In 1975 I served as the pioneer pastor of a new church. From our mother church, a large congregation with a long heritage, we inherited about fifty people and some experienced leaders. Although this was my first pastorate, those leaders and I worked fairly well together. Frankly, I couldn't understand other pastors' complaints about troublesome board members. Working with leaders wasn't so tough!
Four years later, however, all board members, who were now fully experienced, rotated off the board because of constitutional requirements. We started year five with an entirely new set of leaders. Most were fairly new Christians and inexperienced at church leadership.
I felt the difference immediately. The new leaders thought they needed to straighten out what the earlier leaders had done. Leading our council meetings was like driving with the brakes on. There was always an edge to things.
One November day I decided to visit a member's home. I knocked on the door, and when it opened I found not ...1