Practicing Privilege In The Local Church

My friend B. had been a pastor for years before he stepped into the leadership of a parachurch ministry. During his work week, he worked and prayed with dozens of pastors and church leaders interested in transforming their congregations and communities. But on Sundays, he and his wife were invisible members of their own home church.

“It’s not because I’m burned out from my work,” he explained. “If anything, the work has energized me. I’ve offered to serve the pastoral staff in whatever way they need, connect them with resources, or just listen and pray for them – my wife and I have always been used to being an active part of the life of any church we’ve attended. At this church, we attend a small group, and my wife prays with some other women a couple of times a month. That’s it. Frankly, I don’t think they don’t know what to do with us.”

I wondered aloud if maybe the staff felt threatened by his expertise, experience and influence, instead of welcoming the gifts the couple wanted to offer to their local body. After all, having a former pastor in the pews might carry an intimidation factor for some; kind of like having Tom Brady quarterbacking your Pop Warner football team. [Read more]

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