Jim usually writes one article per week on his blog. The articles concern church conflict, pastor-centered conflict, the forced termination of pastors, current church issues, or personal thoughts on a variety of issues.
Jim’s blog is at http://blog.restoringkingdombuilders.org. We welcome your comments and questions!
I Pledge to Protect My Pastor
The following pledge is taken from Jim’s book Church Coup: A Cautionary Tale of Congregational Conflict. The pledge is consistent with New Testament principles for the way God wants us to treat Christian leaders and fellow believers.
1. I pledge to protect my pastor by consistently praying for his walk with God, his family life, his personal life, his leadership challenges, and his teaching ministry.
2. I pledge to protect my pastor by knowing and practicing what the New Testament teaches about interpersonal and ecclesiastical conflict.
3. I pledge to protect my pastor by defending his life and ministry whenever others speak negatively of him in my presence.
4. I pledge to protect my pastor by insisting that anyone who complains about him go and speak with him directly.
5. I pledge to protect my pastor by always choosing to believe the best about him.
6. I pledge to protect my pastor by contacting him directly on those occasions when he has offended me in some fashion.
7. I pledge to protect my pastor by regularly praying for those to whom he accounts and for those who account to him.
8. I pledge to protect my pastor by regularly attending worship services, serving with my spiritual gifts, and giving generously of my income.
9. I pledge to protect my pastor by insisting that any charges made against him be addressed in a manner consistent with Scripture and our church’s governing documents.
10. I pledge to protect my pastor by reporting to the pastor or governing board any knowledge I may obtain concerning possible attacks against him or the church.
Recommended Books on Pastor-Church Conflict
The following books deal with church conflict from various perspectives. Some authors write from a more mainline denominational approach. Steinke uses family systems theory which can add much insight into a church conflict situation. Haugk’s book includes far more Scripture than any of the others. The books by Greenfield (who experienced a forced exit in his final church) and Rediger deal specifically with congregational attacks on pastors. All are available through Amazon.
Creech, Chris. Toxic Church: Why the Church-Pastor Relationship Sours and the Simple Biblical Solution. Rainer Publishing, 2014.
Crockett, Kent. Pastor Abusers: When Sheep Attack Their Shepherd. Prattville, AL: Kent Crockett, 2012.
Dobson, Edward G., Speed B. Leas, and Marshall Shelley. Mastering Conflict & Controversy. Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1992.
Greenfield, Guy. The Wounded Minister: Healing from and Preventing Personal Attacks. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2001.
Haugk, Kenneth C. Antagonists in the Church: How to Identify and Deal with Destructive Conflict. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1988.
Leas, Speed B. Moving Your Church through Conflict. The Alban Institute, 1985.
Maynard, Dennis. When Sheep Attack! Booksurge Publishers, 2010.
Pinion, Gary L. Crushed: The Perilous Side of Ministry. Springfield, MO: 21st Century Press, 2008.
Rediger, G. Lloyd. Clergy Killers: Guidance for Pastors and Congregations under Attack. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.
Shelley, Marshall. Well-Intentioned Dragons: Ministering to Problem People in the Church. Vol. 1, The Leadership Library. Carol Stream, IL: Word Books, 1985.
Steinke, Peter L. Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What. Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2006.
Wickman, Charles A. Pastors at Risk: Protecting Your Future, Guarding Your Present. Peoria, AZ: Intermedia Publishing Group, 2011.