Posted by: watchman | April 17, 2009

Interesting Post on Resigning

Quondam Pastor posted about Why Pastors Resign. A stat that caught my attention was this:

By far the largest number (41%) of those surveyed cited conflict and burnout as the reason for thier eventual resignation. The conflict seemed to eminate from any one of two sources:

· Members of the congregation (staff or laity)

· Denominational Officials

Houston, we have a problem. It’s called ‘conflict.’ At this rate we’re killing pastors faster than we’re training them. What do you think?

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Responses

  1. Conflict is a HUGE issue. When I was in conflict with the pastor’s wife, I was the one who set up, went through and was left paying for both of us for mediation with her. The elders not only chose to withhold any financial assistance, they chose to stear clear of any conversations about what happened between me and her; even after I called the head elder to give him a report. They unilaterally chose to support her without one single question about what happened between us. That’s called confict avoidance. They were willing to try and crucify me and support her with no questions asked because they were afraid to hold her, or the pastor, to any sense of accountability. That’s a dangerous way to handle conflict, because manipulative people have the ability to play off the emotions and loyalties of those committed to the system and the people in power. Abuse runs rampant when that happens.

    But beyond that, I feel like there’s something even more core than conflict itself. It’s the reason for why conflict is an issue. I’ve come to believe the problem is rooted in shame, which is guarded by a fear of exposure. When one is scared to be seen as frail, imperfect, limited, frightened, angry, hurt, etc., the energy goes into hiding and controlling so we can’t be seen or have to deal with the shame these things cause in our lives. It’s the story of Adam and Eve played out all the time.

    There’s a process that creates a psychopath. The more we are shamed, the more shame we feel. The more shame we feel, the more we can’t handle the shame. The more we can’t handle the shame, the more we try to get away from it. The more we run from our shame, the more disconnected we become from ourselves. The more disconnected we become from ourselves and our own shame, the easier it is to shame the people around us to protect us from feeling our own.

    Serial killers are the perfect example of some of the most shameful and shameless people who walk the earth. And I’ve met a handful of people in my life in churches that I don’t think live very far away from that breaking point. It’s just that their victims are still breathing. And I can tell you from research, that some victims believe that’s worse. They wish their abusers would have just killed them so that they didn’t have to carry all the shame that they are left with. Which subsequently sets us up to repeat the same things as our abusers did to us. No wonder the scriptures talk about the sins of the father being passed down from generation to generation.

    We’ve got to address the shame…which is a very shameful thing to do.


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