lisinopril 10 mg beipackzettel brand levitra 5mg prednisone 20 mg color buy amoxil online nexium 40 mg image xenical 120 mg italy valtrex generic discontinued generic chinese viagra express viagra online 8080 nexium 40 mg co generic valtrex tablets generic cialis 16 generic zoloft buy precio levitra 10 mg buy nolvadex brisbane acheter cialis 10 mg buy canadian zithromax nolvadex kup online cheapest cialis pills lexapro generic 20mg buy celebrex europe levitra 10 mg packungsbeilage buy kamagra india prednisone 5 mg dog xenical online australia cialis 20 mg dividere xenical online italia discount order cialis levitra 400 mg cialis 5mg ejaculation cheap viagra soft sides .25 mg propecia 7.5 teva prednisone 50 mg cialis 10 mg euro nolvadex australia online buy strattera eu buying viagra germany purchase glucophage online buy zovirax online cialis generic free buy viagra softtabs viagra 100 mg reviews valtrex generic cheap nexium dr 40mg doxycycline 100mg opinie buy levitra tablets non generic doxycycline bought clomid online original viagra online 10mg lexapro zoloft prednisone buy cheap viagra 50 mg prices buy dapoxetine thailand generico del cytotec canine doxycycline 50 mg prednisone tablet 10 mg generic black viagra to buy nolvadex doxycycline 100mg they metformin 500 mg sr propecia and generic 10mg cialis review zoloft 100 mg anxiety viagra 4cpr 100mg genericos de propranolol buy generic nexium pct nolvadex buy 2.5mg cialis paypal cialis buy generic augmentin 312 mg cialis 2omg fta 4 aventis clomid online albuterol ventolin order lexapro 20 mg medication strattera 60 mg atomoxetine lisinopril 10 mg cena ordering celebrex online zovirax 400 mg precio doxycycline 100 mg 10 days cialis generic fake viagra genericos wellbutrin 250 mg zoloft adjustment disorder buy 10mg clomid buy propecia proscar zoloft 100 mg high canadian generic nexium levitra buy cod cipro 400 mg el viagra generico efectos lexapro 10 mg celebrex 200 mg cheap augmentin 250 mg dosis cheapest regalis viagra viagra online recept viagra generico dogana 25 mg zoloft positive propecia 5 mg online dosage xenical 120 mg dosaggio levitra 5 mg warzava buy viagra buy lasix singapore zithromax buy online cialis generique 50mg clomid comprar online cialis 5 mg terapia cialis buy singapore buy cialis 50mg cheapest levitra generic clomid online drugstore kamagra cheap supplies lexapro eating disorders lisinopril 30 mg tab prednisone 5mg effects mastercard viagra generic viagra 50 mg satis cipro 500 mg medication online viagra health levitra 20mg effectiveness canada 2.5 mg cialis celebrex dosage 600mg generic viagra does refill cialis 10mg viagra 100mg half strattera uk online buy viagra vipps zithromax order efeitos viagra generico clomid twins 50mg generic cialis, 40mg 1000 mg metformin ovulation lisinopril 10 mg pink cialis order form nolvadex 20mg ip zoloft generic teva 200mg viagra india diflucan 200 mg price clomid 50mg endometriosis cialis 3000mg amoxil 500mg wiki generic priligy 60 mg augmentin 625 mg prot generic valtrex prices viagra order generic ucuz cialis 20mg generic levitra.de bactrim mg acne kamagra online schweiz cialis 10 mg tab bayer 100 mg levitra prednisone mg doses synthroid generic available hmgr metformin zoloft buy pypal synthroid generic dosage hydrochlorothiazide cost 25mg propecia .05 mg cialis tab 5 mg online viagra kauf prednisone 20mg arrow 20 mg propranolol doxycycline 100mg medicine viagra buy 100 celebrex 81 mg aspirin cialis 20 mg upotreba lexapro generic expensive generic viagra available safe clomid online hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg cadista buy bactrim suspension