Hate.

I confessed.

My Facebook status read “Dear ‘Church’: I hate you.”

I was done.

I worked at a church as a youth minister for nearly three years without any guidance from pastors or committees. With little to no parent volunteers. With very little support, prayer, accountability, or encouragement. But the group was growing in knowledge of the Word, in community, and in size.

Then, they fired me.

Three months before my wedding they fired me. Hard to tell the reason. Maybe because I wore blue jeans. Or maybe because someone said I wasn’t teaching the bible at all. Thanks for visiting the first twenty minutes of a three hour youth group time, fella.

Then, about a year later, a church was super interested in hiring me. During the interviewing process I was the guest speaker three times. I was starting to love those guys. I was being called in to have “mentor meetings” with the Senior pastor once a week. There were a lot of “WHEN you start working here” and “When they hire you“s being thrown around.

The pastor wanted to really take care of me and my family, so he regularly told me about the salary the church would be offering me. It was more than eight times what I was making at the time.

This went on for nearly four months. I was stuck chasing a carrot that was dangled in my face and continually out of reach. “When you start,” “When you are finally put in charge,” “You ARE our youth pastor,” “We will pay you a little over (insert large amount of money) a year,” “Oh, we know they are going to hire you.

After I begged the pastor to let me know a time frame, I was told they wouldn’t be hiring me.

After four months. I was basically already the youth pastor.

I still hate that. Don’t you?

But:

Before all of that, I prayed to be made poor if God had something to teach me in my own poverty. There is no way I would volunteer to do that on my own, especially not when I was about to be married.

Before all of that, I prayed that he would put me in the right places where I could grow and be a part of his story.

Before all of that, I prayed that God would rescue me from people and places that would crush my passion for him.

Prophesy of Patience

Before all of that, two friends who did not know each other approached me separately to say God had told them I would be going through a long period of patience; A time during which God would work on me and mold me.

I hate the abuse.

I prayed to be rescued and made poor.

God delivers where we are faithful.

So… “church,” I guess I don’t hate you. You may have meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. If you came to me for surplus grain I may mess with you a little. You know, put a silver cup in your bag and have you arrested for it. But then I would take care of you with all my energy. Something bigger than me causes me to love you.

*Note added: I mean this to be glorifying to God. He totally answered my prayers. And even before that, he worked on my heart in such a way that I could understand the need to pray to become poor. I left it to God.

I can only expect perfection from God, from Jesus. We are broken people in a broken world.

I used to hate it. Now I see the Glory in it.

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16 comments

  1. Pingback: Top Seven of 2011 | CHADWICKFLOYD

  2. Yo, Chad. I miss you man. I wish you were still our Youth pastor. Hope things are goin good with ya man. Alright well deuces.

  3. Hey dear brother! God is God of seasons! My offer is still good. Things are starting to break loss after 19yrs. (Ezekiel 12:22-28) We love you, and will continue to pray!
    One in Him,
    Stan

  4. Dearest Chad,

    First of all, and completely unrelated to this post, you are hilarious and I miss you. :-)

    That being said, I would like to move on to my second point. There was a crucial element to the word I gave you that I think you have forgotten. I said to you something along the lines of, “Chad you have a heart of gold, and the Lord is going to put you through a season of patient endurance that he may purify it and bring out the impurities.” Now, the thing about refining gold is that it is not fully purified until the refiner can see his/her continence being mirrored back in a pure reflection.

    So, congratulations! You have made it through a season of heat and fire. However, there are still a few impurities not far from the surface that must be removed. It is imperative for these things to be exposed that they may be dealt with before you can step into your main assignment. This season is poverty of spirit. Enjoy it.

    No, really. Enjoy it. Few ask for it, and few endure it with joy. So take heart, and have joy in it.

    “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:11-12, ESV).

    May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit be with you.

  5. Hey Buddy,
    I know how frustrating all that has been and I just want to encourage you to see the forest for the trees. Those “churches” that let you down weren’t separate entities to be held to a standard; they were just people.
    Some “people” didnt give you due credit where credit was deserved. Some “people” led you on to feel you were going have something you never received. Just because they work in a building that has a cross on the top doesnt mean they are any less than human. The “church” cannot fulfill the ideal set by Christ, only Christ can. Imposing the standard set by Christ as our expectations for the “church” isnt any different from me imposing that expecation on you.
    It seems the long story short, is that some “people” let you down. And unfortunately, as long as we are alive that will likely happen.
    But what is important is your behavior. Were you obedient? Did you give it your best? Did you honor God with your work? Did you respect those with authority over you? etc. This may sound over simplistic, but the only thing you can do, is what you can do. Do your best, and turn the rest over to God. In that, He can be glorified either way. If you give it your all and get a promotion, glory be to God. If you give it your all and get fired, that job wasnt for you, glory be to God.
    I hope that makes sense.

    • Yeah Wes.

      Thanks for the encouragement.

      I actually meant for that to be glorifying to God. He totally answered my prayers. And even before that, he worked on my heart in such a way that I could understand the need to pray to become poor. I left it to God.

      You’re right. I can only expect perfection from God, from Jesus.

      I used to hate it. Now I see the Glory in it.

  6. I feel you. I’ve said that statement many times. something God has been teaching me even as recent as last week is my existence in the Church is to build the Church & not tear it down. as much as I often want to point out flaws I’ve seen in my experiences with other churches, what I really need to do is BE the solution for the sake of the “C”hurch and prove there is still hope in the grace of God.

    my dad used to always tell me not to talk about how good at something I thought I was. if I did it & did it well, it would be all the proof anyone would ever need. so glad you and Jenny are helping us prove there is no greater reward than loving God & then loving others.

  7. Chad,
    As a brother and a friend, I would like to fight for the validity of your opinion for a moment. I believe you do not hate the Church. I believe you love the Church, meaning the Bride of Christ and the vehicle for His communal representation in this world. I believe you love her because Christ loves her. And that’s why you hate something that calls itself Church while falling woefully short of the call. I think your anger in these situations is righteous and justified. But always remember, its Satan we hate for those things. It cannot simply be broken people, for you and I are also broken. I’m excited to see you now connected to a place that seems to be living in the name by which they are called. Don’t be afraid to trust and love those people with your whole heart. Love you brother


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