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Post Younger Minister Looking for Advice RevTrev92
I’ve been credentialed in the Church of God since 2013 and I’ve been a part of this denomination all my life. Actually going back five generations. I was 21 when I received my Exhorter’s certificate. I served full-time for six years on staff at a larger church (my childhood church) and eventually worked my way up to ordained bishop. I thought everything was going well in my life ministerially. Our church went through a pastoral change and not long after their arrival ministry leaders either began leaving or were dismissed. I unfortunately was the first. No forewarning, other than some harsh words before I left, just pack your office and go. We had just welcomed our first child into the world two weeks prior to this. My wife and I were confused and hurt. Four years later we are still trying to “get over” the hurt.

There is much more to this story I’ve not mentioned. I know disappointments are part of ministry and our walk in serving Jesus. I’ve contemplated leaving the C.O.G. since that day, but in my heart I really want to stay. I wanted to ask for sage advice from those of you who have served in ministry. How do you get over the hurt? Sometimes it’s not as easy as “giving it to the Lord”. What has been your experience?
Posts: 2
6/29/22 10:59 am

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Post Quiet Wyatt
I would talk to my state overseer and see if there might be some ministerial openings in my state. Also wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider moving to another state if there are openings there. Another possibility to consider would be to plant a church in an area you feel called to. Sorry you have been mistreated. It unfortunately happens, but not every pastor or leader is like that. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
Posts: 12630
6/29/22 5:25 pm

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Post Da Sheik
If you serve in ministry long enough, it is inevitable that you will be hurt by someone. One of the greatest examples is King David. Before he ascended the throne, he was anointed to be Israel’s king. He was Saul’s bravest warrior and most valuable asset. But Saul could only see him as a threat. I encourage you to study the early part of David’s life before he finally takes his rightful place as king.

I think it will be a worthwhile endeavor for you. Also, study the Psalms of David from his time on the run from Saul. You will see that he prayed and worshipped his way out of depression, fear, and despair. During those times of exile, David learned to depend completely on God. God removed all the props from David so that he learned to stand on his own. There is always a tendency to lean on the arm of flesh. So many of our ministers are that way. They are always looking to curry favor with an overseer.

Sometimes God allows us to suffer at the hands of religious people. David handled it well. Jesus suffered at the hands of religious people. Don’t lose heart young man! God knows how to take that which the enemy intends for evil, and work it out for your good !
Acts Enthusiast
Posts: 1809
6/30/22 11:01 am

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Post FLRon
Let me begin by saying how sorry I am that you have been placed in the position you find yourself in by this new, insensitive regime. The fact that any “pastor” would dismiss someone with a new child without warning shows a complete lack of compassion and grace.

Hopefully after these long four years you realize that, despite the continuing hurt, what happened to you and your family was for the best. Or looking at it another way, if you had still been there for these four years, would you have been exposed to things that would have made you wish you weren’t there? I dare say you would have.

I completely understand the hurt you are experiencing as I struggled with it for much, much longer than you currently have. I would simply say to you that if you will stay the course, meaning stay in the word, stay on your knees, and keep God 1st in your life, the hurt will dissipate in time. Let what happened to you serve as a reminder how NOT to treat people when you are placed in a position of authority.

Lastly, so far as staying in the COG, that of course is a decision that only you can make with the Lord’s guidance. Being in the COG as long as you have been, it can be difficult to understand that the Church functions just as it was intended to outside of the COG. Meaning, don’t allow denominational loyalty to blind you to the awesome opportunities that exist outside of Cleveland Tn.

I pray that you and your family will find peace as you seek the Lord’s direction for your ministry. Always remember that while man can close the door in a particular church, it is God who “openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth”. Rev 3:7
“No man is greater than his prayer life”.
Leonard Ravenhill
Posts: 638
6/30/22 2:17 pm

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Post Carolyn Smith
A family member of mine has been walking through this over the last year. He had a couple of folks turn against him in his church, people that he had tried to help by putting them into (volunteer) positions in the church. He felt he could not be effective there anymore and decided to step down as the pastor. He was very hurt and doesn't want to be in the ministry any longer. He preached a few weeks ago for the first time in almost a year and did a great job but he's still got a lot of questions.

My husband & I were in children's ministry for many years and had our share of hurts, as well. There was the minister who kept about half of the largest offering we ever raised for his church instead of giving it to us. (He later became a state overseer.) And the minister that offered our job to another couple while we were still there. There were many other things that happened before we finally left at the end of a year.

