rebelling against low expectations

How do I respond to injustice in my church?


R. WRITES: This past week my youth pastor was unfairly fired and mistreated. How should I be responding? The youth group is only an after thought in all of this, and I’m confused about what to do and how to feel. This is the fourth youth pastor in four years. Is it wrong if I want to go find a new church/youth group?

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  • I think in that kind of situation, there’s not much you can do other than to just leave the situation. When a church is divided and in mess, it tends to only get worse. Of course, I don’t know the whole story, so I could be misjudging, but if I were you, I would definitely find a different church/youth group.

    Sorry that I’m not very optimistic…

  • Well, i would take into account the fact that perhaps he had done something wrong, now, with that as a witness to the church. A church should not allow someone in the ministry who is in blatant sin. However, if what you say is the definite truth and he was fired unjustly, you need to find a more stable church that will judge one fairly and help you grow as a christian.

    (Normally i would include a passage, but i wasnt exactly sure what passages to put)

  • You need a healthy church. Read the 9marks books, and go from there. I would definitely suggest you stay where you are until you can decide if this is a body that’s truly serving the Jesus from the Bible. And of course be humble, even if you end up leaving they’re probably not trying to to do wrong — if it’s where you can work through it with the elders then go for it.

  • To be honest, I can’t give you proper advice because I don’t know the whole situation. Pray over it. Read what the Word has to say about how the church should function- Acts and the letters to the churches have a lot to say on that.

    Talk to your parents, and maybe even to the elders(or deacons or pastors or whatever) at the church and figure out why they’ve had difficulties keeping the youth ministry consistent. Was it church politics(and if it was, that is not going to end well). My deepest prayer for your is that you are not caught up in bitterness over this. Pray over it, seek God’s will. Is God calling you somewhere else? Listen to what He has to say, and go from there. He won’t lead you wrong.

  • I know what you are feeling. The pastor of the church I attended since I was little “stepped down” under a lot of pressure. We were pretty emotional about it but the most important thing when you are considering leaving a church is to not make a decision based on your emotions. Like Regan said, pray pray pray and read the scripture. We did decide to leave and we spoke to the elders about our decision and we are still good friends with them, but we agreed to disagree on that issue. God led us to an amazing church the very next Sunday and it has been such a blessing. But really seek God in this.

  • Assuming he was unjustly treated as you said, no, it is definitely not wrong to want to go somewhere else. Especially if it’s happen four times, I would definitely be concerned! Pray about it and ask God to show you if this is the church He wants you to be in or if you need to move on.

  • OUCH! That´s a very hard situation to be caught in, R. As to what your response should be, my advice, if you would have it, is twofold; first, as others have stated, is PRAY and hope that through that that medium you can have clarity to see if God´s will leads you to stay, or to leave. Second, simply keep an open mind, ready to understand the objective truth of whatever happened, but no matter what never stop loving and honoring your brethren and elders in Christ as you seek God´s purpose.
    Ps. Sorry my comment sounds so essay-y, I´ve been reading Shakespeare lately ;D

    • Shakespeare’s wonderful. Doesn’t it make you want to go round saying “Minion, thou liest!” “A pox upon thee for a clumsy lout,” in a snooty British accent?

  • Church situations are never fun. We stayed too long at a church when we really should have left sooner. I don’t know your particular situation, but I recommend trying to find a different church. We are now at a different church and our lives are a lot less stressful. 🙂

    • I don’t disagree, but I would lean more towards unity. Do you have any specific passages/experience to support leaving? (I’m not trying to argue — and I do think there’s a time to leave — just wondering.)

      • While I don’t have any bible verses to back this up, I do know what the Bible says about the community of believers’ responsibilities for encouraging eachother and such. I understand that some frustration or disagreement is ok, but in a church, if you’re generally being frustrated instead of built up, it’s not a good situation.

        I say this because my family was caught in the middle of something at our last church, they told us to keep sticking around, but it got worse and nobody defended us, so we had to leave. It was pretty hard because our best friends were no longer our best friends, and we were left with pretty much nobody. It would have been better though if we had just found another church when we first realized the problem. I just wouldn’t want other people experiencing that loneliness and frustration if they don’t have to.

        • I agree with you. My family had been under similar circumstances by what you describe (though very different in reality most likely). Where we had to leave due to circumstances beyond our control. But since we moved churches our new church is a lot better and more into the word and most of our church is really awesome and our youth group goes out and just ministers and loves people. Now I’m not saying there isn’t anyone who comes in to stir up trouble but it is a lot less (meaning not as common). So just keep fighting the good fight. In Christ Alone.

  • You have to remember that there are things you don’t know about in your church leadership (that don’t necessarily need to be shared). As long as the church believes in the Bible and everything it says and follows the Spirit of God it is most likely a good church. Now I have no idea what is going on at your church and I don’t claim to know exactly what you should do, but here is something I know for sure. You need to pray and read your Bible before making any decision that could affect the rest of your life. And if you feel lead to leave and find another church then leave or vice versa. Also, you need to be really careful (and do previously mentioned steps) about choosing a new church if you decide to leave. So hope it helps. In Christ Alone.

  • Like alot of others have said, there is alot the happens behind the scenes, I’ve seen this in our church. Remember to be respectful of the authorities who fired the youth leader, as a child of someone who has been in the same situation, the stress and hurt of people mistreating those in authority is pretty hard on someone. If you really want to know, respectfully go to someone who was an authority in the situation, and ask them. If they say no, well, they said no. Stay respectful through the whole thing because there is so much more behind the scenes than you could realize!

  • The church is, simply put, broken people leading broken people. Nobody is perfect, not the congregation of a church, not the worship/youth/other leaders…not even the pastor! They all make mistakes and bad decisions sometimes. Of course, I am in no position to call the decisions made in your church right or wrong. There is definitely something bigger going on behind the scenes. It might be justified, or it might not.
    As far as leaving your church…not gonna lie, that’s a tough one. If you are being more torn down than built up, then looking for another church might be a good idea. Always, always, always pray about it. Sometimes it helps to remember that every church has its growing pains(yours is not the only one).

rebelling against low expectations

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