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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: Unexpected Fall
By Amber Newsome


A year ago, one of the most respected people I know stood in front of the congregation at my church; my pastor. Instead of starting his sermon he told us that he had a confession to make. Everyone stopped their last minute conversations and the room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I found myself leaning forward with everyone else to hear what he had to say.
“I told you that I would always be praying for each and every one of you.” He paused, took a sip of water and continued. “In the last year and a half, I haven’t been praying for you.” Then he launched into this long explanation; excuses are more like it.

I was frozen in shock. I didn’t know what to do, or what do say. I had sat in this same spot, in the same pew since the time I first started attending the church and I was supposed to believe that for the last two years, the man I respected as the leader of our flock and a guider of the lost to the light hadn’t cared enough about us to even utter a prayer? He could’ve have prayed something as simple as “God, I have a lot going on right now, but I just want you to watch over the congregation and help them in their own walks with you.”

I leaned over to my friend and whispered “He’s joking right?”

“He has to be,” she whispered back.

In the pit of my stomach I knew we were trying to convince ourselves that he was lying. I got out of my seat and walked out the doors of the sanctuary and made my way to the ladies room.

I stared at my reflection in the mirror. So many thoughts running rampant in my mind; what does this mean? Will he ever start praying again for us? Do I need to find myself a new church? Do I even want to be connected with a church where the pastor doesn’t pray for them? Yes, I know that he’s human like the rest of us, but he has an air of “authority” too, how can I continue to listen to him preach without judging him?

I went home that day and relayed what had happened to my family. There was a big discussion. Most of the questions I had remained unanswered and though I said nothing to my family, I knew that staying at that church would hinder my walk with God.

I stuck it out for the rest of the year
and then I switched to a church where my walk with God wasn’t hindered; where the pastor loves his congregation and where there are more people my age.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/08/06
Very interesting!

This would make a fascinating story--one that examines this pastor's life, and what brings him to his prayer-less time.
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/10/06
I kept expecting this to end with it indeed being a joke--the pastor using it as an example of the excuses we so often give instead of spending time with God. So sad to have it be true.