When the Shepherd is not allowed to lead
I've been a Sr. Pastor of 2 small churches and associate pastor at two mega churches over the last 14 years. Deciding that I am better suited in the Sr. Pastor position, I went back to a smaller church to serve in the Sr. Pastor role. The challenge I am facing at this church is that they have set up a structure where the Elders and Deacon Board run the church. Their flow chart doesn't even have the pastor on it. They seem very fearful of my influence and any attempted leadership. I have been here for 1 1/2 years and am treated like a hired hand who is not to give input. They have no strategy, no vision but want absolute control, and of course, they would never admit to this. When I started the church grew, and we were reaching people that others said they thought they would never see come into church. But over the last year a lot of these people have been run off by some of the other members.
When I interviewed with this church they said they wanted a leader who would show them how to grow the church and evangelize, but when I took the position everything was a different story. I asked hard questions before accepting the ministry and feel like I was duped in a bait and switch. And I can't for the life of me figure out why these guys would want to hire me and bring my wife and I out here when they obviously had no intention of letting me lead in any way.
All this said, any suggestions as to how to go about making this work. I am 49 and don't want to spend ten years fighting these guys and end up leaving all bloody and burnt and with a church that didn't make a difference in anyone's lives.