24 September, 2007

The Adventures of Matthew 18 in a Mega

The Adventures of Matthew 18 in a Mega Church: It's enough to make you scream.

Senior Pastor’s Appointments Secretary (SPAS)
(Reports to his administrative assistant)
Mid Level Church Staffer (MLCS)

Scene Set up: Mid level staffer was astonished to hear the Senior Pastor make some inappropriate remarks at a staff retreat during a small group sharing time. He knows he should discuss this with the pastor in private. Here is his attempt to practice Matthew 18 from one Brother in Christ to another at a 20,000 member mega church. The leadership of the church constantly tells staffers to use Matthew 18 in dealing with conflict or offense by a brother. At this point, Mid Level Staffer draws up his courage to meet with his ‘Brother in Christ’ to implement Matthew 18.


(Phone rings in Senior Pastor’s office)

SPAS: Pastor ______ ‘s office, this is Victoria, how may I help you?

MLCS: Uh...Hi Victoria, this Mike Green calling for Pastor ____. Is he in?

SPAS: What was your name again, sir? (Clicking on computerized membership file)

MLCS: Uh…Mike Green, I am downstairs on the 3rd floor in Media Relations.

SPAS: So, you are a STAFFER?

MLCS: Er...yes, ma’m…is..is...the Pastor in?

SPAS: Mike, is your boss Tom Frank, Director of Media Relations?

MLCS: Uh…yes, well...no... ma’m…my direct supervisor is Todd Bellow, he is the Artistic Facilitator.

SPAS: Mike, why are you calling Pastor _____?

MLCS: Er...W..Well ma’m that is kind of per...personal. Is there a better time for me to call him?
SPAS: Mike, have you discussed this situation with Todd Bellow first?

MLCS: Well, ...uh…no ma’m…it does not really concern him.

SPAS: Mike, I really think you should go through the chain. Does Todd know you are calling the Senior Pastor?

MLCS: See, ma’m, this does not concern Todd. It is of a very personal nature.

SPAS: Oh, I see. Let me get you a number to call. Hold on just a minute...


SPAS: Ok, here we are. You need to call extension 332 and ask for Bob Teal. He can help you.

MLCS: Bob Teal? I don’t know a Bob Teal. Wh..who is that?

SPAS: He is one of the best counselors we have here. You know we have counselors who deal only with the church staff and their personal problems. He is a wonderful man and would be more than happy to help you.

MLCS: I…I …uh…really don’t need a counselor. I…I just wanted to talk with the Pastor about something personal…between he and I.

SPAS: Mike, do you have any idea how busy Pastor____ is? What if every single staffer here wanted some of his time? Would he ever be able to get anything done? Mike, really! Call your boss about this and if what you want to discuss with Pastor_____ is of urgency, then I am sure it can be sent up the chain and dealt with. Have a wonderful rest of the day! Bye.

Question: Is the Pastor of this church a Brother in Christ to the staff person? Does Matthew 18 apply?

Matthew 18

15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.


Obed said...

Very inciteful posting.

Can't wait for the next instalment....
You follow their process and they will Matthew 18 you for slander, right?

Very quickly speaking the truth in love becomes playing chess with scribes and pharisees.

This posting is anonymous, but the charges laid at the pastors of my previous church were in my own name, supported by multiple witnesses, and by facts.

No repentance. "Ministry" continues.

Christ reigns.

Obed said...

Of course, I meant to describe your posting as "insightful" but sadly I'm sure your views will incite not a few as well.

Lin said...

Hi Obed, There is NO next installment. Our friend still cannot get a meeting with the senior pastor who, by the way, has a bodyguard.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

i'd have told the secretary that i need to talk to the pastor about something i saw him do that appeared inappropriate. it is private and personal and i am trying to be biblical. but if you prefer i talk to all these other staff members about it, sure. but when the pastor asks me why i did that, i'll tell him you told me to.

Lindon said...

Welcom David!

But be prepared to be told you just misunderstood what you saw/heard. Or, that you have a spirit of judgementalism or bitterness toward him.

Or the best yet: Only the elders can rebuke him and they have NEVER witnessed anything like that.

Lindon said...

Oh, by the way, David...for even bringing it up...you are divisive and a troublemaker. :o)

Dee said...

Not only will you be called divisive, but your body language might be perceived as threatening, or, quite possibly arrogant.

You know, it might be funny to post your concerns on a blog anonymously (both your name and his) and then cut and paste and send it to him and ask if he might want to respond ahead of the bloggers. Blogs get them really bent out of shape.

Perhaps you could call his body guard and ask him if you can work out together and play a few mind games with him so he'll mention it to the pastor.

Do you really want to work there?