PASTORING THE PIRANHA

"Pastor, I need to talk to you. Can we get together for a visit?" It was one of our members.

"Sure," I replied. "Why don't you come by this afternoon."

Upon arriving, first, he closed my office door. Second, he took a list out of his shirt pocket. Third, he began his assault. For the next thirty minutes, he criticized and critiqued my nine months as pastor of the church.

"You've spent far too much money," he said, "and you've started too many new programs. We weren't ready for all these changes."

He continued down his list: "You're not visiting enough. You're neglecting the senior adults, and we don't like the changes you've made in the order of worship."

Then he questioned my integrity. "You've made major decisions without church approval. You've taken off more time than the church authorized, and I've noticed strange discrepancies in the financial statements."

The list went on. His criticism was relentless. When he left, I thought I'd been shot by a machine gun. I had been through a war, and ...

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