and decided it best to make her wait until she was 17. She turned 17 in September. Upon turning 17, we had her do this:
1. Consult with her regular school teacher. The school is an extension of our church. Her school teacher told her she felt she was mature enough, both emotionally, spiritually and scripturally for the adult class.
2. Consult with the pastor and his wife. We met with the pastor and he agreed that she was mature enough to go ahead and be a part of the adult class. We agreed upon a date for her to do this (a couple of weeks later) and thought... that was easy... :).
In the event the question in your mind pops in, what about talking to her youth leader in transferring to the adult class? Well, he was the reason we decided it was okay for her to leave at 17 instead of waiting until 18… long story… too much drama… won’t go there. (Side note: her decision to leave the class would mean she would have to leave the youth group all together, which she was willing to do.)
Here's where my information gets shady as I wasn't privy to any direct conversations, so I won't even attempt to decipher the unknowns. The known is this, the day before the agreed upon date I was called to meet the pastor, who told me we couldn’t go through with the decision as it may cause a church split. Unfortunately, I still don’t understand just how that could happen, but believe you me, I certainly don’t want to be involved in such a thing.
So, we agreed to allow her to attend a “Transition Class”, lead by the pastor’s wife until a solution could be reached. The transition class lasted for five weeks. This past Saturday, I was asked to meet with the pastor and the solution was basically that they didn’t know how to resolve this and asked that we not attend the Sunday classes for the remainder of the year.
Side note: I don’t question my pastor’s heart towards me and my family. I believe he, himself, is truly torn apart over this, but simply doesn’t know what to do. Our family did stay home this Sunday from the classes and showed up to service as asked. (I’m over the media ministry and both my daughter and I are on the worship team). We do feel the Lord has called us to this particular body, but we just feel so wronged in this situation and are having a hard time finding peace in it.
I have sought some outside council from a couple of seasoned pastors who have both encouraged me to keep talking with my pastor and seek out another solution.
I guess what I’m looking for here is:
1.Your prayers – I need wisdom in how to handle this and control over my tongue and mind. This involves my daughter and now my entire family and I tend to to get protective of them, sometimes losing my sense of reasoning.
2.Any suggestions for creative solutions that I can give back to my pastor for consideration.
If you’re still reading… :)… I thank you and God bless you.

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There is a lot more to this than meets the eye, Jim. I'm assuming that your daughter has told you everything that she knows?
What I can tell you for sure is that no problem or misunderstanding within a congregation EVER got solved by keeping the parties involved out of the building. I can also tell you that if the situation you described happened to my family...we'd be looking for a new church...immediately.

Smitty
Smitty -
Yes, she's told us some pretty ugly details. Of course, as much as I love and trust my daughter - she's still a teenager and there's still an element of drama that we have to sort through. I do know this - she has in no way been physically harmed - as I'd probably be writing you from my cell and not my couch...lol.
Trust me, we've fought the urges to unplug and go - but you can't fight with the Holy Spirit. When He drops something in your heart you've got to stick it out. Just pray we continue to let the Lord guide our steps.
I'm seeing everyone say about the same thing - this seems quite wrong. I agree with Smitty here - I'd be long gone. But perhaps your patience and desire to create peace will pay off here.

I also think your daughter has something she wants to tell you. If it's merely that she's not enjoying the program, then your assembly is very fragile. But if it's much more than that, and that's my guess, more needs to be done than simply placating the offended party. In fact, if that's what your pastor is doing, (making peace with the angry of offended person by removing you), he's not very smart.
Stevo -

As I've elluded, it is more then simply not enjoying the program, and I agree - more needs to be done. I've scheduled a meeting with my pastor this afternoon to continue our efforts to find the truth.

As for my pastor, although he states himself that he has a simple cornfield mind set, I wouldn't say "he's not very smart". Right now, I believe he's honestly in a place where he doesn't know what to do. My goal is to help as best I can. He's only a man and even shepherds need someone to guide them in the right direction every once in a while.

I'll keep ya'll posted and I appreciate everyone's honest feedback and opinions.

Blessings.
Yea - perhaps he's just segregating things for peace until he can figure out what to do. But I don't agree with putting the "innocent ones" aside for the sake of the "offended ones". But till January?
Good for you for being sensitive, and for wanting to help, Jim. Too often when people are wronged, they like to flame things to the ground before they head out the door. As you are aware, that does not honor God. As our pastor reminded us this past Sunday, the wrath of men rarely accomplishes the will of God.

What I'd be most concerned about here is your daughter, and how she will view the church after something like this. Teens are very aware of life, and they can handle hard choices, provided they were arrived at in the proper way. Allowing people to "hide" things for the sake of corporate peace is something that most young people detest. And it's not really scriptural either.

My prayers are with you and your pastor. Yes, it sounds like he is at a loss, and I'm not surprised. As I said before, having other family members on staff is so not smart. Too many conflicting issues.

A word of hope: if the leadership will step up to the plate and make the hard choices, God will honor that. Even this forum is full of stories where God brought amazing growth out of ashes.
Well all... the truth has definately been revealed. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what we were expecting, but then neither is half the stuff that I expect to happen actually happen. To be honest at this point I'm too tired and emotionally drained to provide details and feel like that would simply be bantering anyways. The end result is that our family will have to look for a new church home. We are definately saddened, perplexed, angry and more, yet at the same time relieved that we know at least part of the truth and can now move forward. Please continue to pray for us, (Jim, Dionne, Desi) and pray for the church (CCNCC) that the Lord will provide healing and direction.

Sorry, I wish I could of given a good report.

We're beat up but not defeated!

God Bless Ya'll!
I doubt anyone on this forum is surprised! Best of wishes in finding a new church home.
Like others have said, I'm sure God has another church home prepared
for you and your family.
Father God, please lead Jim and Dionne and Desi to a new church home
where they can grow in faith and also find areas to use their talents
for your service. May they be blessed with friends and solid teaching
and be healed from all their hurts.
Sounds to me like something is rotten in your youth program and details are hidden. The fact your daughter wants out early is a clue. Also, something seems really immature on someone's part and that would be the leadership not you or your daughter that they would say stay out until all the dust settles or whatever they are trying to say. Did your youth pastor or daughter do something inappropriate and the church and she is covering it up? I hope not. There's a story behind the story. Seek it out.

End result may be leave the church.

Dan
Sorry for the bad news, Jim; yes, I'm praying for you and your family.

As one who has lived through these things before (i.e. ugly church politics, et al), I can tell you with certainty that if you persevere, God will bring a new thing that will be so much better than what you had before. It may not seem possible, but it's true.

Remind yourself, and your family, that these unfortunate moments in church life are the human side of it, not the God side. Our faith may fail, his never wanes- That's who he is, he cannot change! 2 Tim 2:13
I'm standing with you in prayer, brother. I have had a very similar experience happen to my self and my family...different factors involved...same end result. Rest assured that God has a plan for you and your family, and that good will come from this bad. God Bless you and yours.

Smitty

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