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It all boils down to status....
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Post It all boils down to status.... Mike Burgner
First, let me say I do not seek pity, nor do I fish for any response in what I'm about to reveal. I just got something I need to get off my chest, okay?

I used to have lots of friends in the COG until I lost my status. I didn't face a trial board. I didn't commit adultery, steal money, or anything unbecoming for a minister. I just got between assignments without a church or a ministry position. I've preached since 1985 in the COG having pastored 4 churches, held a state office position, a state evangelist position, not to mention staff positions in several churches. Served on Youth & CE board, several other committees, etc.

Had all kinds of friends when I had my status, but since I've lost my status I have no COG friends any longer, no connections, no fellowship. It's as if I've got leprosy or have committed the unpardonable sin! A man who loses his credentials has a program of restoration, a mentor, etc. A man who loses his status has nothing.

I'm still me! I still love Jesus! The only difference is I'm not in the ministry right now. I'm in transition. I'm between assignments. I'm not done! I'm still the same man I was when I had the status and you liked me then and wanted to be my friend then, why not now?

I wasn't burned out. I wasn't sick of ministry. I didn't have a church fight and have the overseer come take a vote and put me on the street. It was my choice, my decision. It was something I felt I had no choice but do. I resigned my church, because I was driving 90 miles one-way to pastor it and they were too broke to pay me so I had to let it go.

Now 2years have passed and I've lost my status and all my ministry friends. I guess its really all about status isn't it? Your ministry status can even get you a higher class of friends. Get elected to a state board and you will get to hang out with an entirely different group of ministers and be accepted. You'll get to move the the good side of the pond and hang out with the high class fish. Get in trouble at your church and HAVE to move and the next thing you know you're back at the bottom hanging out with the other catfish. Laughing Go ahead! Throw that punch at me that says I'm just jealous..... I didn't expect to post something like this and not get a punch thrown at me. Rolling Eyes

I've personally lived at the bottom and top of the pond, but when you lose your status you're not even in the pond! Where am I at? I'm with Paul when he said, "the things I once held dear I now count as loss that I may know Him." I have a message to everyone who reads this...

1. Be careful who you step on while on your journey up....you might need them on your way down.
2. Make sure the ladder you're climbing is leaning on the right building. Its horrible to get to near the top rung only to discover you're out of place.
3. Real friends love you and accept you REGARDLESS of your status or how many times your status changes. You also find out who your real friends are when you lose it all.

Thanks for reading. I will now put my guard up and prepare to be punched.

Laughing Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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8/22/11 5:05 pm


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Post Eddie Robbins
It's times like these when you know who your real friends are. Hang with them. Even though we are Facebook friends, we don't know each other. I'm here to hang with you anytime. Acts-pert Poster
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8/22/11 5:14 pm


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Post Mike... FloridaForever
A friend of mine once said that you NEVER leave a church...unless you have somewhere else to go. They apparently had learned the lesson that you are experiencing.

I've heard gifted men who said that they didn't get a plum assignment in at the state level...because they didn't have anything (i.e., their church) that the state office wanted.

It's very much like the unemployed in America. Many companies purposely exclude the unemployed from their hiring process. UNBELIEVABLE!

I do hear you, my friend. It happens with retired preachers, too. Not only are they now "without status," but many of their dearest friends, now retired or dead, are no longer around to offer an outlet for ministry.

One of the "contradictions" within the Church of God is that if you are "in," you can experience wonderful fellowship like no other. But if you're out...there is no loneliness like it, I suppose.

I hope that God will not only grant you a suitable role (with status!), but that he will prick hearts to remember that you are still around, still in need of friends, still a part of the body.

God bless you.
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8/22/11 5:18 pm


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Post I agree seanr25
I think its something that can only be seen if it happens to you. I am almost in the place where you are. Like you, I stepped out of ministry because I felt that my relationship with God was built totally on my work for Him. When my foundations began to shake and crumble, I realized that everything I knew about God, every prayer I was praying and every scripture I was reading, wasn't for my well-being, but for the betterment of the group of people I was talking to.

Since stepping out of ministry, I have been accused of alot of things, that I left my wife, that I had an affair, etc. "Friends" that I used to have, have talked about me and even tried to "get me in trouble". All of this could have hurt me and could have made me mad...

