Ethics: Retired Pastor Pushing Advice on New Pastor

What would you do Wednesday!

Today, dear reader, you get to be the confidant of a pastor. This pastor, who is a close friend, was recently called to a new church. This new church needed a new pastor because the former pastor retired after leading this particular congregation for 20 years.

The back story is that your friend was called away from the first church he led where he served for five years. He had not planned on leaving his previous church. However, a well-known pastor who served one church for the last 20 years was about to retire. This retiring pastor, from a bordering state, reached out to your friend a couple years ago. They built a pretty good relationship.

This relationship turned into the retiring pastor holding your friend in such high regard that he asked if he would take over his pastorate when he retired. After much prayer, consideration, and congregational approval, he took the job.

One year later, your friend comes to you as his confidant. He explains that the former pastor who served 20 years in your new church is still a member and plans on living out his days this particular local church.

The problem: the retired pastor visits your friend at least three times per month pushing unsolicited advice on him. He tells your friend what and how to do certain things including, for example, what sermons (topics, texts) he should preach. It feels, to your friend, that this man still wants to have a large say in many daily decisions in the church.

Your friend asks for your advice.

What would you do?

  • Be quiet and take the advice.
  • Be quiet and ignore his advice.
  • Say ‘thank you’ and graciously remind him who the pastor is now.
  • Say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and explain that church discipline is around the corner if he doesn’t stop.
  • Or…
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tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dean May 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Mark, I enjoy your blog even if I don’t contribute very often. Thank you for your efforts. I would advice my friend that this will only be as big of an issue as he makes it and remind him that only by pride cometh contention. I would encourage him to be honest and say to his “friend with a good relationship” that he loves him and values his opinion and he is always free to offer it but I need to have freedom to do as I am led and trust it will never cause an issue between us. I think the fear of the issue blowing up may be a greater weapon for Satan to use than the actual situation itself.

2 Mark Lamprecht May 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm

@Dean Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I keep trying. I appreciate your answer to the question and believe it to be a great approach.


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