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Post NEW MEMBER Problem jeremiah2911_4me
I have a new member - not from a Pentecostal background - - who is very demanding...almost to the point of controlling.

She always volunteers to do things for our family, the church etc which is great until she gets upset like now.

We have a phone tree system that sends out automated messages to our congregation. We received such a call Saturday night around 10 p.m. for an elderly gentleman who was being taken to the ER for chest pains.

I went to the ER only to find Sister ______________ already there. I walked to the nurses station and she barges into the conversation "They aren't letting anyone back there - his family isn't even here" - as I tried to talk to the receptionist she kept interrupting.

The nurse agreed to let me back there with him and as I was going Sister ___________ slid thru the ER door behind me. I turned around and asked to wait in the lobby - I need to speak with Bro. __________ - cause I don't even know if he is ready to meet Jesus or not. I need to go.

She proceeded to tell me that she was going with me anyway. (MY WIFE WAS NOT WITH ME) I tried to tell her no and she insisted so I turned around and Sad very rudely told her - LET ME DO MY JOB AS HIS PASTOR - YOU NEED TO GO TO THE LOBBY NOW!!

She replied YES SIR and walked out. I went back and stayed with our brother and prayed with him - doctors came in so I went to the lobby - and she was gone.

I immediately sent her a text and apologized for being so rude. Never heard back from her - she didn't come to church yesterday Sad at all (which I figured she wouldn't). . . .has taken subtle jabs at me on social media all day yesterday and today.

Out of the blue about an hour ago I get a text that she wants to meet with me at the church to discuss my problem.

So I called a couple of ladies on my council and one of the men to meet me there tonight. (This is not the first time apparently that I have hurt her feelings in the 3 months she has been attending.....she is a "new" convert who was started attending during a revival we had in February.)

SO how do I handle this situation? I feel I am not in the wrong - although I'm willing to admit I took the wrong tone with her.

Am I right asking my council to be there with me? (I don't meet with anyone alone...)

Should I tell her the council will be there?

What actions should be taken?

BTW - others have come to me in recent days stating concerns they have with her and the way she handles things - little stuff but enough to aggravate people to the point of only being cordial to her at church.

Please - serious advice/opinions only - - although I am aggravated at her - she is still a child of God under my watch that as a pastor I care for deeply.
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7/13/15 1:15 pm


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Post sheepdogandy
Clendennen said.

"It's not who you can get to come, it's who you let stay".

In my 26 years of pastoral experience, I have to agree.
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7/13/15 1:26 pm


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Post Nature Boy Florida
Perhaps you didn't have the wrong tone...nothing else worked.

Meet with her and let her know WHEN she gets there that this is how the church handles disagreements...in front of several witnesses.

That's fair.
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7/13/15 1:36 pm


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Post Old Time Country Preacher
Pastor Mike, in the meetin tonight, use that verse about "captive silly women laden with divers lusts." Tell her she has been lustin after divers positions, like the "ER Chaplain" position at your church, but that it aint open. Cool

Nope, seriously, she is a new convert an may indeed mean well. Be easy but firm. Hope all goes well.
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7/13/15 1:46 pm


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Post Da Sheik
Right now this seems like a really big problem but you won't feel that way down the road. These are the type of parishioners that suck the joy out of ministry. You were not in the wrong and it sounds like she was being overly aggressive in her approach.

I don't know if I would call the council in for that or not honestly. There's no need to escalate the situation into a tribunal. If you decide to go that route, I would definitely inform her that you won't be meeting alone. Like every other disgruntled, spiritual baby, instead of talking to you, she takes jabs on social media. If I had a dime for every time I saw some passive aggressive moron posting tripe about their church or their pastor I could probably afford a Venti Starbucks or two.
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7/13/15 1:50 pm


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Post been down this road wayne
Pastor,
I agree with the Sheik, somewhere down the road you will find you did the right thing. Personally, I don't think I would have apologized instead I would have simply explained my reaction to the situation.
Also, another agreement with the Sheik I don't know that I would bring the whole council in yet, I would probably ask for one trusted member or even your spouse.
Sounds like this individual is very zealous and immature about her role in the church and could possibly stand for some training/educating from some mature members of your ministry team.
I am tempted to make some predictions on the outcome of your meeting but for now I will leave you with what is listed above. I would love to hear the outcome.

