The Source for Youth Ministry

Jonathan: What's Sin #2 there, Mr. Smith?

David: ...The second sin in making a transition in ministry is to compromise your ethics in a hard or difficult time. You know, like it gets down to a "he said, she said," there's knock-down drag outs, there's division in the church, there's enmity, and just sin. And you know what? We are never ever ever given permission in the Bible to take the low road out of a situation. Jesus didn't say, "Always do what's right...unless those deacons really teamed up on you, or that board of elders was just asking for it."

Jonathan: "Then it's okay to make up lies about them."

David: The reason why I asked for clarity a moment ago when we were introducing ourselves is because the transition to The Source was one that was difficult for me, and you and I talked about that for months, about whether this was gonna be a good fit.

Jonathan: Sure.

David: But the most difficult one for me was just -as a person and a pastor- was the one to where we're at in Tampa, because my wife and I had just gotten married, we served the church together, and it was just a knucklehead pastor... and we have family and friends I mean people with deep relationships, and I know Todd you can talk about this, because in that church that you just left, there's people that care an awful lot about you and that you and your lovely wife care about and it's like, I wanna be able to go back there and visit that church... and so when Jennifer and I get a chance to go back and visit the people of this church and this community, we're actually welcome there and the people there don't know about any of the behind the scenes stuff. That was important to Jennifer and I that we take the high road out of that community as God transitioned us into a different community cause it was not easy. There was some anger, and some confusion.

Jonathan: Sometimes it just turns into mudslinging, too. It really does.

David: Yeah, and so Jennifer and I just decided we're not gonna do that. We would say, "Don't burn bridges," but it's more than that, cause Jesus isn't concerned about our networks as much as He is about our character and about our relationship with Him not being smeared.

Jonathan: And that's tough. This one's a tough sin.

David: Yeah.

Todd: When a transition is hard or difficult... like one that happened early on in my ministry career... I actually many, many years later received an email from the pastor that just said, "I was thinking about you on a Thanksgiving and wondered where you were." He had actually Googled me, saw that I was working for The Source, and at the church I was at, and he had listened to a couple of my messages, and sent me this really nice email that just encouraged me and didn't come right out and apologize but I guess in my own heart that's kinda how I took it. And I've been back at that church and had so many people just welcome me and hug me and a couple of those deacons came up to me and just straight up apologized to me. Those kind of things are good, compared to when you're going through the difficult and hard days and you have some friends that are even joking saying, "Hey, let's go get a couple gallons of gas and a couple books of matches, we'll take care of them."

Jonathan: Exactly.

Todd: Just again, to have that perspective that whether it happens or not, if you ever have the chance to walk back in the church you want to be able to walk in with your head high. That you never did anything to dishonor the name of Christ. And I just think that's so important, to try to take the high road as much as you can.


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