My dad asked me if I would go eat breakfast with him at the fast food place down at the mall. He asked me in the past few days and I refused. I don’t really want to eat big breakfast recently. I have been sticking to oatmeal, yogurt and fruit lately. I don’t want to be too greasy. The breakfast down there is a bit too much for me with fried fish, 2 eggs and toast. Not too much but I find it a bit too expensive at $26. I rather save money eating oatmeal at home.
I soon realized that he had intention for eating breakfast with me. Usually I get a little sick about listening to church stuff with him. I just get somewhat negative and discouraged at time. I think he demands a lot from people. He seems to categorize people as either good or bad, but I understand him. He has the worst mix of deacons in his 30 years plus career as a pastor. The church is a mess and I wonder why he sticked to it for so long. He could’ve left after 5 years at this place. This church seems to be getting worst and worst and I can hardly see much hope in it getting any improvement.
Well anyway, he told me that he is thinking of leaving the church. I took it calmly but I was disappointed and I felt sad. I was wondering about myself. There is a sense of lost and I wonder if we had wasted some good years at this church in vain. I know my dad wanted to see this church grow healthily, rebuild and be a strong spiritual church. He had been pushing for things to be done and now it seems like he had enough, he’s quitting on a sad note. One reason for his consideration is that the deacon board has declined his request for sabbatical leave for next year after working here for almost a decade. He asked sabbatical leave sometime next year in June in the last deacon meeting the month before and in this month’s deacon meeting, the chairman’s answer is simply “it’ll not be suitable timing.”
The family feel a bit shock and find it cruel. My dad needs rest and he deserves it after almost nine long years at this church battling it out. I feel angry and so does my mom. Over the past 8 years or so he had gotten much skinnier, older and has developed skin problems. Other pastors had left and he remained here for the past 9 years or so despite of shortage of staff (which the clergy staff have been complaining for about 6 years). He battled on when one pastor left, another 2 left and another 2 left. I find it really mean. He sticked to the church when it was undermanned, during the tough time and he’s not getting the traditional and appropriate sabbatical leave he so deserve. It is just cruel.
The worst thing is that the deacon board did not give any explanation at all. It didn’t say they would think about it later or discuss it. It’s plainly a “no.” It’s crap. It’s just so mean. And I really really want to know who this happened. How these so called “Christian leaders” can do such a thing to a servant of God?
I guess this is where it just kill me. My whole family has been pouring ourselves over this church with our hearts and this is what we get. It isn’t fair. We sacrificed our youth, our time and even our reputation.
My dad took the blame for a lot of things other people did to protect people and he never told anyone about it. He took a lot of arrows for the team and this is what he gets after 9 years.
It’s not worth it.
The troubling thing is, it’s really 2-3 people who have been doing all the damage. It’s basically just 2-3 people and a few morons who might not know what they are doing. We have 13 deacons and over half of them shouldn’t be deacons. Three of them actually don’t do anything, they just talk and tell others to do stuff. There are two covert-aggressive manipulators who control the chairman who I think is a good guy but lack wisdom and courage. There is a newbie deacon who shouldn’t be a deacon in the first place, she was probably persuaded by one or two of the covert-aggressive manipulators to be a deacon. She is not a leader. She’s hardly a devoted small group leader or had any experience in leadership position and she is a deacon (because we have poor quality church members who just vote anyone who wants to be a deacon to be a deacon). Another is just a kid who just get manipulated. Oh my gosh, what is this. Is there hope? Out of the 13, I can only say that only 4 of them are real, capable deacons filled with the Holy Spirit, wisdom with good names.
The 2 manipulators basically have formed a team of 6 deacons and they basically control the board. Simply said, they manipulate the other 4 deacons. All they need is to persuade one more deacon and get what they want.
Anyway, I felt really bad when dad told me he has decided to leave. I thought about myself. I thought about the friendship I have made here. I thought about the people I love at this church. I thought about the time I have spent fighting for a better future for this church, trying to change things for the better, improving small group and fellowship. It seems like everything is in vain. I don’t feel like trying anymore. I feel like air is just letting out from my body. My stomach have been feeling a bit sick for a while now. What I fear has happened. This is shit. It’s shitting us and we didn’t do anything to deserve this.
It’s hard sometime to be standing straight, to do the right thing. Doing what’s right and decent doesn’t always mean good things will happen. And this is not the first time for us. I know my dad is not perfect, he has his weaknesses but who doesn’t and he doesn’t deserve this. I don’t deserve this.
I told dad that I should learn from this, ask God what he is teaching me in this and how I can use this lesson to be a better servant of God. I know all this but it still hurt. I know God is in control, that He allowed this to happen and that he is letting me experience this because He knows I can handle it but that doesn’t make it any easier on me or less painful. Maybe I should’ve stayed in Australia instead of coming back and falling in love. I am trying to prevent a heartbreak but I think it’s breaking already. I am trying to put on a brave face, even a smile, but inside the jug has broken and water is pouring out.
I feel sorry for the good people at church. I feel sorry and sad for my best friends at church. Some of them are being somewhat excluded and under some pressure because of their association with me. I worry about the people who need help and don’t get it from others. They are like my sheep. I love them. I might have to leave them sooner or later. There are people I love here. At the same time, I feel sorry for myself because I know because of these few manipulators, I will not be able to serve at great capacity at the fellowship that I had loved and the ministries that I have passion for. I know these things. I will be limited if I stay here and I am still young. I don’t deserve this.
I wonder if I didn’t leave 2 years ago. What would happen then? I probably would’ve become the fellowship leader. Things would probably be better. I don’t know and I probably shouldn’t think about that. What I have is now and the present. I need to think about myself, my well being as well, I am a victim here.
At the same time, I realize that maybe this is what best for me. I now, then, can be free. I feel a sense of freedom.