viagra generic definition generic strattera reviews purchase propecia online augmentin 625 mg tabletta synthroid 25mg zoloft 100 mg forum generic sublingual cialis zithromax 600mg order viagra boots cheap cialis delivery posologie zovirax 800mg levitra 5mg generic generic nexium medication clomid generic name 0112mg synthroid clomid 50mg 100mg cialis generico italia cialis generic now cialis 2.5 buy online prednisone dosage 50 mg cialis 20 mg 36 hours comprar levitra online prednisone 20mg 5 days celebrex 400 mg cap taking 1500 mg metformin kamagra gel cheap wirkung viagra 100 mg cheap viagra melbourne levitra 20mg france buying viagra onoline cialis generico aurochem viagra online predaj you buy viagra order cialis daily cialis 5mg dosierung cheap 150mg viagra kamagra 50mg apteka propranolol 40 mg comprimido buy nolvadex real propecia online singapore zithromax 300 mg tablet nexium 40 mg ndc celebrex 200 mg uses mgr. frantisek cipro generic valtrex m122 tesco viagra buy levitra generic brand generic herbal viagra effetti viagra 100mg order viagra cod synthroid 2 mg lexapro online cheap viagra 100 mg. upotreba lasix 500 mg romania generic drugs levitra bijwerkingen kamagra 100mg dapoxetine buy india chinska viagra 800mg augmentin 400 mg chewables lexapro generic effects viagra 25 mg preis amoxil 500 mg espanol issues generic lexapro lexapro 30 mg withdrawal farmacias online levitra free valtrex online viagra 100mg comprar strattera 18 mg dosage cialis 10 mg coupons doxycycline capsules 150mg levitra 20mg pakistan generic prednisone names buy clomid forum blue generic viagra mylan lisinopril 2.5 mg legal cheap viagra cheapest online propecia nexium 80 mg dia viagra online delivery online levitra order bodybuilding buy clomid doxycycline 50mg capsule il cialis 5 mg buying viagra net 125mg of viagra teva generic wellbutrin levitra 10 mg canada viagra online australia. xenical de 120 mg find cheap cialis levitra uk buy nexium 10 mg copii doxycycline 100mg suspension propecia 5 mg lisinopril genericon 20 mg prix cialis 20 mg lexapro 10mg tablets phenergan generic pill order lisinopril online 40 prospecto cialis 10 mg lexapro breathing disorders buy cialis pakistan cialis tolerance 2.5 mg 500mg valtrex daily cialis price 5 mg lasix 500 mg generic levitra generico chile buy professional viagra remedio lasix 40mg online viagra vipps metformin ratiopharm 850mg buy levitra strips nolvadex d generico clomid 30mg beipackzettel levitra 10mg 20 mg prednisone pregnancy clomid hoeveel mg clomid 50mg infertility prednisone online ordering clomid buy canada difference generic cialis online viagra dangers cheapest generic zoloft buy cytotec kuwait buy 10 lasix pills generic viagra zenegra buy wholesale cialis taking 2 20 mg cialis 200 mg erythromycin phosphate xenical tabl 120mg 20 mg nolvadex pct doxycycline 500mg prices cialis online norge levitra 5 mg forum valtrex generic cheap cialis fc 10 mg cialis 0.25mg lasix 25 mg fiale buy viagra 200mg doxycycline 100mg capsules cialis 20mg espanol generic doxycycline tablets buy viagra topix order doxycycline paypal online zithromax bestellen cialis 10mg canad cialis online consult taking 10 mg cialis 33 viagra order online generic viagra ok levitra 20 mg sample cialis 10 mg cupon buy viagra nhs buy levitra europe coupon cialis 5 mg buy lasix liquid 100 cialis 5mg cialis mg 5 prezzo diflucan 200 mg tablets buy amoxil medication generic viagra bestseller prijs xenical 120 mg lexapro generic prices cheapest strattera valtrex generic brand doxycycline 100mg rosacea take 200 mg viagra buy cipro zithromax propecia 0.5mg zithromax 1250 mg gonorrhea