Yesterday a pastor friend (Dr. Gray Little in N.C, name given at his request) related his frustration with secrets in church congregations. He was recently terminated by a small group that showed up at a business meeting. The following Sunday most of the church had no idea what happened or why it happened, it was a well kept a secret. All they knew was their pastor was gone and someone read a brief statement without answering questions.
Gray’s frustration was that a small group co-opted the church as a whole. He said they wanted to keep things quiet, ostensibly for “the good of the church and protect his reputation.” He knew better. It was because they didn’t want all the truth to come out about what they did, why and how they did it. This group decided due to personality differences he needed to go.
Sadly… many times there are secrets in congregations. A few individuals decide the fate of a minister without the congregation’s knowledge and then keep secrets from the rest of the congregation rather than seeking reconciliation and restoration when there are matters that need to be worked through for healing. In their mind it is easier to find another minister than honoring God and Scripture about how to handle difficulties (Mt 18:15-18; Gal 6:1).
I admire my friend because he chose to be defrauded (1 Cor 6:7) and turn the other cheek (Mt 5:39), trusting God do what He decided was best in the situation (1 Pet 2:23). For he knew God is not the source of confusion, but of peace (1 Cor 14:33).
How can you know if secrets are being kept? Sadly you won’t know until something dramatic happens… like a staff member “showing up gone” one Sunday or something else unexpected and unusual.
What do you do when you find out secrets have been kept from you as part of the congregation?
First, pray for the congregation, leaders, and minister(s)… don’t prey on them.
Second, do NOT participate in gossip or slander about anyone.
Third, talk privately to one of the godly, trusted church leaders asking questions graciously and humbly.
Fourth, listen and observe (Yesterday’s post addresses this matter).
This happens in so many churches and is so sad. People who think they run the church determine the outcome of situations in the church rather than going to the whole congregation and praying for what the outcome will be. Most of the time when this happens, the church ends up splitting and no one is happy. We are there in the church to pray for anything and every thing that relates to the Glory of God. God will take care of Dr. Little as He has done in the past and it will take the people of the church a little while to realize what has happened and transformed their church. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Little and God will take care of him and his family. God bless.
The primary reasons why both Church Staff and Congregations should be members of a particular Church are (in order) 1. To Serve and honor God, 2. To serve and honor the Church. On too many occasions, these priorities get pre-empted by personal ambition, personal preferences, or personality conflicts. When instances like this occur, it is clear that someone’s priorities are out of order. Absolutely nothing takes precedence over priority number one Serving and Honoring God. If any action or position taken by any member of a church is in conflict with this priority, the position /action is clearly wrong. Whenever faced with a question concerning something occurring or which has occurred in my church, I ask if the two priorities are being met. If they are not we are clearly doing something wrong. Priority numbers 1 and 2 can only be in conflict, if for some misguided reason the Church leadership elevates priority two above priority one. Regretfully I have been a member of a Church where this occurred. Because of my commitment to Serving and Honoring God above everything else. I had to sever a 15 year plus relationship with my Church. Regretfully, Dr. Little is not alone, but he and his family obviously have their priorities in the correct order. Without a doubt, God will take care of his own and Dr. Little and his family are in his hands .I will pray for him and his family and will also pray that God corrects the problem in his old church. God Bless
Thank you by brother. Good word.