"I need advice," Dave began our conversation. Dave is like many pastors who call Metanoia Ministries for counsel about how to handle conflict in their church.
Dave told me about Tom, a founding member and retired businessman in his church. "He acts like he is the boss and I am his employee," Dave explained, "constantly telling me what I did or said wrong."
"Well, how do you respond?" I asked.
"I'd like to tell him off," Dave admitted. "But I'm trying to extend grace. I pulled him aside after service last week and said I'd like to talk to him. I mentioned that his words to me were discouraging. Tom immediately became defensive, telling me he is a 'straight-shooter.' He said that I needed more 'backbone,' or I would not last long as pastor.
"This morning Tom sent me an e-mail warning me that he will be dropping by later today to discuss 'serious concerns about my preaching and leadership,'" Dave told me. "My stomach is tied up in knots. I know I need to confront Tom, but he has a history of ...1