cheap xenical tablets nolvadex 10 mg fiyati generic wellbutrin 150 mg usa viagra 3000 mg pemakaian cialis 10mg cheap clomid 100mg lisinopril tab 2.5.mg buying cialis lilly celebrex 200mg preco viagra generico postepay cialis 2mg price levitra 20 mg coupon online viagra gel generic for nexium zovirax 800 mg price levitra 10 mg posologie cialis 100 mg sahte cheapest price valtrex doxycycline buying buy viagra 100 online strattera generic us 50 mg viagra cheap buy propecia thailand cheap eneric cialis lisinopril 25 mg tablet metformin generic price glucophage 50 mg 50 mg strattera viagra cheap drugs headache cialis 20 mg thuoc augmentin 625mg strattera 80 mg adderall dominican generic viagra lexapro new generic diflucan 150 mg walmart buy viagra aurochem 20mg lexapro ocd clomid 100mg eisprong celebrex 200 mg recreational buy amoxil cheap generico viagra 100mg 40mg cheap cialis generic chewable cialis buy metformin 500mg pattaya buy cialis lisinopril generic brands zovirax order online viagra 50mg buy prednisone 20 mgdosage is 10 mg prednisone lisinopril 20 mg ingredients cialis 5 mg sale lisinopril 40 mg price online levitra tablet nolvadex 40mg ed dangerous generic viagra paypal order cialis 10 mg viagra work buy nolvadex generic hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg online is cialis generic order viagra 25mg discount levitra 10mg buying celebrex mexico strattera kopen online nexium de 40 mg cialis 5 mg infarmed generico viagra nombre viagra bh mg 75 mg of cialis augmentin tab 875 mg searchcheape viagra lisinopril 20 mg images viagra generico guatemala levitra 10 mg tablets erythromycin 1000 mg clomid 25mg pregnant zithromax trockensaft 600 mg tomar levitra 20 mg wholesale viagra online viagra online uae prednisone 7mg viagra 25 mg works 80 mg strattera adults cipro 30 mg generic name amoxil glucophage online buy generic wellbutrin appearance Online Levitra pills temoignage cialis 20mg cheap diflucan cialis giornaliero 5 mg order cialis c20 cialis 500mg anwendung cialis 20mg buy viagra kopen cialis 10mg review generic viagra 130 mg propecia cost 5 mg cialis 2.5mg viagra gold 800mg viagra buy aberdeen cialis 10 mg pret buy strattera cheap propecia cheap online generic wellbutrin 100 order nolva viagra viagra 25 mg preciomexico nolvadex pct online erythromycin 5oomg buy nolvadex gaspari nexium order online 600 mg diflucan cheap cialis from viagra 25 mg experience order viagra 25 mg xenical reviews 120mg cheap overseas viagra cialis deals online xenical orlistate 200mg xenical buy xenical price levitra 5mg wellbutrin sr 150 mg cialis 20 mg tabletten generic wellbutrin problems remedio nexium 40 mg celebrex 200mg purchase cheap drugs levitra generic lisinopril symptoms viagra online denmark cialis 5 mg o 10 generic levitra there cialis 20mgviagra doxycycline 100 mg canine cheap generic clomid levitra 20 mg 8 tablet buy strattera 100 mg cheapest generic celebrex cialis 2.5mg prices 40 mgs prednisone viagra pills cheap lexapro price generic generic viagra for 2012 generic wellbutrin constipation wiki cialis generic buy prednisone 10 mg doxycycline 100mg horses buy viagra ireland cialis generic nz kamagra 50 mg gel lexapro overmax 20 mg xenical uk cheapest bactrim 480 mg cialis 5 mg dauertherapie augmentin sale online diflucan 150 mg instructions viagra 800mg uk 50mg viagra reviews antidepresivo lexapro 10 mg
"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me" John 14:1
Home arrow The Church arrow Honoring Pastors arrow HOW TO APPROACH YOUR PASTOR ON A DIFFICULT SUBJECT
HOW TO APPROACH YOUR PASTOR ON A DIFFICULT SUBJECT Print E-mail
Written by Kevin L. Howard   