Praying for God to grant you wisdom.
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7/13/15 2:35 pm


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Post jeremiah2911_4me
wayne and everyone else

thank you so far for your responses

my council is made up of two women and four men and myself
I didn't call the whole council in but I did ask the two ladies and one man
so that she wouldn't feel like I was ganging up on her but at the same point so I wouldn't be alone in the situation as well
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7/13/15 3:37 pm


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Post Don't Accuse - Ask Questions FG Minister
Here is what I would say. Mrs. X I have asked some other leaders to be here tonight since I don't meet with ladies alone. The other night at the hospital you and I had a verbal exchange that didn't go well. Tell me what you remember about that exchange. (Let her speak). Then ask her - in a situation where a member is in the emergency room, what do you think my role is as pastor? What do you think your role is as a sister in Christ? Then you explain to her your role and how an ER is being kind just allowing a pastor to visit someone and anyone else being there could jeopardize your ability to even visit the man. Then ask, do you realize how your insistence on going back with me could have caused both of us to be asked to leave? Then tell her that she has a role in the church but you do as well. You have certain responsibilities that she doesn't have. Tell her she needs to trust you and allow you to be the pastor, and for her to please pray for you.

I find that asking questions is less threatening than accusations. It is known as the Socratic method and works quite well for me. Hope this micromanagement is helpful!
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7/13/15 4:10 pm


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Post JLarry
Pastor Mike I probably saw your post to late to pray for you before you meat.

You have received some wisdom from a few here. I with I would have access to something like Acts when I had to deal with a few issues that came up during my pastoral ministry.

There were a couple times I reacted out of anger and frustration when I could have used more wisdom. Yes a couple folks were wrong, but I made the problem even worse than it was.

Thanks God for men of wisdom that have given you some good advise. Sounds like you are also a man of wisdom.
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7/13/15 7:52 pm


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Post jeremiah2911_4me
Thank you all so much for your prayers and counsel. It was a very productive meeting I think.

My council members stood behind me showed this woman love and grace. We all left encouraged I believe about the future of our church and our working relationships together.

She was kind of upset when she saw I had some of the council there - - but then admitted to having called my associate earlier and asked him to come. . .

As Carolyn Smith can witness to the fact -I have not always had a board that had my back - -this was a very different and WONDERFUL experience for what could have been a very touchy difficult situation.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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7/13/15 8:01 pm


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Post Resident Skeptic
Have some of the ladies pin her down and tickle her feet.

Seriously, I hope it gets better.
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Last edited by Resident Skeptic on 7/13/15 9:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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7/13/15 9:18 pm


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Post Old Time Country Preacher
jeremiah2911_4me wrote:
Thank you all so much for your prayers and counsel. It was a very productive meeting I think.

My council members stood behind me showed this woman love and grace. We all left encouraged I believe about the future of our church and our working relationships together.

She was kind of upset when she saw I had some of the council there - - but then admitted to having called my associate earlier and asked him to come. . .

As Carolyn Smith can witness to the fact -I have not always had a board that had my back - -this was a very different and WONDERFUL experience for what could have been a very touchy difficult situation.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


