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How should I respond to my pastor? He has removed me from being his armour bearer because of some things I said.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry for the difficulty you have found yourself in. I am assuming that when you speak of being your pastor’s ‘armour bearer’ that you are speaking of working closely alongside him, and assisting him in the work of ministry. It seems from your question that he no longer wants you to fulfil this role because of something you have said to him. Now, if this is the correct scenario, there are basically two ways in which you may want to approach the situation:
Firstly, we could approach the situation in the light of the fact that your pastor may have made the correct decision in asking you to step aside from your position of responsibility. It seems from your question that your instinct is that your pastor has not dealt fairly with you, otherwise why would you be writing this question at all, but I want to warn you to be very careful of this kind of attitude.
The very principle of leadership, not just in the Bible, but in the whole of life is that leaders ought to be more experienced, mature and generally wiser than those who they are leading. Therefore the Bible tells us to honour those who lead us (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13), and even to obey and submit to them when they make decisions (Hebrews 13:17). In light of this it should be our default position to assume that whatever decisions our leaders make are the correct ones, and are made for our good, even if we don’t understand. This may be hard for you to take, but may well be the course of action you need to take - to submit willingly to your pastor’s leadership and trust him that he is doing the very best for you.
This will mean simply being faithful with the responsibilities that you do still carry in your church, and not allowing yourself to grow bitter even if you feel wrongly treated. Unforgiveness is a very dangerous thing for us as Christians, and it can bring us very quickly into bondage, and so you must chose to forgive any wrong you feel has been done to you, acknowledging that very often we don’t see things clearly, and our perceived sense of injustice may not even be correct.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive (Colossians 3:12-13)
So the example we follow for our forgiveness is the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, who died the death that we deserved, so that we could be forgiven of every sin. It wasn’t that we deserved forgiveness in any way, but that Jesus offers it to us freely because of the sacrifice He made on our behalf.
I pray that God would give you much grace to let go of any wrong treatment you feel you have received, just as God has forgiven you of every sin you have ever committed.
We must then consider the second possibility, where your pastor has not treated you correctly, and you are right to doubt the decision he has made. I must once again warn you that this is not a position you should take unless you are absolutely sure.
Where we are told to honour and submit to our leaders, we are not told to do this because they are infallible, but rather we should be aware that they, like all of us, are prone to making mistakes of judgement, and not treating their people as they ought to. If you are certain that this is the case, then I would not really encourage a much different course of action to what we have already seen above. I would be very careful accusing your pastor of wrong, but there would be place for an appeal to him over what has happened - if done in the right spirit, it could cause him to see the error in what he has done.
The Bible tells us to treat our elders as we would our fathers, and so think of how you would approach your own father in a situation like this, and the respect you would give to him even if you thought he was wrong.
Whether or not your appeal to your pastor is successful, the Bible makes it very clear that you are not to take judgement into your own hands in any way or try to ‘get back’ at your pastor for what he has done. Rather you should do just as we have said above - seek to win back your pastor's trust by simply being faithful in the new-found position you find yourself in. Make sure that unforgiveness doesn’t become a real problem for you, and trust ultimately that God is in control of all that has happened, and is more than able to turn it around for your good (Romans 8:28).
In all that we have said above, your primary responsibility is your own conduct - seeking to act in a way that is Godly no matter what the situation you find yourself in. I would urge you that one of the most important things you can do is to pray for your pastor. Those in leadership over us do not need for us to be constantly trying to pull them down, criticise them, and fault-find in all they do, but we must realise that they, just like us, are in need of constant grace to carry the position God has called them to, and our prayers can be a valuable part of them receiving that grace.
As I have already said, I hope this short answer will be of real help to you in your desire to honour God in your situation. In closing, let me encourage you to take your questions to other leaders of your local church, who will maybe understand the situation better than I can. It is really important to have people alongside you who will walk this with you, as we can so easily be drawn into dangerous places if we remain just with our own thoughts.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Matthew 18:21-35
- Hebrews 13:7
- Philippians 2:1-11
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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