Last week I told my employers that I “do not trust God” and without an improvement/drastic change with my “Relationship w/ God” that there was little reason for me to stay pastor of the Church. The men were in such shock that they couldn’t decide on anything at that meeting, so they scheduled another meeting for tonight.
Unfortunately at this meeting I couldn’t lie.
Elder A: I’m just going to ask you point blank, and please forgive me for this, but do you honestly see yourself as being able to recover from this and return to the church as the pastor?
Me: [Gigantic fucking sigh] I… uh…um… I don’t know. Unless God really communicates with me…unless there is a drastic change in the dynamic of the relationship with me and God…then no. Not that it’s impossible…but…um… I find it unlikely.
Elder A: Ok then. I thank you for your honesty.
And the meeting continued, without me. At home, eventually it was getting late and I hadn’t heard anything from the employers. I text the youth pastor:
Me: Hey man, are you guys done yet? What happened? What was decided?
YP: Well Derek is supposed to get back to you to let you know that there is another meeting tomorrow night.
Me: So, what happened? How did it go?
[no response, and I’m using Facebook messenger so I can see if he read my message]
Me: Hey man, did you decide anything?
[no response and Facebook says he hasn’t read the message]
Me: Don’t leave me hanging man, this is my life. This is my family.
[no response, Facebook says he hasn’t read the message}
I know you’re seeing my messages on your notifications dude. Don’t you fucking ignore me!
I send a message to the Chairman:
Me: Call me when the meeting is over, I’ll be up anyways.
[30 mins later]
Derek: Hey John, the board is holding another meeting tomorrow night at 7pm. We’ll see you then.
Me: So did you guys come to a decision? How did the meeting go after I left?
Me: So is tomorrow night’s meeting called to let me know what you have decided?
I know exactly what they are doing. They’re closing ranks. They’ve issued a gag order preventing any of the council members from speaking a word to anyone, including myself, about the meeting’s outcome.
I’m being fired.
Well, kinda. You see, they can’t fire me per the church by-laws and my contract. They have to have 75% of the congregation’s vote to dismiss me. But since there’s been no congregational meeting they can’t fire me. So they’re going to ask me to resign. I imagine that they’ll ask to me to resign and offer a severance package as long as I comply.
Well, let’s see the severance package.
Because if I can’t take care of my family with what they’re offering then I don’t have to resign. They have to get 75% of the congregation to agree that I should be fired. I only need 25% plus one! If 100 people show up to the meeting, then I only need to convince 26 people that I deserve a better severance in order to force their hand. They’d have to convince 75 people. The odds play in my favor.
But that’s not what I want. I don’t want to play politics, I just want to take care of my children.
***IF*** they’re asking me to resign, I trust that they have appreciated the work I’ve done over the last 10 YEARS, that they’ll want to take care of my family as I leave. These men, while their job is to look out for the church, are my friends. I trust that they love me and my kids. But this closing of ranks and keeping lips sealed worries me. I’ve been in their shoes. I’ve been a board member when we needed to dismiss a pastor. Not returning my text, not answering my questions…this is what you do under a gag order.
I plan on laying the guilt on HARD on the few friends I have on the council, to see if at least one decent person can give me the heads up.
This sucks. Your friends have decided you need to be fired. It’s not that I disagree, I just want someone to let me in on this before it happens.
Sorry, no time to edit this post. I’m slightly drunk and very depressed.