Good news, thanks for sharin.
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Post THE LOVE OF GOD
Brother, sounds like you are a smart and careing Pastor. The only thing I think you did wrong was apologizing. She wouldn't take a casual answer and INSISTED that she go in the room where the patient was. You had to let her know what you needed to do. She sounds like a controlling woman and she will do this again in one way or another. Personally, I would take her off the list to be called. You were smart to have some council members there to know what happened. If it had been just the two of you, she could have told a bunch of lies and you would have had no way to defend yourself. First of all, she should have not gone to the hospital to visit a male patient without someone with her even if it was an older man or whoever. The patient might have felt uncomfortable with a woman being in the E.R..
Personally I would be praying that she finds another church. The last church we pastored we had a woman who was a good worker and did an excellent job but she was so hateful with other members if they offered to help her (she did the food pantry). I was on pins and needles having to deal with her and the people she would hurt so I just finally prayed at a General Assembly, Lord, please let that woman leave. When she hands me the keys, I will just say thank you. When we got back that is exactly what happened. She drove up in the yard and handed me the keys and I said,Thank you. She went down the road to another church and started a food pantry, it folded and she went to another church and helped there and they asked her to leave and said she was the meanest Christian they had ever seen. She tried a couple of other places and finally left town and divorced her husband. So sad, but some people will not take correction and they will try you and torment you. Been there done that and bought the T-shirt. Again, I think you handled it very well. Hope my personal story did not bore you.
jeremiah2911_4me wrote:
Thank you all so much for your prayers and counsel. It was a very productive meeting I think.

My council members stood behind me showed this woman love and grace. We all left encouraged I believe about the future of our church and our working relationships together.

She was kind of upset when she saw I had some of the council there - - but then admitted to having called my associate earlier and asked him to come. . .

As Carolyn Smith can witness to the fact -I have not always had a board that had my back - -this was a very different and WONDERFUL experience for what could have been a very touchy difficult situation.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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7/13/15 10:35 pm


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Post Carolyn Smith
jeremiah2911_4me wrote:
Thank you all so much for your prayers and counsel. It was a very productive meeting I think.

My council members stood behind me showed this woman love and grace. We all left encouraged I believe about the future of our church and our working relationships together.

She was kind of upset when she saw I had some of the council there - - but then admitted to having called my associate earlier and asked him to come. . .

As Carolyn Smith can witness to the fact -I have not always had a board that had my back - -this was a very different and WONDERFUL experience for what could have been a very touchy difficult situation.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


Pastor Mike speaks the truth. Let's just say the last church board experience was VERY different. I'm so thrilled to hear he is at a place where they have his back! Glad to hear this had a good outcome.

Might be a good idea to advise the other council members of what happened tonight, so everyone will be on the same page.

Thank God for the wisdom shared here today. Smile
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7/13/15 11:36 pm


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Post mytimewillcome
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7/14/15 3:11 am


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Post JLarry
After pastoring 27 years I have had only a few of folks like this. Most of the people I pastored have been a pleasure to work with.

Unfortunately it takes only one to make pastoring a tough job. Try as you may you cannot please them.

I pray this lady will lovingly let you do your job.
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7/14/15 6:17 am


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Post Re: been down this road Methocostal
I'm sorry Wayne, but I disagree with your view that an apology was not necessary. First, only the people present knew whether this Pastor's reaction was over the top and if an apology was warranted. It seems he admitted that he could have reacted in a better way. Your stand (appears and obviously I could be wrong) that one should never apologize if their decision is a correct one. However, one can make a correct decision and still be wrong if their own attitude is wrong. In this case, the pastor seems to acknowledge that occurred. Personally, I am impressed he was humble enough to acknowledge that he was wrong and I admire that stand.

Second, in communications, it is up to the person speaking to convey the right message. Therefore, if the receipient of the conversation believes the reaction was over the top, the wise thing to do is to apologize for that perception.

I directed a staff of 50 people that dealt with thousands of "customers" in a highly politicized environment. On several occasions, I had to apologize on behalf of my staff when I personally was not involved in the event. That is not easy to do. There are ways to be both humble and firm.

