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BONUS: for pastors only, 2nd of 7 Great Mistakes

June 17, 2017

With gratitude to Rose Booker-Jones, here’s an article by Bob Kaylor —

The season for pastoral moves is almost here, and while you’re packing boxes, painting walls, grousing about mortgage interest rates, and threatening to fire your realtor, you’re also getting ready to go to a new church where the people are obviously nicer, the building more problem-free, and the worship more heavenly than that backward place in East Podunk that you’re currently serving. Of course, you’re on your way up, so you don’t want to stay at one place too long, since First Church Nirvana is likely to open up at any time. So, in the interest of helping you make as many pastoral moves as possible, here’s a list of seven keys for making your worst move ever. Follow this advice and I guarantee that you’ll be on your way to yet another church in no time!

1. Plan to interfere as much as possible with your current church after you’re gone.

Sure, you’re leaving, but lots of people in your current church still love you. In fact, they’ve told you that they can’t live without you, and you absolutely agree. It’s important to listen to their complaints about the new pastor and empathize with them about the fact that a moron has attempted to take your place. Show up randomly at church events, even if it means driving a couple of hours. Stoke the gossip on social media by posting things on church members’ timelines like, “How are things, really?” And, for goodness’ sake, don’t leave the new pastor any information that might be helpful to him. You’ve got better things to do. Follow this advice and you can be sure that the church you just left will never again be as effective as it was when you were the pastor.

2. When you get to your new church, assume that God hasn’t been anywhere near the place until you showed up.

The people at your new church don’t know what they were missing until you arrive. When you look at the building, the church board, and the bulletin, you will be certain that God has long forsaken this place since there’s clearly no evidence of him anywhere. It will be up to you to bring God back to this nearly pagan community, since no one sitting in the pews has a shred of the theological sophistication that you possess in spades. Assume, however, that there must be a small remnant of people in the church praising God (in secret, of course) because, clearly, you are the answer to their prayers. As for the rest, make sure that you preach to them condescendingly and mock their feeble attempts at expressing love for God through their wheezy music and ineloquent reading of Scripture. They will thank you for it when you leave in a year or two.

— Surely God and a whole lotta other somebodies have been doing something right, or there wouldn’t even be a church there. 

See you back here tomorrow.

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2 Comments
  1. We are getting a new pastor for the first time in 28 years. This happened twice at other churches where I was a member. In the first case, the congregation made their own problems as they didn’t want to lose a pastor of almost 10 years. In the second, the congregation welcomed, with open minds and hearts, the change. I have a feeling the rules you haven’t.mentioned were ones he used as well. And, he is how I came to be where I am.

  2. Have you instructions for congregation also?

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