God called you to ministry but you never thought you would find yourself pressured to resign or worse… terminated. But none the less that is where you are. Now what? What do you tell your family? How will you provide for them? Will you be able to find another place of ministry with a black mark on your resume? What is going on?!
As one who has been through many a rough time in ministry (The first three churches I served fired the Pastor prior to me, and I was interim where the Youth Minister, Pastor, and Worship leader were pressured to resign within 18 months.), I know a little of what it’s like to serve in a difficult setting. So there are a few things I’ve embraced that might be helpful for you…
First, God is in control… He is sovereign… He is in the middle of all that is going on in the congregation and in your life… TRUST HIM. This is the best time for you to be able to model all the things you’ve been preaching and teaching about trusting God. He will not abandon you! There are many members who are watching you and will determine if you were being honest in your preaching by how you act during this time.
Second, “Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel.” Do NOT get in the pulpit and whip God’s people. Do NOT say anything slanderous about those who are troubling you. Do NOT attack those who have attacked you. Instead, turn the other cheek… love those who persecute you… give a cup of cold water to them… pray for them. It is God’s place to judge, correct, and chastise… not yours.
Third, consider that God is allowing/causing this event to conform you to the image of Christ. You have blind spots that He is working on that by definition you are not aware of. The wisest thing you can do is seek God through prayer and reflection while submitting to his loving work in you.
Last (For now), work to be gracious, merciful, loving, compassionate, and forgiving to all. For me I can’t help but to continue to remember the words of Jesus as recorded in Mt 5:39, “I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
There may be more to follow, but these are the basics that I have found God honors in the midst of difficulty. Oh… this is a good time for you prayer life to take a step up.