So I’ve been dealing with a situation since I took this church. There is a person in the church trying to take over. This person had many positions in the church and even asked for my position when it opened up. This would have given the person every major office in the church except the Senior Pastor. That was the next step really. This person was heavily involved with a division of the Youth when I came and I let things ride. Even when I started having conflict with getting information and getting this person on board with my vision I let it ride hoping things would smooth out. I knew early on I should have taken more control but between time constraints and a desire not to make waves early on in this new place I didn’t follow my instincts and that is all on me. However, I never saw some of the huge things coming from those small conflicts. Now I know and I will not ignore those small things. As Solomon says “It is the small foxes that ruin the vine.”
In the past couple of months we have found many highly questionable financial issues. Each time I get pretty angry considering this person more than most knew that there wasn’t money available to steal. All of that pales in comparison to what happened at an event that took place just before we started finding the money problems. This was a trip that was organized as part of the Youth ministry this person was involved with. I kept having trouble getting details on various things leading up to the trip and was mislead in many of the details that I was given. Ultimately this trip ended up costing at least $8000 for only 8 Youth and of that only 4 attended the church. They had 2 adults (both women) for a 6 day trip with both young men and young women. I was told that there would be male and female chaperones with an adult in each room. Had I known different this would have been stopped or altered. This is why I was mislead.
The problem involves a young man that I suspect is wrestling with his sexual identity. I am have been working at building a friendship with him because I believe he has a lot of potential. This friendship was set back significantly because of this trip. In fact everyone that went on this trip was severely harmed. I got one message the first day of the trip that all was well but no other information after that. When people got back I tried to find out how things went and got strong responses where everyone said it was great in a tone of voice that gave a different answer. I gently pushed but never got past the brick wall happy trip façade. Well I found out 2 weeks ago what happened. One of the boys accused this young man of “coming on to him” and trying to peek at him while he was using the bathroom. The leader called the young man out in front of everyone there and jumped all over him. Didn’t ask, didn’t do it privately, just humiliated him completely. Then, apparently, continued to humiliate him the rest of the week. After they got back this leader had all the parents wait until they could be informed of what happened on the trip. They were given the details of what he was accused of doing in front of all the parents and his friends once again. His own mother was informed through this public humiliation.
I have since been able to talk with this young man and apologize. I didn’t question what he did I simply told him that regardless of what he did this leader was 100% wrong. I’ve been able to start growing this friendship again and hope one day he might be able to open up to me about what happened. I also talked with his mother about it and let her know that this leader was no longer at our church and after hearing about this I will not be welcoming her into any level of my ministry again.
People misquote Jesus quite often. One of the big ones is “Judge not lest ye be judged.” This really says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1&2). It isn’t that we cannot pass judgment but if we judge without reason and if we are harsh even with reason we are judged the same way.
I don’t know what this young man did. Was there a comment that was misunderstood? Was there some actual issue? I will likely never know now because of the idiocy of an individual that wants everyone to follow after them. I haven’t posted except that little comment about being sick since this happened. I kept trying to saying something but I was just getting too mad. I tried posting on other things but kept getting drawn back to this. I haven’t even been able to tap into my sarcasm. It turns out I do have more ways to deal with things than sarcasm and reason. I can also respond with anger. I would like to think I can respond with love as well. I haven’t seen this leader since this event. I have honestly struggled with my anger in the past two weeks so much that I kept deleting what I had written because I saw too much anger. I don’t know if that was love coming through or reason. I’ll settle for either because note responding in anger is a win. I don’t know how I will respond when I see this person next. I want to pray that I will respond with love and forgiveness. That is what I’m supposed to do. That makes me a good example and the better person, but honestly I just don’t know. I am growing and God has given me time. Each new wrong that is uncovered seems to come just as a get over the last issue. God allows me to work through instead of piling it all on, and so I hope God will supernaturally help me in this as well.
I am hoping that posting this will help me to release the last of the anger so I can start being myself again. I don’t like the angry Geek. He isn’t fun, all though some of his plans for revenge can be funny in a sadistic kind of way. That is another story for another day.