Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Bad Reason for Returning to the Institution: You Like a Particular Pastor

This is part seven of my ten-part blog series entitled Ten Bad Reasons for Returning to the Institution.

I've met many very nice pastors in my lifetime. My guess is that you have, too. A particular pastor's niceness or likeability, however, ought not be a reason to return to the institution.

When I worked as an institutional church pastor lots of folks made it clear that they liked me. I liked them as well. This was not fake; rather, it was real affection. I believe the majority of pastors have this type of relationship with the people in their churches. Pastors have a tendency to love the Lord; this results in a love for the people in the pews. Of course I'm generalizing here; we could find negative examples that show pastors with ill intent. That's the vast minority.

Once you have departed from the institution you may struggle to find fellowship (at least right away). This can be discouraging. You may be tempted to go back to Rome to a church where you like the pastor. When this feeling arises please recall why you left institutional Christianity in the first place. You left because the Bible shows us a vibrant body of Christ that looks vastly different from what we generally see today. The modern church structure is foreign to scripture, full of man-made ideas rather than God's plan.

A pastor may be an extremely likeable guy. He may be kind, loving, and a great preacher. He may be all the things he is supposed to be (according to the pastoral search committee profile). He may even be this man, this man, or this man. In the end none of this matters. A pastor cannot alter the fact that the institutional church structure is blatantly unbiblical.

Don't return because you like a particular pastor. Eventually you will begin to resent both yourself and him for your decision.

1 comment:

Paul G said...

Amen, and if the institutional church structure is blatantly unbiblical, then what else is also unbiblical ?
Does a polluted well bring forth clean water ?