 

An Interview With James Rozmus

Click here for explanation of larger project, "In Honor of Pastors: How to Love and Respect Them"

Also see:

Review of Clouds of Witnesses by M. Noll and C. Nystrom

Academic Wordiness: Humility Meets Clarity

 

[I first met James Rozmus several years ago.  He is a retired American Baptist pastor.  When I initially considered doing this project, I knew I wanted to tap into James' decades of pastoral experience.  We decided the best way to do that was through an oral interview.  I have edited our interview slightly to make it as concise as possible and to make it more appropriate for the eye rather than the ear, since any conversation will sound better than it will look on paper.  I have tried, however, to retain the actual words we used, and have kept the original intent when editing.] 

 

(1). HOWARD: Jim, you were a pastor for more than 30 years, right? 

 

ROZMUS: That's correct.

 

(2). HOWARD: Give me an example of a church member who approached you appropriately on a difficult subject.

 

ROZMUS: I remember a lady who came to see me about the spiritual condition of our church.  She wanted to see something done that would enhance the spirituality of the people.  That ended up being a good interchange.  In fact, while she didn't have any suggestions of what to do, I told her I would pray about it and look forward to coming up with something.  It resulted in a Wednesday night series of meetings on the book Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. 

 

(3). HOWARD: Was this a difficult subject because she felt you were to blame that the church wasn't more spiritual?

 

ROZMUS: The implication was that I wasn't being the spiritual leader I should have been. And, she knew better than I did what the people needed.  If I'd chosen to take it poorly, we would have had some difficulties.  But, I chose to take it as an opportunity to use her insight to do something constructive.  I'd been thinking about using the Experiencing God material anyway.  I took our conversation as the right timing--someone was already thirsty for a deeper walk with the Lord.  That was a perfect springboard for me to go into action.  In fact, the study was successful and required three groups meeting on the same night to accommodate the numbers.

 

(4). HOWARD: Is it a good idea for members to approach their pastors with several solutions in mind?

 

ROZMUS: It's a good idea, but unfortunately few people will do that.  When I was a chaplain in the Army Reserves, the recommendation was that when you come with a problem, come with three solutions.  And I think it's an excellent idea, but a little idealistic to expect church members to do that.

 

(5). HOWARD: How can members approach their pastor with respect, while at the same time raising a difficult issue?

 

ROZMUS: One of the first things a person should be aware of is that the pastor is a person with feelings too.  And, he can be defensive and taken off guard.  The first thing to do is to pick your time well for both you and the pastor.  If you're the person coming to talk with the pastor, you want that encounter to be relaxed, free of tension, and to have the appropriate time to discuss the matter.

 

(6). HOWARD: So, three days before Easter is probably not the time to suggest your pastor change the overall focus of the church?

 

ROZMUS: That's correct.  Nor should it happen when the pastor is shaking hands with people coming out the door on Sunday morning after church.

 

(7). HOWARD: How important is it to respect pastoral authority and to treat pastors honorably?

 

ROZMUS: It's imperative that people treat pastors with respect--the authority of their position, the authority of their knowledge of Scripture, the authority that comes from the pastor investing his life in serving the Lord and the church.  A pastor doesn't take his job lightly, but thinks constantly how he can be a blessing to God and to the people.

 

(8). HOWARD: I've had people storm into my office and I knew it was war from the beginning because of their body language.  How important is it, when confronting a pastor, to make sure a member's body language and tone are appropriate? 

 

ROZMUS: Let's put it this way, communication is about 85 percent nonverbal and 15 percent verbal.  So body language, gesture, and facial expression communicate more than the words.  I remember a woman, let's call her Barbara, who came into my office years ago and said, "I'M NOT MAD!"  "I'M NOT MAD!"  She didn't know how she was coming across.  So, it was my job to feedback to her what she was saying to me nonverbally.  Now fortunately, it wasn't me that she was "not mad at," but someone else.  On the other hand, in years past, a man we'll call Bob, came determined to beat me into submission to his position of authority on the pastoral relations committee, a committee established by the church to foster good relationships.  But he was using that position to be my boss.  His body language and demeanor instantly put us at odds with one another.

 

(9). HOWARD: How can people show respect with their tone and body language?  Suppose the senior pastor had deeply offended someone, how can the member deal with his emotions appropriately so his body language and tone don't defeat his purpose of being there to find resolution?

