My Nightmare From Hell Ministry Experience
Growing up with a mom in ministry, and having been in ministry since high school myself, I got a chance to be around all kinds of churches: big, small, old, new, pentecostal, conservative, Baptist, Assemblies of God, United Methodist, non-denominational, etc. Several years ago my wife and I (with our baby/first born) packed up and moved 11 hours away, from the Silicon Valley down to San Diego, CA. I accepted a position of full-time youth pastor at an inner city church there.
It was a very interesting season of our lives where we learned so much about life, ministry, and false teachings. Yes, you read that right! False teachings! This inner city church congregation mainly consisted of low-income and poor families and individuals. Almost all of the teens I worked with came from broken homes. Some already had criminal records. Many of them had never even opened the Bible before.
While I really enjoyed working with and ministering to these teens, I began to see some huge red flags with the church and its leadership. I began to realize that the leadership took advantage of its people, especially their money. I saw more than once, the music minister get up and wave a $100 bill and tell the congregation that God was telling everyone to give $100 in the offering plate that day. Bare in mind $100 was A LOT of money for most of the congregation.
I remember one time we had a guest preacher. His whole message focused on God’s blessing being unleashed in your life. The climax of the message was to give a huge offering to him. He literally told the congregation to “lay your offering at the apostle’s feet” and release God’s blessing. Of course, the apostle he was referring to was himself!
I also had an associate pastor once get very offended because I put my Bible on the floor under my seat. He told me that I should never put the Bible on the floor because it is the Word of God.
Needless to say, due to various circumstances, we moved on from that church after a little less than a year. Although it was a nightmare from hell kind of ministry experience, I learned so much from that season. Most of which was “what not to do”. It was so sad to see the flock get taken advantage of, fed a false gospel, and confined to religious legalism.
God puts us in situations sometimes so that we can make an impact and be a light in a dark place even though it may make us uncomfortable. He also wants us to learn and take notes from the lessons that real life experience brings our way.
Have you had any nightmare ministry experiences? If so, what did you learn from it?
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