For a while we told our story to other ministers, who listened and commiserated. We were treated unfairly and it hurt. Finally someone suggested to me it was time to stop talking about it because all it did was rip the bandage off the wound and tear it open again.

It took me a long time to work through the many layers of hurt but God was faithful to reveal them to me when I was ready to move forward. God finally showed me this man was His child and even though what he had done was wrong, God desired to give him mercy, because He loved him. There were steps along the way that had to happen but I was finally able to release him and forgive. It was a choice I had to make (sometimes daily), but if I wanted God's mercy & forgiveness, I had to extend it as well. The final step was that God led me to look at his picture daily for 30 days and speak blessings and pray for him. It didn't mean much at first but my heart was different after those 30 days.

Ask God to show you what to do so that you can let this go and move on. Don't give up the ministry. Go to your state overseer and/or a minister you trust and share your story with him and get their wisdom. It's time for you to move forward and put this in the past. God isn't done with you. Get in a church where you can be fed and ministered to until God opens the right door for you. Blessings on you...don't give up!
"More of Him...less of me."
Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
Posts: 5824
7/2/22 10:00 pm

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Post sheepdogandy
Centralized government, ya gotta love it!

Take the "School of Christ" as taught by B. H. Clendennen.

Then you will be enabled to "go anywhere" and succeed.

Worked for me. Very Happy
Charles A. Hutchins
Senior Pastor SPWC
Congregational Church of God
Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
Posts: 7210
7/6/22 9:54 am

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Post Some thoughts.... Aaron Scott
There are pastors who are dolts. There are pastors who are foolish. There are pastors who are cruel. There are pastors who are all about what THEY want, not how it impacts others. Very simply, some Church of God pastors are...idiots.

They really are.

Yes, the pastor should have given you a head's up that he wanted to do this...or needed to do that. But--wait--did I mention that some Church of God pastors are idiots? Oh, OK.

In fact, I've been a pastor who was an idiot..."not once, not twice."

But while I have made missteps for sure, I don't think anyone can call me cruel. There's only been one family in my 9 years here the left in a huff--and I had more complaints from them than the entire church COMBINED. I didn't want them to leave, but, well, in retrospect, it's been a good thing. They were used to be pulling the strings to some degree, I think, which is why the complaints. But I digress....

My dad struggled for several years after he was called to preach. He was a full-time evangelist, but without full-time revivals. It was not until, I suppose, 1966 or 1967, when things broke open. But while he has never spoken down about anyone in particular, I do recall him saying how pastors would tell him they would have him come for revival...only to never call. He told me that he only asked for one revival...and was pretty much shut down, so didn't do it again. And yet despite not even asking, but simply letting folks know he was available, he had people tell him one thing, but do another.

That impacted me. That's why when I tell people I'll have them come, I try to make sure I do it. With the exception of one person (to my knowledge) who was an evangelist, but who took a church and began pastoring, I believe I have kept my word.

I know of pastors who seem to have no sensitivity to the hurt they leave in their wake. But I have good news....

When the doors finally began to open, we moved from Cleveland, TN (our family's hometown) to Florida. And God seemingly rewarded my dad for not allowing things to get in his craw and for just staying faithful to the REAL Head of the Church. He went from a few revivals a year--with plenty of dead space between revivals--to being booked more than a year in advance--and stayed that way until he became a full-time pastor. He is now retired, but I cannot even get into all the blessings that came his way, but I will tell you this: Since I was born (I'm almost 60), my parents have lived in seven homes (the first two were trailers). In every instance, each home was a step up over the one before it. Without fail! Blessing upon blessing!

I think the Lord would like to do that for YOU. Believe me, God will deal with anyone who did you wrong. But perhaps you will see it not was being done wrong...but being done stupid. I don't mean that an insult. But, well, we pastors can indeed do stupid stuff. We can be insensitive at times. We can think we need to do this, and then, finding it was not the right thing, not want to apologize due to it hurting our pride.

On and on it goes.

But you can still be blessed, despite the hurt. In fact, one day, you may get the chance to really "get even" with that pastor. But you won't...because you will remember that God blessed you anyway, that God kept you anyway. And you'll have a better showing than he gave you.
Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
Posts: 5876
7/6/22 2:00 pm

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