Five Ministry Games to Be Aware Of
1. I'll call you, not
I cannot count the times my family has been at the cemetery after a funeral and a preacher would approach me or my husband and say to tell our son, who is a minster to expect a call, to preach. Unfortunately, most of those phone calls never came. Our son has also shared with us, that lay, people, stop him when he is minding his own business and said they wanted him to preach for a certain event only to never reach out again. Once a deacon of a church without a pastor told "Rev. Preston", he was on schedule to preach two months for that congregation. This same deacon later called and said there was a scheduling conflict and they did not need him at all. A two-month schedule mix up is not likely so they obviously changed their minds for some reason. This, in my opinion, is totally unprofessional.
I once belonged to a church where the pastor stopped me after a service. and said he was going to be using my son to minister on Wednesday's but he never did. Later, when we were no longer a part of that congregation, my son shared that this pastor had also told him that he would be using him. Not only did he not call upon "Rev, Preston, but he had two men in the congregation who were not licensed preachers to speak on his radio broadcast. I've been told by other ministers that they are going to use me as a speaker, but they have their events with other female preachers. Truthfully it's a little disheartening. People should keep their word but often they do not.
2.Problems with women, and single men
I know of several churches that are without pastors because they have preconceived notions regarding who is qualified to preach from their pulpit. An older woman admitted to me that the majority of members in her church wanted a particular young man as the new pastor, but the committee said he was not married with children. They hired a preacher who is married with children and now the congregation wants to get rid of him. Another church in need of a pastor took a vote and decided their next pastor must be of a certain age, seasoned and they preferred married with children. They found a minister who fit the bill but he walked out after less than a year. There are also churches whose committee will not consider a woman minister to preach. I attended a relatives funeral once and the pastor asked for all clergy to stand. I happened to be the only female and the look he gave me was a stare that was as cold as ice. I was later told this pastor did not believe women should be in ministry. I have been told stories of older pastors who stated that no woman would ever sit in their pulpits.
3, The invisible game
One Sunday as we were visiting a church, a deacon asked my husband if he were a minister and would he like to sit on the pulpit. My husband was not licensed at that time but I was and this deacon knew it. He disrespected me and acted as if I were invisible and offered my spouse the honor of sitting with the other preachers. I recall once a pastor asked all visiting ministers to stand and he greeted each of them except one. There was a woman seated on his right in the pulpit and he ignored her as if she were not there. I was in a church service once where a pastor acknowledged his youth ministers one night, except for one who had moved away and came back for a visit. He looked right at him several times but never acknowledged he was in the building.
4. Jump through my hoop
One of the darkest sides of ministry I have personally experienced is pastor's who play the game of jump through my hoop. If you don't do things their way or check off on their list, they will not use you. A number of years ago I wanted to talk to my then pastor about the calling I believed was on my life and his secretary told me to write a letter. I sent the letter in and never heard a thing. About six months later the pastor gave me a kind of halfway nod towards ministry during a noonday prayer service. An elder later told me that I was not being used because I did not smile a lot. In this particular church image was everything and obviously meant more than whether God had called me to ministry or not.
A few years after this I was speaking at a women's fellowship in a different church when the pastor walked in. The following Sunday he told the congregation that the women's speaker was anointed and she had another call but..... In other words, he recognized that God was calling me to ministry but he was waiting for me to jump through his hoops. I asked questions and did not march like a good soldier and he was waiting on me to fall in line. Sit in my seat, don't ask questions, give my tithes, travel with the pastor when he preached, sow financial seeds into him, etc.
5, Money Con Games
.After I graduated from an online theological seminary, they offered a ministerial license for a fee. At the end of each year, I had to renew the license by telling them what I had done in ministry in the past year. The fee continued to increase and I pondered that preachers who were licensed by their pastors did not have to send in a yearly fee or have their licensed revoked. I decided not to renew my license and a minister friend came from another state to ordain me. he said that ordination would open doors for me in ministry. In the meantime, my son and I began an outreach ministry together. One day he substituted for a preacher on a local radio station and the host told him that he was anointed and should get his own radio slot.
The radio station got their money, but the broadcast did not pay for itself as people did not send in donations. One man paid for half the time slot for six months and we are grateful, but when we decided to pull the plug, we were left owing a bill. Just recently, the minister who ordained me sent me a letter saying he was revoking my ordination because I had not given him tithes or supported him financially. I had no idea that any of this mess went on in ministry until now. If you are in any type of ministry, consider these five points. !. Keep your word, don't promise if you have no intention of following through. 2. Don't manipulate preachers to get money for your own purposes, 3. Don't demand that those called by God jump through your hoops before you license them. 4. .Listen to the Holy Spirit because the single preacher or female minister might be His choice for you. 5. Don't be a respecter of persons. Welcome, all clergy who visit your church. Treat them as you would desire to be treated.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston