We continue to look today at Pastors who had the right heart but not the foresight to see consequences. As we have said, best intentions are not always the best motivator to be summoned for desired results.
The first that comes to mind is from a smaller congregation with some ambitious seminary students and a Pastor that desired to raise the interest and intensity level of his congregation while enabling the member seminary students, all in their 20`s and excited and willing to learn, to experience church life at its fullest and move to greater ministry heights.
This Pastor felt that his congregation had plateaued and had no exuberance for the work and found them stuck dead center between complacency and apathy. So he decided to use the old “shock treatment“ to get his point across and maybe turn their attention to the important things that a church should be doing. So the plan was laid between himself and one of the “seasoned seminarians“ (this is not how to gain experience in ministry) to fake a heart attack during the morning worship service. Well, the service was progressing as usual when all of a sudden the student fell into the center isle with what was observed as an apparent heart attack. I must say that it was a theatrical jewel, a performance any thespian admirer would envy. Of course being the great people that these folks were they all sprang into action. This was the understandable and natural thing to do. What would you do – Call 911, administer CPR, start prayer meetings and encourage the family, scream, have a heart attack yourself, etc? Yes, all the above along with deep worry and consternation which immediately turned to indignation, anger, frustration and vengeance when the truth abruptly came out. It’s not nice to fool your congregation. This spurred them into action alright, but not with the intended result. The attitude now shifted from complacency and apathy to “How can we get this man out of this church. “ And, sadly it was only a year or so of fighting that battle and the Pastor had had enough. I believe it was with mutual gladness of both parties that he moved on.
Our lesson learned from this is that the right reason for doing something can be overshadowed by a devastating wrong action. Sometimes we should back off and examine the repercussions and consequences. I know none of us has a crystal ball, but a smattering of common sense will go a long way toward success. But, there again, common sense isn’t very common, is it?