an independent spirit

by Del Fields

I had a member in position to tell me that they are not happy with so many things in the church so they are taking the winter off. I don't know if I should reach out to them or let them be. Please help me with advice.

Comments for an independent spirit

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by: Stanley O'John

Are many things really not in order? If its true reach out, it does not make you weak but strong. You must also respect the fact that they spoke out and don't be quick to label them rebels. Misunderstanding is a builder if it is handled with wisdom but a breaker when handled rashly especially in the church.

God is in control
by: Bookworm

Isn't it draining when the sheep try to lead the shepherd?

You are put in the position of Pastor by the Lord. Presumably this church member has made you fully aware of their points of dissatisfaction and you should humbly and honestly weigh them up in prayer.

Often you find that a lot of what people don't like is really change, or progress and they want to keep the church exactly as they had it when they were happy with it. You can't let this stand in your way - you're on a mission from God, not a mission to obey them!

I've heard complaints about 'too much talk about sin in the pulpit'...'too much gospel every week'....'there was no mention of the gospel in that sermon'.....'why did we change the tune of that song, the old tune was perfectly fine'...'this church is getting too big, you're forgetting we put you here and spending too much time with new people'....'we haven't had a new person for some time, what are you doing wrong?' ...

You name it - it has been complained about.

To be honest, I'd write a letter and say something like, 'Dear.... Thanks for talking to me the other day. I'm really sorry that you feel you need to take the winter off. I will respect your wishes and leave it at that, but if you do wish to discuss face to face your concerns then I would be happy to meet with you and the elders/deacons/leaders to discuss this further.'

by: Paddy Venner.

Personally I would rejoice when a grumbler leaves. How arrogant are they to announce they're taking winter "off"? You're better off without them and I wouldn't waste a moment with them. They are attention seekers and will sap your time, energy and prayer-time and they will love it ! They've got you dancing to their tune. How dare they play games with the House of God ! Move on, mate, move on.

An Independent Spirit
by: E Levesque

Dear Pastor,

The first thing that happens when a parishioner or congregant tells you this is that you begin to feel bad about your church because of all the things they think or feel are wrong. But, really, I have had many people tell me they don't go to church or "left" church because of this or that. I know this sounds ridiculous but, "It's them, not you, ok?" It is really about their judgements about the church or you or your church and if they were honest about themselves they would say so. They truly need to stop judging you and your church because guess what? The church is a hospital for sinners not a museum for saints. All the people I know who have left church and "taken time off" for no really good reason except they either have ungodly judgements or they want to go out into the world and sin, have ended up in trouble. They have ended up in many of the same sins, problems, weaknesses or failings they accused others in the church of. They have taken off into all kinds of "other gospels" and gone down other roads. This is common nowadays. Some "do not want to listen to sound teaching and have gone astray." Give this person a call to see how they are doing but you are being rejected and the Christ within you is being rejected. It feels bad but it really is about this other person and their problems. You have my prayers and yes, pray for them because they could be struggling with sin. They could also be struggling with depression too. At any rate, they have a problem they were not honest and forthright enough to take to you and ask for help in resolving so they could stay. Seriously unrealistic expectations and judgements about the church. I have met these "perfect" parishioners and it isn't fun. They could be struggling with much more than meets the eye. I bet everything on that. Liz+

Pray about it
by: Anonymous

I know it sounds simplistic, but it's not. Pray about it. Lift it up to the Father. He will let you know what, if anything, you should do because only He knows what the person is going through right now. All the rest of us, including yourself, would just be guessing.

How will you know what to do? The Lord will give you a gentle nudging, whether it's leaving it alone for now, calling, writing, or stopping by for a visit.

Give the burden to your Father. He will show what to do next.

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