But when I stepped out of ministry, it was to find out if I really loved God, if I was really in the place where He wanted me and if I was really around the people I was suppose to be around. Since April, I have realized that I love God more than I can put into words, I am no where near perfect, but I am right where He wants me (in a true relationship with Him, without any pre-conceived notions) and He has shown me that I can't depend on people around me, He never intended me to. He wants me to 100% depend on Him, and Him alone.

I do understand your post, your intention and the heart behind it. No punches here. I will be praying for you, God has you in His hand and He will make you into who He wants you to be. Until then, let the haters hate!

Love ya brother!
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8/22/11 5:19 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
It is unfortunate but very much true that in the CoG 'status' is considered very important. The ironic thing is those who feel they lack status usually will yearn for it, even though as you know 'status' in the eyes of men is basically meaningless. All that really matters is what God thinks of you and that your life is bringing glory to His name.

Last edited by Quiet Wyatt on 8/22/11 5:31 pm; edited 4 times in total
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8/22/11 5:20 pm


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Post No Punches usefull
here. Know all too well what you are talking about. There are some big fish that post here, maybe they can give some insight to us minnows. Friendly Face
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8/22/11 5:21 pm


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Post I'm sorry if I don't understand roughridercog
Okay, you didn't pastor, but why didn't you keep your credentials?

I didn't pastor while pursuing one of my degrees. Granted, I was out of the loop, etc., but I was still active in a local Church of God, endeavored to attend state functions, and kept in contact with old friends.

An opportunity came to pastor again and I walked through the open door presented to me. If that wouldn't have happened, I might have created my own opportunities.

I'm sorry. Maybe I'm dense, but what were you doing when you weren't pastoring?
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8/22/11 6:18 pm


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Post georgiapath
I'm so sorry for what you are going thur, hope things get better for you soon. Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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8/22/11 6:18 pm


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Post Friends??? 4golf
Mike I will like to correct you on one thing. When you said that when you was Pastoring a church and had "Status" you had a whole different class of friends and when you steped down from your church you lost those "Friends'. I am going to give you some good advice Brother! Those So Called friends are just "Sucker fish"! They are acquaintances, not friends! Those types of people are below us old cat fish! I was intoduced to this same leason my self. They are not friends and futher more they are not true men of God! The best thing you can do is chalk this up to experience and shake the dust of these dogs off your britches and go forth. I believe in the saying if you lie down with dogs you will get up with fleas. Take a bath and wash the fleas off of you and never look back. It is not worth the time. That is why I have very few Pastor friends.This is not just a Church of God thing. All denomanations has there Dogs and Hogs! Just apply what you have learned and goforth to a new season. They are some true "Humble" men of God in pulpits every where, but they are few and farr between my friend. Be Blessed Bound By Beaulah
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8/22/11 6:22 pm


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Post Oh, Lord! Can I identify! Pastors Friend
I am so far out of touch while between pastorates I have not even met my State AB! I would not know him if I met him on the street! Sad to say but oh so true. I have not set foot in a COG in the last four years. I have been working with a sister denomination and have deliberately avoided any politics in either the COG or the other denomination. I am kinda like Sgt. Shultz on Hogans Heros " I know nooothing! Nooothing! Acts Enthusiast
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8/22/11 6:22 pm


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Post Re: Oh, Lord! Can I identify! usefull
Pastors Friend wrote:
I have not even met my State AB!


I am currently Pastoring in OH and have yet to meet my AB, but I have seen pictures of him. Laughing
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8/22/11 6:32 pm


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Post Re: Oh, Lord! Can I identify! usefull
Pastors Friend wrote:
I have not set foot in a COG in the last four years.


You haven't missed anything. Embarassed
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8/22/11 6:34 pm


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Post Bullseye77
Mike, you don't know me, but I remember you when you were still at home. I held revivals for your daddy. I need to tell you something. Your experience will benefit you when you finally discover that you need no status to please God. You need no status to keep the friends who really love you. And you are still who you are regardless of what others think, say, or do. I speak from experience. I am still in the Church of God, but I have very little fellowship with anybody. It's almost as though I have a disease. But I have found out that God called me, and wherever I am, as long as I am in God's will, I am learning to be content. Still bugs me some, but I'll get over it.
Your problem, and mine, is that we are not afraid to go against the tide and call it like it is. Don't change. Your status with God is secure.
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8/22/11 6:42 pm


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Post Mike Larry Wiley
Oh how I identify with you. Even thought I have never heald a state position nor served on any state boards, I had "friends".

