Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why I don't lay on the floor and eat popcorn with just anyone...



Proverbs 22:11 God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship. (msg)

It always amazes me how some don't understand why pastors spend the most time with people who support them. Sometimes in leadership you encounter jealous or offended people who don't understand. They say, "Why isn't the leader spending all this time with ME that he or she spends with others? Why am I not invited to do more things with them?"

Could it be that the pastor has chosen to spend the most time with leaders they can actually trust?

I think of how Moses backed away from his detractors when they became disloyal. The detractors didn't understand it. Why was Moses backing away? It wasn't rocket science or anything. Leaders tend to spend more time on people who allow themselves to be led, and are pure-hearted, and...speak well of them.

I'm not currently dealing with this, although I have at times over the years. I was reading Proverbs 22 tonight and it drew my attention to the subject. I am blessed to have people around me who are true supporters and few I would describe as detractors. I am so thankful for that. I also desire to live a righteous life and be a leader worthy of respect.

Years ago there was a lady in the church who became angry that I spent time with various leaders in the church and not with her. One reason I didn't spend a lot of time with her was because she was negative about everything. She spoke badly about Larry and I behind our backs and tried to undermine at every turn. It wasn't that we disagreed. Disagreement or seeing things differently isn't an issue or a problem. That's to be expected. Creating division in the church is an issue, however.

She ended up confronting me about the fact that she heard that I gathered with some of our leaders and did fun things outside of services. Among those activities was watching funny movies at our house, laying around on the floor eating popcorn and laughing. She said, "I want to do that! Why haven't you asked me to join you?" I said, "There's a problem. You aren't for me, and I'm aware of it. You aren't supportive of Pastor and me, and you are trying to create division in the church. Why would I want to have you over to the house, lay on the floor and eat popcorn and watch movies with you?"

She was shocked that I had the nerve to confront it. But still, she didn't grasp it. She never apologized. She only justified her divisive actions. She never said,"No, I don't feel that way about you, Pastor Deanna..." or, "I'm not trying to hurt you..." perhaps because she knew I was right and could produce witnesses who could testify to her undermining. Despite her behavior, she continued to believe it was wrong of me not to spend the time with her that I spent with others, who were truly for us. And she ranted to those in the church who would listen. 

People who behave this way are usually carnal Christians who have been exhibiting this behavior long term. In other words, they know the Word but just don't obey it. A baby Christian usually doesn't do stuff like this, because they are too full of Jesus. New believers are typically very teachable people. 

The same lady tried to throw a guilt trip on me for where my time was spent as a pastor and said in passing, "I know you don't spend the time with me that you do some of the others..." and I simply said, "You're right, I don't," and went on to change the subject.

I have discovered that explaining does little good. Your supporters don't need to hear it from you anyway (because they already believe in you) and those who aren't a true supporter won't believe you anyway. So let it go. Spend time with those who are moving forward with you.

Time is too short to surround yourself with carnal toxic Christians, Why would I waste my time eating popcorn with somebody in the church who isn't happy that I'm their pastor?

I have learned, everyone who is "with" you is not "for" you!!!
Pastors often endure spending time with mean people who really aren't for them but crave their attention for some bizarre reason.

I just don't see anywhere in the Word where Jesus says, "Hey pastors...gather up the mean and divisive people in the church and hang with them." (On the contrary the book of Titus says to warn a divisive person once and then after that have nothing to do with them if they keep it up.) 

The bottom line is, there are way too many wonderful people who really want our investment in their lives. They are honestly craving what the leader has to give and it's a matter of wisdom to give to those who are truly receptive. 

1 comment:

Stuti said...

i am so glad i came across your blog. it's always a pleasure to meet a believer online!