Monday, November 20, 2006

Deeply Conflicted

I have a conflict going on in this pea-brain of mine. It is one that is embarrasing, but it is there nontheless.

The pastor of my home church, back in the Greatest State in the Union died today.

I did not really know him. He came to my church since we have been overseas. I confess that I wasn't fond of him, for he didn't have "any use for missions" and he sure didn't appear to like us. Our last stateside assignment, I tried to find a time with him where I could speak to our home church. He said that he wasn't really sure when that would happen, because he didn't foresee a time when he would need pulpit supply in the next several months of Sunday nights! Our first Sunday back in our home church during stateside assignment, he didn't even acknowledge our presence in the morning service, despite a personal introduction a few days before and greeting him before the service. (not that I needed acknowledgement, but it was my home church and it isn't all that big; it was an obvious breech of protocol, noticed by all) He polarized the church in that you either loved him or you hated him. He alienated most of the older members of the church, focusing on younger families. While focusing on families is fine, you simply cannot neglect the majority of the church.

My conflict is this: I am sorry he died. I am happy that the church will be getting a new pastor.

I feel bad over this conflict. I feel bad for his wife and extended family. I feel bad for the members of my church who are hurting.

I also feel bad that the church has been without any kind of a mission emphasis for quite a few years now. I feel bad that many church members have quit going to that church because they didn't like the pastor. I feel bad that many members feel like they haven't had a pastor, but only a preacher, for the past several years.

I am not happy he is dead. But, I know that he is in the presence of the King right now.

I don't really know what I should be feeling. I guess that is why I am deeply conflicted.

6 comments:

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

Nomad,

I understand your internal conflict. It is so difficult to sort our emotions. I do not believe the desire for a missions-minded pastor should be a point of guilt. I do not believe that you are out of line with that desire--unless you secretly prayed for the man's demise (which I seriously doubt)!! Do not let the accuser accuse you on this point. You seem to be a possibility thinker. That is good. You see a future and an expected end for your home church.

By the way, since my wife and I are from the greatest state in the Union, I have to assume you are from my home state.

Nomad said...

Kevin,

For sure I didn't pray for his demise! lol

Thanks for your encouragement. We are going through such a hard patch right now, that it really is hard for me to sort out what I am feeling about a lot of things.

I think one of the things that has bothered me, is that the great history of missions involvement within our church has been ignored for the past several years.

Now, regarding the greatest state in the union, as I said in my profile, as long as you realize that I'm NOT from Texas, then we very well may be from the same place!

nomad4god(at)hotmail.com

Debbie said...

Nomad: I agree with Kevin. I am in amazement that this minister did not have a heart for missions but I guess it shouldn't surprise me yet it does.I just hope there are not many like him.

There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting a church whose focus is on missions, after all isn't that what the Great Commission is all about?

A 10-40 Window Missionary said...

Nomad,

First, allow me to say that your description of the pastor was very familiar to me. In fact, I was sure that it was the pastor of the church where we almost always spent our furloughs...fairly new at the church, little use for missions, never recognizing furloughing missionaries. In fact, that preacher was why we quit furloughing in that church's mission house. I was so sure that it was the church we knew that I called a couple from that church (thank God for Skype). They informed me that the pastor is still alive and that the number of returning missionaries to that mission house continues to go down.

I am sorry that there were more than one who are so threatened that they will not even recognize missionaries in their congregation.

Nomad said...

10/40
It is SO SAD that this entry described more than one pastor. This is a tragedy!

As a follow up to this, I still haven't recieved any notice from anyone IN the church. I have had an email from a cousin whose mother used to attend the church where he was previously a member, but no one from "my" church.

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

Nomad,

This entry did, indeed, describe more than one pastor. I lament with true sadness that there was once a time it almost (not completely) would have described me. Pastors can get caught up in a world that can only be described as miniscule--even if they are pastors of large churches.

Could part of the problem lie with the lack of prayer for more laborers for the harvest? I believe that single command of Jesus puts so many things into motion. If the laborers are to come from existing churches, that would include stirring up pastors and removing their blinders from them.

It's just a thought from a mind that has wandered too many miles in South America!

KDS