Why Am I Being Rejected?

Dec 27, 2008 by

You have been fired. Perhaps you simply resigned. Maybe you crashed in full blown burnout. In any case, there is a good chance many things have changed in your life. One of those “things” may be the fact that nearly everybody who used to speak and befriend you has dropped you like a hot potatoe. If this isn’t the case, consider yourself fortunate. This does describe the majority of those who have fallen, been axed, or resigned in burnout.But why? Why would friends and fellow ministers drop me so fast? No more emails. No more calls. No more lunches together. It is as if I suddenly came down with leprosy or SARS. What gives?

It really is quite simple. Fear. Yes, fear. The spirit of fear. If it were the Holy Spirit it would be a spirit of love and would come to your aid. But it is fear. You see, you are now outside the culture. You are now part of a culture that has found their Christianity did not work. It may or may not be your doing, but to the others you represent a potential failure of the whole system of local church belief. Your fall, potentially means to them that something could be wrong. They may try to justify it by convincing themselves your fall is your own sin or fault in some form (which it could be or not). They have no desire to really challenge their belief system, and your departure shakes up the status quo. If you, the pastor, worship leader, etc, can come unglued or fall in some manner, then possibly, they could fall too. Perhaps not everything they believe and anchor their life to is true. Most people don’t want to face that thought.

When we don’t challenge our belief system, we end up going along with many a trend in the church, and in this age of mass communication, trends can spread like wild fire. For example, the altar call. Do you know the history of the altar call? Is it Biblical to raise your hand at the pastor’s prompt, and then come to the front so the whole congregation knows your problems? Do you know how many altar calls Paul did in his ministry? I do. None.

The altar call is a recent trend – only about 150 years old (Charles Finney made it popular). Somehow, someway, the church mysteriously survived for 1,800 years with no altar calls. Amazing! (I’m being a little facetious, please excuse me)

In some congregations people stream down to the altar (stage) every week. Week after week, to get zapped one more time by the Holy Spirit. “Maybe this time it will work! Maybe this time the key will be hit upon and my life will finally work!” Maybe, maybe, maybe. What is behind that kind of a belief system? Is there a real comprehension of grace in that situation? Is there a real deep understanding of the unconditional blood covenant love of Father in that kind of situation?

“Maybe I should go to that seminar coming to town next month! The latest greatest speaker will be there talking about my issue. If he prays for me, maybe everything will fall into place.”

Many people today are experiencing a failure in their belief system, but hope to find one little trick, one little key to making it all fall into place and life will work just right! Now, you the pastor, suddenly burn-out or resign from stress and disillusionment, and their whole world is thrown into a test! For many, including fellow pastors and worship leaders, it’s too much to face.

You have caused them a major crisis, and they really don’t what to think about it and look closely at their belief system – it could have serious ramifications to their personal life – and people don’t like change – life-changing change!

Over the past two thousand years many ideas have crept into Christian thought. Some of these ideas have become major beliefs in the basic belief system of western Christianity. The altar call is simply one example.

When a leader goes down – regardless of the cause or fault – it is a challenge to many people’s belief systems. In a world such as ours, people want their iron-clad, rock solid belief system shaken? It’s a scary world out there, and people want the simple answers their belief system seems to offer – and now, with your resignation, you have gone and rocked the apple cart!

The ostrich is famous for sticking its head in the sand and ignoring the present situation. Chrisitians seem willing to do the same. Please keep in mind, Jesus does not abandon you. He is the one who walks forward and touches you even when you are a leper. He stops and listens to you on the side of the road when everyone else tells you to shut up (blind Bartimaeus). In burnout you are on the road to a purified belief system, and Jesus will help you every step of the painful way. Don’t stick your head in the sand. Don’t get uptight about everyone abandoning you – they are reacting to their own fear. Pray for them – it’s awful to be ruled by fear.

You are loved by Father unconditionally. It’s all about blood covenant love. Jesus promised he would never leave you nor forsake you, and Kathy and I are here to listen, talk and pray with you. God bless you our friends!

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7 Comments

  1. Franklin Banks

      I was not a paster. I was the worship leader.  It was also my job to do the Maint. work onthe biulding and yard. My work was the hardest work of all. Yet I was told that I didn’t do(anything).

