Each week pastors experience exhilarating opportunities and make agonizing decisions. Often the moments of decision erupt unexpectedly. There is no time to prepare. That was the case for Pastor Charlotte Robinson last fall at her church in Almond Springs, California.
Robinson was interrupted in her office by Ansel Richards, an elder in the congregation. “We’re gonna have to leave the church,” he barked as he banged through the door. “I don’t see any other option after being stabbed in the back.” He had once again started in mid-conversation and the pastor was trying to catch up.
“Hold on,” Robinson said, “What’s going on?”
“They’ve sold our future,” Richards stammered. “Why didn’t you tell me, Pastor? You had to know that I’d find out eventually.”
Scott Cormode is the Hugh De Pree Professor of Leadership Development at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasedena, California. He previously taught at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California.