I have now been a pastor for nearly 36 years. There have been many times in this stretch of over 3 decades that I though I should “move on” to another career, or at least times of deep regret that I ever left my job as a police officer. I have missed the camaraderie of the uniform and to some degree still do.
I was a police officer on a Friday (after 14 years in law enforcement) and a pastor in the mountains of Montana just two days later. My family and I packed up our goods and headed out on the new adventure after I finished up my theological studies in graduate school.
I loved Montana. Hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, firewood cutting, the mountains and the lakes. Step out our door and fish in the stream. Oh sure, we didn’t have hardly any money, but this place felt like home – for a short time.
The problem wasn’t Montana. Nope. The problem was the church. Or more specifically, the majority of the people who made up that church. As I look back, I now realize that only a handful of them were genuine believers. Over the next 8 years I experienced constant friction, constant tension, repeated blowups, efforts to destroy the church by evil people, and more.
It would be the same in two more churches for the next 20 plus years.
We now have peace in our church where I have been the pastor since 1983. It wasn’t always peace here by any means. But peace was finally reached when we, by the Lord’s Word and Spirit, became wise as serpents about evil and innocent as doves in regard to it. You can read my story, which really is our story (the real believers who faithfully stood for Christ all these years) in my book, A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church.* My second book, for which this blog is named, continues the story of this exposure of evil that is without doubt in YOUR church as well – Unholy Charade: Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church*.
This series of articles (see the links below) is written for everyone, but specifically for pastors like me who wonder – “Is this really Christ’s church? How in the world am I ever going to last? I feel so often like just loading everything up, driving out of this town, and never coming back.” Well, I can tell you that if you are going to last, if your church is going to be the real flock of Christ, then you, like me, have to get wise about evil. And I can assure you that becoming educated regarding how the wicked domestic abuser operates, how he thinks, and how he hides in your church, turns out to be the key to wising up about the wicked Diotrephes type people in your church who work to undermine and destroy your ministry.
So read, and be wise. May the Lord bless you and direct you in His way,
Wisdom for Pastors Series
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