 

ROZMUS: The first thing to do is to recognize what the truth is.  When someone is upset, he needs to recognize that and bring it in the open to begin with.  For example, I once went to a lady about my desire for her to leave the church, and that same day went to another lady who had been challenging my authority and creating difficulty.  As I talked with this second person after having experienced the awful pain of confronting the other lady beforehand, I said to this second woman in the presence of her husband, "I've just come from asking someone to leave the church and I'm hurting inside, which may affect everything I'm saying to you."  So acknowledge your emotions when approaching your pastor.  If you're not upset when you come to see the pastor, that's fine.  If you are, then say so and speak softly.  Say something like, "I want to work on our relationship even though I'm really upset right now."  I remember a guy, who we'll call Steve, who came to see me 25 years ago.  He was upset about something but wouldn't tell me what it was.  He was soft in tone, but he beat all around the subject.  When we finally got to the issue, he was upset because I'd allowed the youth of the church to bring drums and tambourines into the Sunday evening service.  He said it grated on his ears.  I told him it grated on mine too. And I didn't like it either, but allowed it because the youth of the church matter to us.  Then I asked him, "Steve, are you mad at me?"  He said, "No, you're my pastor."  I said, "That's not what I asked you.  Are you mad at me?"  He fumbled around a little and eventually said, "Yes, I'm mad at you."  I said, "OK, now let's talk about it."  So we talked about it and reconciled our differences on the subject.  He felt he was heard and understood.  His position wasn't too far from mine.

 

(10). HOWARD: I suppose one thing people might do if they feel they're so red hot about an issue, is to take someone else into that meeting with them to help hold them accountable so it doesn't just become a screaming match.  If a wife takes her husband or someone takes a friend, not to gang up on the pastor, but to have that other person there as a witness to prevent the member from ripping the pastor to shreds.  Do you think that's a good idea?

 

ROZMUS: It's an excellent idea and follows the Matthew 18 principle.  The thing you want to be careful about when taking someone else in to confront the pastor, don't surprise the pastor with the second person.  Because when we come to the Matthew 18 principle, having a second person there to confront another is not the first step listed.  According to that passage, first you go by yourself to talk with the offending or sinning person.  If you can't reconcile, you bring another witness.  If that doesn't work, the third step is to let the whole church in on the subject, and if the church speaks against the sinning person, then the person will be dismissed from the church.  So there's always some implied threat in bringing that second person.  But if a member talks to the pastor in advance and says, "I'd like to bring somebody with me so that he or she can moderate the conversation and hold me accountable," then that's an entirely different subject matter, and that's wise to do.

 

(11). HOWARD: What does it do to a pastor when a member questions his leadership inappropriately?

 

ROZMUS: It immediately puts us on the defensive.  Again, this gentleman named Bob on the pastoral relations committee made a statement to me like, "I don't consider a pastor any different than anybody else."  What he was saying was, "You have no spiritual authority beyond anybody else.  I do not hold your position or you in any kind of respect."  By saying this, he instantly declared himself to be my opponent, and we never got over that in the three and a half years I pastored that church.  He was always my opponent.  I knew it; he knew it; other people knew it.  It ended up dividing the church even further than it was already. 

 

(12). HOWARD: There's an inappropriate way (manner in which confrontation is done) to question a pastor's authority and then there's the way to question a pastor's authority too much--like someone who always needs to have sit-downs with the pastor.  Can you think of an example of someone in the past 30 years, who questioned you too much?  Perhaps you felt like you had to spend too much time dealing with his personal issues that he was making your issues.  Has that ever happened?

 

ROZMUS: No, not in that way.  I've had people who served on boards and committees who wanted to dialogue with me a lot and wanted to talk over coffee.  But I considered that positive and constructive.  I've never had anyone do that on a negative basis.

 

(13). HOWARD: I don't think it has happened to me either, but I know of one pastor who's had to sit down with a member or two on a regular basis.  These ladies were constantly upset and always had something they needed to clarify.  I suppose that's better than gossiping behind the pastor's back, but at some point, approaching the pastor to talk over an offense can become a control issue itself--always having to sit down with a pastor can be a way of putting the pastor in his place.  I suppose someone could use confrontation as a manipulative tool rather than a source of reconciliation.  It's fine that you hadn't experienced that. 

 

How did troublesome members affect the church when they continued questioning your authority or questioned it inappropriately?  How did it affect your ministry with the church, and how did that person's continual questioning you, or questioning you inappropriately, help or hurt the church?

