When Your Pastor is Not a Good Fit For Your Church

Article Index

Joe McKeever
Joe McKeever

3. Even so, what "I" want and what "you" want in the pastor has nothing to do with anything. The only question is: Did God send that person to the church?

If God sent him*, please do the Lord the honor of getting out of his way. Do yourself a favor and get on board. Do the church a favor and stand up to those who would oust him because they don't like the way he ties his tie (or the fact that he doesn't wear one at all!) or wears his shirts outside his jeans (Jeans! Horrors!).

The next time you find yourself on a committee that is a) working against the pastor, b) seeking to oust the pastor or c) trying to change the pastor, ask yourself the big question: Why?

Why are we doing this? Who is behind this? Do they have ulterior motives or are they sincerely trying to do the Lord's will? Will the effect of this be to bless that minister's service for Christ or handicap it? Is this worthwhile?

Then ask it of the others on the committee. And do not take anything less than a solid answer.

There are times I will ask my grandchildren a question about their day, their grades, or some activity they're involved in. Often I will preface it with this:  "I want to ask you something. And you are not allowed to say, 'I don't know.' I want an answer." (When done in love and with a sweet spirit, it generally produces the desired effect.)

Sometimes we have to treat our colleagues in church leadership like children and ask for their reasons for what they are doing.

4. Before leaving the subject, let's state the obvious: It is possible for a pastor to be wrong for a church. (Thought I'd never come to that, didn't you? Smiley-face here.)

Perhaps your church is conservative and the pastor is liberal. Your church is Baptist and the pastor is a Jehovah Witness. Your church is mission-minded and the pastor is anti-missions. Your church is in dire need of hands-on leadership and the pastor wants to live in the next town and drive in on weekends.

Nothing about this is good.

Let's admit the obvious here: Sometimes pastor search committees make huge mistakes. And pastors make mistakes too by going to churches they know they are wrong for.

When this happens, the lay leadership of the church has a major responsibility of dealing with it. They should approach it cautiously with prayer and fasting, seeking the Lord's direction on how to proceed. They will want to call in outside counsel from the denomination and other veteran leaders who will have insights on how to proceed. Let them do nothing precipitously and disruptively, but go forward in faith and love, admitting their mistakes and seeking to bless everyone involved.

Let them do nothing to handicap the ministry of a God-called servant, even if it is the unanimous decision that he needs to leave.

Pray for our leaders. Pray for our pastors. Pray for yourself, that the Lord will guide your steps and "help you to walk on your high places" (Habakkuk 3:19).

(*Note: As always, I write from the standpoint of a Southern Baptist. We do not have women pastors, although women serve in leadership positions and on church staffs. Many good churches doing the work of the Lord do have women pastors.)

Dr. Joe McKeever writes from the vantage point of more than 60 years as a disciple of Jesus, more than 50 years preaching His gospel and more than 40 years of cartooning for every imaginable Christian publication.

For the original article, visit joemckeever.com.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders