Gary, my young friend, had graduated from seminary and was excited about now getting hands on experience. He had been commissioned by an established mother church to take the lead pastor position in their new church plant, and his creativity and passion to teach the Word were on fire. Even his wife was beginning to warm up to the idea of being a pastor’s wife, and with J.C., a trusted younger associate at his side, he could hardly wait to see what the Lord would do.
That week he prepared extra hard—studied, prayed, studied more, and prayed harder. God spoke to him in his preparation, and he believed that he had been able to share what he had learned and connect in his Sunday message. “Gary, can I have a word with you?”
Charles was the head of the elder board. He must want to go over the plans for this week’s leadership meeting. The young pastor sensed no alarm as he walked into his office, and Charles shut the door. “Gary, this is tough! The elders, including J.C., met this past week. I’m sorry, but the guys gave me this assignment. Please give me the keys to the church. The vote was not unanimous, but it was strong. As of now, you are no longer our pastor.”
The next Sunday J.C. opened his Bible and gave the Sunday sermon. Before he did, the elders informed the congregation that Gary had resigned, and that the elders were happy to announce that J.C. was willing to step up and take the lead.
A thousand years before Jesus a wise man in old Israel told his son not to ever blindside a friend like this, especially when the friend believed they were secure in a relationship of trust.
“Don’t devise evil against your companion, especially when they live securely with you. Don’t bring an accusation against someone without a reason, when he has done no evil.” - Proverbs 3:29-30
LORD, thanks for sustaining both Gary and his wife through this crisis. Thank You that You used this hit to guide them to a place of ministry that meshed even better with the skill set You gave them. Give me strength to stop deceit and to block any blindside hits, especially when it involves Your church, when it’s in my power to stop it.
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