Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Pastor's Family

The next part is based on psychology and experience, rather than Bible.

Some years ago, a Godly pastor made his son-in-law assistant pastor. The son-in-law quickly distinguished himself as a blatant incompetant in every area but one: holding on to power. He carefully crushed any successful teacher in their Christian school, as well as any successful lay person. If anyone did anything successful in the church, the son-in-law took charge, running it into the ground, but holding on to his power. The pastor co-operated fully, being cowed by threats of losing his daughter and grandchildren. After the two of them had run their once-successful church into the ground, they left, and the church recovered under another pastor.

Too many other Christians have told me similar stories: the pastor hires incompetant family members who then destroy anyone they see as a threat to their power. Sometimes, it is the pastor's wife, grasping all the pastoral authority she can. Sometimes his children get postitions in a Christian school or in the church.

Other times, it might be the principal, or it might be important people in the church who put their family members into unearned positions of authority. One Christian college president made his daughters professors as soon as they had received their bachelor's degrees.

There are always exceptions, but these cases pretty well produce situations in which any Christian blessed by God will be stopped by jealous and incompetant family members who hold leadership postitions. Sadly, the best thing to do when you see a Christian organization that is "family-owned and operated" is to go elsewhere.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dealing with Jealous Authority

David had a problem dealing with King Saul. No matter how hard David tried to please him, King Saul remained jealous. But David did the best that he could. He played his harp to successfully drive the evil spirit away from Saul, until Saul tried to kill him for it. As commander of the army, David defeated the Philistines wherever he went, so Saul unfairly demoted him. Demoted to command of 1,000 men, David continued to defeat Saul's enemies.

At last David realized that Saul would eventually destroy him, so David fled. So David turned disloyal? No, David twice refused to kill Saul in delf-defense, and Ahimelech the priest told Saul that David was Saul's most loyal servant. Yes, David's ministry suffered. He fought against less enemies than he had before, and when Saul needed him the most, David wasn't there to prevent a massacre of Israel's army. But David went on to become a great king just the same.

The point? Sometimes, the best way to deal with jealous leadership is to leave peacefully.