Pressure from church leadership

Topic / Leadership

Here’s another question from an online interview about my experiences with church leadership. It was conducted by a youth pastor working on a leadership project for seminary. This is his question followed by my answer:

Share a time when you were pressured (overtly or covertly) by your leader (or organization) to be someone you were not.

I accepted a position at a church several years ago who claimed to be looking for someone with my “ministry dreaming� qualities. They were a church that claimed to push the envelope and do things differently, so it seemed like a good fit. However, a year later I resigned because I was so frustrated with the inflexibility of the ministry and all the unnecessary expectations placed on me by church leaders.

For example, back when the first Halo was big for Xbox I wanted to do a community Halo tournament as an outreach event. After talking with a local radio station, they became pretty excited about it too and plans were underway to push this event to most of the north Dallas region. The pastor also became excited about it, but his focus seemed to shift from the ministry aspect of the event to, “Wow, this could really make us a much bigger church! Lots of people are gonna hear about us, they’ll start coming to our church, that means more tithers for a new building.� From what I remember, that’s almost a direct quote. With that kind of pressure, I decided to drop it and cancel the whole event. I felt like they wanted me to build the church membership by hosting huge exciting events more than they wanted me to build people.

Obviously, there were other issues with this church, which do not pertain to your question, but sadly the church fell apart and disbanded a couple months after I resigned.

Posted on December 9, 2005

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