I remember one situation in particular where the President required me to apologize on behalf of my office. Looking into the situation, I realized that was being done to be "politically correct", not that my staff were wrong. I found a way to "apologize" in a way that may me feel better about the situation, but the person thought I was truly apologizing. Basically, I told her I was sorry she was an idiot Smile But, I do it so skillfully she didn't realize what I was doing, in part, because she was ------ an "idiot". I wish I could recall exactly how I did it because it was actually somewhat brilliant on my part to pull it off successfully. On the other hand, she "won" because she received an undeserved apology, but at least it made me feel better about the situation. To be honest in the situation, I truly was sorry she was idiot Smile

Seriously, being humble does not mean one has to be a door mat, but a little humility in apologizing for the way things appear is often appreciated.

There is a saying that "perception is reality". If one perceives they have been wronged, in their mind they were wronged, regardless of the facts. I realize there are limits to how far one should go in apologizing, but the fact is in a heated situation, there are often two sides to the story. People often don't realize the body language they are projecting and do not realize they have crossed the line. In those situations, it is far wiser to apologize for what appeared to be overreacting, while being firm in the position that you are doing what is necessary. In this case, the pastor needed the person out of the room and was right in that stand, though, being human, he probably overreacted as well.

I applaud him for his willingness to be humble and accept some responsibility for the hurt feelings.


wayne wrote:
Pastor,
I agree with the Sheik, somewhere down the road you will find you did the right thing. Personally, I don't think I would have apologized instead I would have simply explained my reaction to the situation.
Also, another agreement with the Sheik I don't know that I would bring the whole council in yet, I would probably ask for one trusted member or even your spouse.
Sounds like this individual is very zealous and immature about her role in the church and could possibly stand for some training/educating from some mature members of your ministry team.
I am tempted to make some predictions on the outcome of your meeting but for now I will leave you with what is listed above. I would love to hear the outcome.

Praying for God to grant you wisdom.
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7/14/15 8:41 am


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Post Da Sheik
Glad it all worked out for you. Usually when someone reaches the boiling point they never come back. I guess if she shows up for service on Sunday morning you'll know for sure if she was sincere. I just read OTCP's post about being the "ER Chaplain" and got a good laugh.

I hope you'll be able to look back on this and laugh some day real soon. And truly glad you were able to reach some kind of reconciliation.
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7/14/15 12:31 pm


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Post Cojak
mytimewillcome wrote:


I once supervised 36 women in a job in Washington DC. Most not Christian. I had to smile at the 'Quote'.

I did have two wonderful Christian ladies who were the perfect employees. So not all ........ , but it did bring back some memories... Smile
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7/14/15 2:15 pm


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Post Methocostal
I'm glad you had a good experience supervising Christian women. I supervised some at a Church College (that you would all know), and believe me, they were horrible employees. Lazy, incompetent, back biting, gossipers, unwilling to change. Having said that, I don't think it was because they were women at all, I found the same thing with General Headquarters officials, most of whom were Bishops. Government bureaucracy has nothing on Church bureaucracy. I encountered more "politics" at that small Church college than I ever experienced in a Fortune 500 company and at very large, old, entrenched State Universities.

That said, I also had an excellent Christian woman 20 years older than me that was wonderful at the Church college. Christian employees SHOULD be the best, but those that claim Christianity are not always the best.

It seems everyone these people didn't like were supposedly having affairs. I found out I was having an affair with the very matronly lady 20 years my senior. Somehow someone left me out of the loop that I was having an affair with this women as I didn't even know I was having said affair. I was truly offended, not that they were spreading rumours that I was having an affair, but that they didn't say I was having an affair with the 22 year old attractive blond that also worked for me Smile I was a 28 year old Vice President and I didn't think I was that bad that all I could find was someone old enough to be my mother and looked 30 years older than me Smile Oh, I was also supposedly helping the President launder his drug money from Florida via the college. Sure wish he would have let me keep some of that money I laundered for him, cause I sure wasn't earning it on the job Smile

I left the town with a rather cynical view of Church politics.


Cojak wrote:
mytimewillcome wrote:


I once supervised 36 women in a job in Washington DC. Most not Christian. I had to smile at the 'Quote'.

I did have two wonderful Christian ladies who were the perfect employees. So not all ........ , but it did bring back some memories... Smile
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7/14/15 2:41 pm


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