Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mending Fences


In this wonderful post at Just Call Me Pastor, Bishop Donald Bastian shares some insight given to him as a young minister from great preacher, C. W. Burbank:

During one of my first conversations with him he shared a bit of wisdom. He explained that some ministers are more skilled at mending their fences than others. He meant that when a misunderstanding or even an unintended interpersonal rift developed, such pastors seem to have a knack for restoring trusting relationships.

Others, he went on, leave the gap unaddressed and allow it to take on a certain permanence. If this happens with another family, and then another, Rev. Burbank explained, the misunderstandings accumulate sufficiently to destroy the trust of the congregation as a whole. A wall develops and the minister loses the trust of the congregation and he must move on.

Bishop Bastian goes on to share some thoughts on how to mend the fence here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Others, he went on, leave the gap unaddressed and allow it to take on a certain permanence. If this happens with another family, and then another, Rev. Burbank explained, the misunderstandings accumulate sufficiently to destroy the trust of the congregation as a whole. A wall develops and the minister loses the trust of the congregation and he must move on."

This not only happens with the pastor of a congregation, it also happens with the board and the district leaders, plus the leaders of the church who refuse to address the problems. Then they just send this pastor on with a glowing recommendation to destroy another church.

Many feel that the problems a pastor is encountering does not matter as long as he is their personal friend. Too many church leaders today think only of themselves. It is "All about me"!

If this problem was addressed by the local board and district when it first happened, churches would not be losing many, many, many families. Leaders in a church do not seem to care until it affects their family. How many have to be hurt before someone stands up and says "ENOUGH"?

Anonymous said...

As the Pope has said recently, forgiveness without justice will not help the situation.

Trust takes a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy.

Action by the church involved, not just words, is necessary to start to remedy a bad situation.

Hiding your head in the sand or sweeping the dirt under the carpet only makes the situation worse.

Anonymous said...

Lots of good stuff in "Mending Fences" -

Churches seem to get in deep trouble when the leaders forget that God is the leader.