10 years ago I felt it was time to take a break. We moved back to the area I grew up in and got a job. We were looking for a church to attend and did not find a CoG in our area that we were comfortable with. We dove a distance to a CoG for a while but that grew old quick.

We found a church (not CoG) that we actualy felt the Lord led us to. It was a new church with many new converts. I became a teacher there and taught many of these new converts.

I will have to say they are a few who have been very kind and friendly to me. One is a regular contributor to Acts and pastors one of the larger churches in our state. Two more are also regular contributors on Acts and pastors two of the larger churches in a neighboring state. But for the most part I have been ostersized by most of my "friends".

I must take credit for some of this because I rarerly attend state functions.

The thing that hurts the most is the fact that my AB said my peers suggested he not help me get a church even after I started attending a CoG.

One more person deserves mentioning here and that is Doyle Daugherty. When Doyle worked in the state office where I pastored a very small church he treated me like I pastored the largest church in the state, and has remaind a friend for over 30 yeas. We are not close now but that is due to the fact we live 200 miles apart.

I have a good friend who had "status". He was elected to all the state boards and He preaching at many state meetings outside his state. Someone in his church brought charges against him (nothing to do with wine, women or money). The charges turned out to be false. He was tried and found not guilty, but the big meeting ALL came to a sudden halt. He has not been elected to a state board since. He, even though innocent lost all his "status".
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8/22/11 8:20 pm


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Post Know what? roughridercog
If you have a couple of men you can trust your back to, that's enough. Let the "status" go by the wayside.
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8/22/11 8:29 pm


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Post Cojak
Hey Mike, it is strange how our system works. Everyone knows it, some would like to change it, but in trying to change it they might lose their ‘status’ (I am serious when I say, ‘What ever that is’).

Pastors seem to associate with pastors, or better yet, officials when possible. Most ministers in the COG are climbing that ladder, whether they will admit it or not. Sorta like the teenager who ‘acts out’ to be himself and not follow the crowd and in doing so, does exactly what 90% of the other teenagers are doing, but he feels he is special, unique.

My position was completely different from yours, I left the ministry completely. I had a great church, self supporting etc. But I QUIT! Like you said no money, women or song involved.

A month or so after I resigned I met an old friend, a real friend, he said hey I hear you ran off with the piano player, and laughed. He said rumors were starting. I told him to fuel them; this was one guy who needed that excitement. We laughed about it he knew none of that junk was true. He said he was praying for me.

Yeah it is strange how soon some would like to throw the stones and arrows, or just ignore you. You will make it brother. Hang in there. God is good.

BTW good to see ae post by you!
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8/22/11 9:08 pm


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Post mike John Haywood
I retire about 11 yrs ago and i patored one of the leading churches in the state. Been in this state for47 yrs serve on committees, youth board state council etc. and now no one knows me. some that i help them start in the ministy to them i seem not to be alive. the church i patored for 22 yrs in the last 8 yrs never invited me to minister (the pastors did not). I am now seventy yrs old and feel the same you do. I could tell you more but wont. I have a few minister friends (less than 5). So my friend stay next to God that is where your reward is. I feel what you are saying. Cojak and roughrider are my friends and very wise. I have made up my mine to serve God no matter what and that is what you need to do
Thanks for letting me ramble. hang in there serving God
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8/22/11 9:36 pm


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Post sheepdogandy
The saddest thread I have ever read.

Wow.

Could say a lot more.

But, I won't, no use kicking a dead dog. Rolling Eyes
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8/22/11 9:48 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
I have heard the same kinds of stories in the AoG. I don't think this sort of thing is due to centralized gov't. Acts-perienced Poster
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8/22/11 10:08 pm


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Post Hey Sheepdog Cojak
I know you were in the same vein with other COG ministers. Climbing the ladder, or at least enjoying the pastor/pastor relationships. Too bad things did not work out, and I am sure you are happy now, but the facts are, not everyone can or will step out on their own, some need that safety net, the like fellowship.

I can understand someone being pushed to the point you have described in the past, but in this case it is not that blatant. Not that one on one face off, of 'my way or the highway'. This is just another minister falling thru the crack and seemingly the safety net did not work. As you said, that is very sad, but he will probably stick it out, I don't get the feeling he feels like he is being FORCED OUT.

However if he would decide that, I would not have a problem with it. I have had friends who went to the 4Sq & PH but were not happy there and wanted back in the COG.
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8/22/11 10:16 pm


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