  2. Christopher Crane

    I’m finding that my disillusionment, and hurt grows exponentially day by day.  I almost wish I had some unforgivable sin I could blame it all upon; some affair, or impropriety.  There was none.  I was faithful.  I did nothing wrong.  I was a target of a group of malicious “Christian” church members in a mainline Pentecostal denomination.  When church members brutally attacked us, and assassinated our character, and when nothing else worked, “starved us out” by withholding their tithes and attendance – rather than standing with us, denominational leadership abandoned us.  I lost a 24 year ministry overnight.  Today, I could care less if I ever walk back in a church building again.  I make myself attend for the sake of my children.  But when they are grown, I am sincerely fearful.  I love God.  His people sicken me at times.  Rather than seeing a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, I’m seeing every wart, wrinkle, and scar.  I fear for myself.  I fear for my future.  Will I ever minister again?  As of right now, no.  But it’s bigger than that.  In my current state of mind and heart.  I see myself unchurched within a decade.  And I sincerely won’t miss it.  In a desperately difficult economy, God has graciously supplied me with a job, and has provided a place for my family to live.  It’s all Him.  My hurt may heal at some moment in the future.  But as of right now, I cannot see my way out of it.

  3. Peter Di Girolamo

    Dear Christopher, I am so sorry to hear what has happened to you. The saddest comment is that you have lost 24 years of ministry overnight. I am from the other side of the world and just wanted you to know that I empathise with you and I do hope that you can one day forgive those people who have hurt you badly, and with Jesus, my friend who knows what doors of ministry will open for you on the years to come.

  4. Fernando Ramirez

    Hey bro I was once where you are now exhausted, and done with volunteering at church. I’ve been serving the Lord since I recommitted my life to The Lord at age 22. I realize now that I was following the wrong person the entire time I was attending that church. I was never appreciated or thanked for what I did, it all seemed expected of me which pressured me to stay even when the church was on the brink of closing. Long story short the pastor lost her husband due to neglecting her marriage for “God’s call on her life.” I was without a church for about 4 months when I met my future father-in-law which was am ordained Pastor. We talked and hung out like regular people-no Christianese-and he invited me to hang with him in a couple family trips with him and his family. By this time I was dating his oldest daughter. By talking with him and sharing my ministry experiences I began to realize that ministry is not supposed to be inclusive nor is there the need to pressure people in our social circles or even those in church (over zealous). My faith in the church body was restored and I now help Pastor the youth at my church. I am well aware of my fallacies along with the flaws of others and I trust God to be their savior not me.  My goal is to help people find their gifting and support them. I commend you for so many years in ministry, what really helped me was getting training in dealing with people in ministry, the program was called Turf Builders and really opened my eyes to see that I am only a part of a bigger picture. Jesus invites us to follow Him and carry His yoke but its a light yoke not a burdensome one. (Matthew 11:28-30)  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

  5. Bruce Cunningham

    I didn”t fall into sin or burn out. I simply left one congregation, (after 17 years of attendance and ministry leadership), for another. I didn’t leave in anger or gossip. I just left because I became increasingly aware of how damaging some practices used by the Pastor and other Church leaders had become. (I confess that I had become someone that used those same practices as well until the Lord revealed to me how wrong they were.)
    As soon as I left, (the same day), it was reported that the devil had been talking to me and that I was in sin.
    My family has yet to recover.
    This article describes my situation quite accurately.

  6. tillyb

    thank you. i have just be fired from my job. and i fired myself from the pulpit for a couple of months now because of “fear”. everything and everyone around me seems to be crumbling but i thank you for reminding me that JESUS is with me and he will never leave me no forsake me even in these time. pray for me.

  7. I will certainly be praying for you. Remember, the only opinion of yourself that matters is what Jesus thinks about you. Even the people the closest to us will eventually be disappointed or disillusioned with us. Hang on to Jesus and remember even in times of sin and foolish decisions, Jesus loves us enough to die for us on the cross. When he says he will never leave us or forsake us even to the end of the age – he is the only one who can live up to those promises.

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