I am the wife of a Music Minister who was voted in as a paid position last Summer at our small Church which consists of 20-25 in attandance each Sunday. I have been playing the piano for the services and recently voted in as the new piano player. The previous woman who had been playing piano there for over 30 years, still attends only on Sunday mornings, and she and her husband have stopped participating in any other worship services that we have including Wednesday Bible Study and any Sunday night service that we may have. There have been some comments made to my husband from this woman's husband about me not being the only one who could play the piano, and my husband confronted him with the issue and discussed the matter in a loving and concerned manner, as any mature Christian should do. This couple has a history from what we have been told, of wanting to "run" the Church and be favored by the Pastor, and when they feel like there are others who are "taking control", they are very withdrawn and bitter toward some of the members. My husband and I are concerned that their bitterness, jealousy, and spirit of unforgiveness, is having an effect on the entire congregation and we honestly do not know how to handle this situation other than lots of prayer. We have only been members at this Church since last June 2002, and we really don't know if we should search for another Church or try to stick it out and wade through the turmoil. The looks on these folks faces are evident that they have a serious problem with their personal walk with Christ,(if they even have one), and we have never seen them go forward during the time of Invitation for rededication or anything else. This really concerns my husband and I, and I guess I wanted to know if there is anyone else out there who has been dealing with this type situation or who can offer any advice to us. There also seems to be a history of 20 Pastors at this Church in the past 20some years! That in itself is an alarming statistic! We also do know for a fact that this couple does not support our current Pastor and they do not really "like" him and what he is trying to do at our Church. Our Pastor is 30 and has a wife and 2 children, so they are young, but we can definitely see that he is truely Called by God to be a Pastor and he is indeed preaching the Word of God!
The age of this other woman I am making mention of is late 50's and I am 39 yrs old, however my husband is 54 yrs old. I am just so confused why she is so jealous and immature at her age!
Please pray for us and our little Church. Also, another statistic, this Church has never really experienced any growth over the years. It seems that there is some evil lurking in the congregation that needs to be taken care of before any spiritual or numerical growth can take place!
Thanks for any help with this issue!
In His Service,
Wendy W. Smith
[This message was edited by craigkendall on December 31, 2002 at 01:23 PM.]
Unfortunately, one of the only things I've found you can do it pray for yourself, the church and most of all, the people.
We are in ministry also......and one of the most important things we've found is just to keep your eyes on the Lord, and the task HE has called you to do. That is what you will have to answer for one day.......in spite of the circumstances, did we continue on in HIS calling in Faith.!!! (and, did we respond like Christ would in that situation). God will take care of the "others" in HIS timing. Your responsibility is to continue to be kind.
Make friends with the pastor and his wife, I'm sure they could use some friends also.
Good luck, and God Bless,
FAITH UNCHALLENGED IS FAITH STIFLED.
How awful for your family and the Pastor's family to have to be subjected to such childness! I have been the target of that jealousy more than once by people that made snap judgements simply because I was chosen to do something in church. We are called to be servants but when we try to serve someone always thinks that they can do a better job than us.
My best advice to you is while you are there...do what you've committed yourself to do. Remember, you're not playing the piano for the congregation as much as you're worshipping the Lord with your talents. This becomes your "are you going to please men or please Me?" test. I know you will choose Him. Then, if it's necessary for you to leave, God will help you make that decision too.
Do you think that maybe part of your calling there is to help the young Pastor overcome a lifeless church? The greatest possible scenerio would be to see all of those people full of joy as they receive their salvation and the worst is that they stay the same. Either way, allow peace to be your umpire and worship Him Sister!
May the grace and peace of God reign in your heart and mind,
When I read your post, it was like I was telling my story! My husband is the full-time minister of music in our church and we have just come out of a situation very similar. We moved 3 states to come to this church 5 yrs ago and at that time people in this church, in my opinion, saw church as more of a social thing. They are very "good" people in the sense that they are very family oriented. They have strong families. There were about 6 or 7 families( very large families) in our church that wanted to run the place. OUr Pastor, when we came, had only been here for 2 years so the honeymoon was not over yet. Things started to get really bad and there were people getting jealous because my husband scheduled me to sing quite a bit, but they were still singing a lot too. Not to mention that whenever there was a cancellation with someone, he would first ask one of these people if they would sing and they would say the they couldn't. This began to be frustrating for us. These prominant, very influential families began to talk......(One of them held a couple of important posiitons in our church). We (Pasor, his wife, my husband and myself) wondered if we should just leave and let them have it many times, but there were so many other wonderful people in our church that we did not want to get hurt in this whole process. There were many other "personality" conflicts with the Pastor wich snowballed over a course of 2 years. OUr church became very dry. My husband and I, as well as others in the church who knew the situaiton, encouraged my Pastor to stick his ground. I know taht God put our Pastor here to bring this congregation to a higher ground with God and Satan was trying to discourage us from pressing on. I say now that we have come through the fire, that our services are much sweeter, and our music is wonderful. These families were so loyal to each other--if one don't like the leadership, they all don't like the leadership, and they thought their money would run the church. Well, all of these familes and those who worshipped these families, left. God has done wonderful things in our church since then. He has also relaced every single person that left and then some. But, not to say, that God is punishing these families. God loves them too, and is trying to put them in a position, also, to where they will submit to Him. We(leadership) still love these people but until they follow the leadership that God has put over them, we do not wish them back with us. We do pray for them daily though. Press on. God is going to work wonders among you. Keep believing God. Satan is going to use jealousy or anything else to make a mockery of the name of Christ. Be gentle and kind to these people. Use your gift for the Lord and others will see Jesus in you and those people who are jealous will not prevail. Sorry this is so long, I just had to reply!
