One reason was: the philosophy at the time. You left a church when you resigned or were fired and. you departed town. It is still the philosophy today. That is why I used the term "get out of town" because that is what you did. "Here is two weeks pay check if you get out of town" in other words. The pastor desires you to not only quit your position, but leave the church, and then depart town.
And I will say, they want you to quit your position rather than saying you were fired. Same story in the secular world. It looks better on your next résumé if you quit. Then they want you to write a letter to the fact that you resigned. The reason many pastors want you to leave the church and town is so you will not tell others what really happened.
We certainly believed there were no real reasons we should leave the church in the first place. . Just because the pastor said he didn’t want us to work in the church, why did we think we needed to leave the church and leave town. Certainly most people in the church did not want us to, and they didn’t understand why we were leaving. I wonder what reasons the pastor gave? "Oh, he resigned."
This was the way of thinking for a long time with us. I remember being on staff at Southall Baptist Church in Danville, Va. The pastor said, "Charles, I will give you two weeks pay, and you leave town." Why, I wondered, my mother lived in Danville. He had his son, to have me a nineteen year old to sign a paper saying his dad treated me well. What is wrong with preachers like that? It’s an experience that could have possibly put you out of the ministry.
When I was at Wooster, Ohio, and I felt forced to resign, I left the church and moved out of town. It seems we were always leaving town. Today I wouldn’t do that. As soon as I left town, the pastor of the church resigned. The Pastor wanted to leave the church and he wanted me to leave, too. And the people in the church had no clue. I am certainly glad that those in the church have remained our dear friends over the years. Richard and Elizabeth Clark, and their daughter Linda Shelton, who now is married to a great guy, Mike, and two great young adult children.. I could mention many more.
We departed Wooster, Ohio having no idea where we would go, or what we would be doing at the time, we just moved to Portsmouth, Ohio. We loved the church at Wooster and we loved the town, but because of the pastor we felt that we needed to leave. I guess being 24 years old you are not very smart in these matters..
Secondly, why you leave town. You want to find another ministry. I guess if the church across town would offer you a position on the staff you might stay. You so desire to serve the Lord in ministry that you seek another place of service.
There should be course in seminary: "WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET FIRED BY THE PASTOR" Unfortunately I didn’t have that knowledge, and my father had died thus I did not have someone to help me figure this out.
Of course some times you just want to get out of town. The experience was so bad, you just want to remove yourself from the church and town altogether. But generally Charity and I loved the churches we worked in to this point of ministry. Secondly, Charity was so hurt over this matter, that she did not want to be in the church or go back to the church and even go into the town.
As I have said, this is my experience, and not necessarily anyone elses. The Pastor always seems to say nice things about you when you leave. "Bro Charles and Charity are leaving us, they are going to another ministry," is frequently the comment they will make. Generally, to the surprise to the members. "Charles, why are you leaving us." And you would say, "Well it’s the Lord’s will." When you know it’s really not.
Pastors I have worked with, have been okay to Charity and me after we have left. Of course we don’t see them either, very often. Today I might not be so polite but be candid enough to say something about this matter.
In the secular world you don’t quit until you have secured another job. Also you have unemployment if you get fired. Did you know that does not happen when you work for a church? We never have received an unemployment pay after leaving a church So you are on your own. Churches are free not to pay into unemployment, even when they could. But they don’t. I am speaking of the churches I have worked in. .
And it’s been my experience that the Lord has always taken very good care of us in these experiences. Our pride and feelings are hurt, bruised, and crushed. But as our experiences have proved, "The Lord worked out all the details."
I had a way of saying "Their loss." And in most cases they did lose. The pastor would leave, the youth would leave, members would leave. Who loses here. The church. You would think if the pastor thought I was the trouble, the church would increase after I left, but that has never been the case.
But the Lord has always taken care of us. Amen. And has always taken care of the pastor as well.