Why Am I Being Rejected?
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!