Although I am not in ministry, I have seen a similar situation occurring at our church. It seems like many are is jockeying for POSITION and being FIRST rather than being a servant.
A dear sweet sister, who is known as BayouBlessings on another forum, recommended a most wonderful book to me. It is called BAIT of SATAN. It is about offenses (giving and taking). It may be worth your while to check it out. I know it has given me a whole new perspective on my walk with the Lord. As the Bible says, "offenses WILL come." They are unavoidable, especially in this day and age of "ME-isms."
As I have listened to a number of pastors on television lately, there seems to be a common thread: Humility/meekness/servanthood. Our pastor has been teaching on being servant-leaders. His premise is that you really can't be a good leader until you serve just as Christ did. I listened to Creflo Dollar the other day and his message was on meekness.
Perhaps in all this the Lord is leading His body to that highly prized "gentle and quiet spirit."
God Bless You!
(My "nom de plume" asssigned to me by BayouBlessings!)
Also, to answer your question about the 50-some year old lady that is jealous of you even though you are younger. Jealousy knows no age. When I was 15, my Pastor's wife(50 something) was jealous of me and actually accused me of something that I didn't do. She would say terrible things to me and threaten me; for about 7 yrs this went on. One day she finally realized she was wrong and apologized. This was at the church I grew up in. Satan had her deceived and she was so consumed with jealousy that others could even see it. Of course I forgave her and everything is fine whenever we do see each other. It's tough. It will be easy to start getting defensive but keep in mind that Satan is a liar, deceiver, and accuser. Don't allow him to turn you into something you don't like. Will be praying for you.
~~~1 Timothy 5:24~~~
"Faithful is He who calleth you, who will also do it."
You are SO right FORGIVEN! That is what the book (Bait of Satan) is all about. Just how Satan uses his devices through "regular folks" to get us off track and essentially become someone we don't even like ourselves.
Check it out Wendy. It will help you. The author is John Bevere.
(My "nom de plume" asssigned to me by BayouBlessings!)
Wendy - I respond, as one going through ministry turmoil myself. It is not easy, we are in a battle, how much better to be in the battle than on the sidelines though! I would just encourage you, as I have been encouraged, to examine your heart first. Sometimes all we can do is just make sure that our hearts are right with God. That's all He really wants us to DO anyway! It is the heart that God looks at and our relationship with Him is what pleases Him so I would encourage that first.
Also, I have found the book "The Peacemaker" by Ken Sande. to be really helpful and encouraging to me. We have really hard personal ministry issues and divisions going on among us and that book has encouraged me not to be afraid of conflict but to look at it as an opportunity for God to be Glorified. If not through reconciliation with the couple than by your efforts tword reconciliation. Again, we can only control our own heart. I will pray for you. Things like this must sadden God as well. So we will pray for His glory to shine through.
I've just read these posts and though they are a few days old felt I needed to respond.
Has anyone noticed the problems basically surround the music.Why do you think this is?
I go to a small church with a regular attendance of about 100.We are going through major problems at the moment and they are centered around our music. A hugh amount was placed in the new budget for adding additional sound equipment,a large screen to project singer and or preacher onto it. Keep in mind that we are so small you can see everything from any place you sit.In my mind I can't see using God's money for more sound/video equipment since we spent $10,000 about four years ago.
It appears our focus is on ourselves our music is our God.
I welcome anyones insight,I am desperate for understanding.
Please lift us up in prayer we have a lay-renewal planned for Feb. 21-22
I think your right to question why "music" is such a big issue in church? Lucifer was in charge of worship in heaven...he knows the consequences of praising God to his kingdom of darkness. God inhabits the praises of His people but as long as the enemy can keep strife going----who's really worshipping?
It's to satan's advantage to keep people from worshipping, raising their hands, bowing their knees...it's all replusive to the enemy. So he plants seeds of division and distractions to keep people from being able to come into the presence of the Lord.
To go a step further, think about how satan has totally infiltrated secular music. It's all a plan to pervert our minds to his way of thinking.
CJALF: Reading your post my first thought was God has blessed your church tremendously with finances. But I wonder if God provided that money for the music system or maybe missions, or the lost?. I hear your concern. I would take my thoughts to my pastor or the music minister. Someone may have donated that money strictly for music ministry. And pray, pray, pray. Many times I get perturbed with the things my church does that I think could have been done "better" or used differently.
Satan does a number on me and as I stew over things I come to realize the damage it's doing to me and sometimes affects my relationships with others in the church.
So I pray that God will give you discernment and if there is cause for concern that you will speak to the pastor and music minister and even if there is no cause for concern you will speak up just to get it off your chest. Sometimes just speaking it releases the tension.
I hope I made myself somewhat clear and did not ramble. I admire those others who post so eloquently. Mitzi
Thanks Mitzi for your reply. I and others have addressed this issue but to no avail. The money came directly from the budget not special giving.This is what troubles me along with the lack of money being given to missions.We give very,very little. I've been in this church for twenty-one years and when I first moved here a lady made a remark that has rung in my ears many times over the last twenty-one years,"God does not bless a church that is not mission oriented."We were mission minded until about ten years ago and honestly I don't know what happened except very gradually we quit giving and started spending on ourselves.
Please,please pray for us.Also we have lost two decons who were concerned about these issues but would not be heard so they moved their church letter.A third decon just resigned for the same reasons he was church treasurer also.
[This message was edited by cjalf on January 30, 2003 at 08:33 AM.]
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