 

ROZMUS: Basically, it hurts a church's unity and puts the pastor squarely in the position of having to assert his authority, which can sometimes negatively affect the church.  When a pastor brings up the subject matter of a disgruntled person's actions, other members might interpret the pastor's remarks as a personal attack.  The disgruntled person has his loyal fans as well.  Chances are the disgruntled person isn't acting alone, and his behavior can provoke the pastor to suspect other members.  For me personally, it made me a little suspicious of what the disgruntled person's objectives were and who he was influencing.  And anytime you get a pastor feeling anxious, it blocks some of his creativity and spontaneity that he needs when he's dealing with people and proclaiming God's Word.  Anytime you're on the defensive, it blocks some of your own internal confidence.  So my confidence was shaken too.

 

(14). HOWARD: Sometimes members don't realize the consequences from confronting the pastor inappropriately, especially if it's on a continual basis.  But even one time is too much if done inappropriately.  An inappropriate confrontation can wreak substantial damage upon a pastor, his family, and the church.

 

ROZMUS: It can have awful consequences.  In terms of this man Bob, when he challenged my authority and my leadership right from the very beginning, I remember responding to him, "Listen Bob, the church constitution says it takes 2/3 of the people to vote me out of here and only 1/3 of the people to keep me here.  In terms of the process of firing a pastor, that's a strong position for me to be in."  As I look back on that conversation, I probably shouldn't have said that because there was a campaign to try to get the constitution changed while I was still pastoring that church. 

 

(15). HOWARD: Sometimes members don't realize that when they inappropriately bring their controversy to a pastor, they're dealing with his career and his family.  Members don't often realize that for them as members, their confrontation is extra curricular activity, but for the pastor, it's his livelihood.  Pastors take this kind of stress home with them at night and these issues could affect their family, career, and health.  It's not like a pastor can just turn it off at the end of the day.  I don't know many pastors who are good at turning the church problems off at the end of the day and leaving the controversy at the office.

 

ROZMUS: I don't know of any pastors either who can do that.  Certainly I couldn't do it.  It resulted in many sleepless nights, waking up the next morning feeling exhausted, not being at my best.  And I felt a constant sense of dread or anxiety that the church would be upset to the point where it would be impossible for me to continue ministering there.

 

(16). HOWARD: That's a strong word of encouragement for people to love their pastors even when members disagree with their leaders.  Church members need to understand that their pastors are human too, and members need to respect their pastors like they would treat someone else in authority.  Even though our culture has difficulty respecting authority, Christians should approach their pastor as an authority figure in a way the member would want to be approached on a difficult subject. 

 

ROZMUS: That's precisely it.  I liken it to a marriage--love your wives, husbands, because if you do, you're going to get the love back.  But if you give out anger and resentment, you're going to get that back as well.  I remember talking to a dear lady who was one of my best friends when I pastored in Arizona.  She was after the hide of the pastor who followed me.  So I said to her, "The best thing you can do for yourself is to love your pastor.  You'll have the most influence on him; you'll bless the church, and you will reap the benefits of that."  Unfortunately, she didn't take my advice and created a lot of hardship for the pastor.  He ended up eventually leaving the church and that church took years to get over that hardship, if it ever did. 

 

(17). HOWARD: What you said reminds me of the last part of Hebrews 13:17, which says regarding church leaders, "...obey them so that their work will be a joy not a burden for that [burden you would create] would be of no advantage to you."  So it really doesn't help you or the church, if you're a discontented member, to attack the pastor to his face or to attack him behind his back.  It ultimately ends up defeating you, if you really love that church.  And if you're really a member of God's family, it's going to hurt you and that local body of believers.  So if a person cares about the church family, he must do what's best for his pastor in the situation too, like you were saying, Jim.

 

ROZMUS: Amen!  I couldn't have said it better myself.

 

Click here for the chapter, "Learning How to Follow Your Leader"

 
< Prev   Next >
 

 

Home    Site Map    About NNF    Search    Contact Us    Statement of Faith

 

Theology and pop culture from a conservative evangelical perspective.

 
Joomla Template design by RocketTheme