question from a reader: what about when other pastors are your members?

>> September 15, 2009

Here's a question that could use your input and advice:

Have you ever been in a situation where the previous pastor of your husband's new church is now attending the church as a member? Or when older/retired pastors are regular members of your new congregation?

I don't really know this pastor that well, so I don't know that any problems will come up, but I don't feel totally comfortable with the situation. Any thoughts?


Amy Brown September 15, 2009 at 12:51 PM  

We have an older gentleman in our congregation who is a retired pastor. At first it was intimidating, but what a blessing he has been. He's a fount of advice and knowledge and my husband views him as such and not as a threat. His presence is valuable. He gives constructive criticism when needed and at times has been my husband's champion because "he's been there, done that". He is also a blessing to me and our children because he knows first-hand some of the things the pastor's family must endure. This gentleman has been sent to us by God, no doubt and serves in his role as mentor lovingly and steeped in prayer.

jill rosalie September 15, 2009 at 3:47 PM  

My husband (who pastored 17 years) was taught that it is unethical to stay in a church after you are no longer the pastor there. I have heard stories of former pastors being a real problem, and others being a real blessing. The church we attend now (my husband left the pastorate a bit over a year ago to teach at a Bible college) has a lot of former pastors and wanna be pastors. It's the nature of being close to a bible college I think. From what I can tell so far there aren't issues for the pastor, but I often wonder what it's like for him to have 4-5 former pastors and another 4-5 guys in training to be pastors sitting in his congregation.

Jody September 22, 2009 at 1:57 PM  

In our first two pastorates, we had retired pastors in the congregation who had retired from that church. Our very first pastorate my husband followed the man who retired from the position my husband came into. It was ok but I wouldn't recommend it, his wife was my mentor, but he seemed disgruntled about ministry, so it was tough with him there. Our second pastorate there was a retired pastor also, but it was a larger church and he was a precious man of God who was a great encouragement to my husband. I think this situation can be good and bad.
BTW I just found this blog, thanking God that's for sure, we all need encouragement from each other.

Pattie September 22, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

During the transition into full-time military service from the reserves and pastoring a church, we remained in our home church, only because the deacons and new pastor gave permission. I think because it was a short-term issue (2 months at most), it was not a problem.

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