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Following a Difficult Pastorate

Preaching and visitation are essential in any pastorate, but in a broken church, their need is magnified. Our members needed to hear the Good News of God's love and power, to have their hope renewed, and to experience human concern and love.
—Ed Bratcher

I was jogging down the street, thinking about my new church (I had arrived in Manassas only a few weeks earlier), when a man I had never seen motioned with his hand for me to stop. I stopped and tried to catch my breath.

"Are you the new pastor of Manassas Baptist?" he asked.

"Yes," I said, smiling.

"I'll never go there again!" he exclaimed heatedly. Then he began an angry tirade about the church's hypocrisy, its control by a few members, its lack of love. It took him thirty minutes to finish.

I could tell he had been deeply hurt, but I wasn't sure what to say. I only knew this was going to be the most difficult pastorate of my ministry.

Following a Fallen Pastor

The previous pastor at Manassas, whom I'll call Fred Sharpe, had resigned under ...

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