The Pain of Public Ministry - Kris Vallotton

January 2, 2016

When people don’t trust someone, they make up stories about them in their minds. They judge everything they do through the lens of suspicion, and they even read bad motives into their good actions.

Dog Eat Dog World

I grew up in the business world. I started my first business at 23 years old, and I went on to own 9 businesses over 20 years. In the business world the rules of the game are “dog eat dog.” Every day the competition is literally trying put you out of business. It is overt, raw, and brutal. I learned quickly to live with my guard up all the time.

But I never imagined that being a pastor with a public ministry could be so painful. I understand what Jesus said about persecution, but I just never thought it would come from my brothers.

No Respect

I came into ministry with a childlike innocence. After 30 years of serving godless, virtueless people, void of the Spirit, I was excited to serve the Body of Christ. But it wasn’t long before I came to realize that Christians often have less respect for their leaders than employees have for their bosses.

I was unprepared for how nasty “Christians” can be simply because they disagreed with another believer.

As a family we have spent our lives loving people, reaching out to the poor, and helping the broken. In our first 22 years of marriage there was rarely a month when some poor person wasn’t living with us. We lived sacrificially: giving when it hurt, and helping when we were exhausted.

As God promoted us we carried these same values into our public ministry. It never occurred to me that Believers would ever question our relationship with Jesus!

The freedom Christians feel to call someone a false prophet or judge a person’s motives as evil, inspired by the devil, is beyond troubling!

The things Christians write about my leader, who is one of the most gracious and godly men I have ever known, are not only lies but destructive and hurtful.  Bill has been my pastor and friend for 36 years. In fact, not only do my sons and daughters respect Bill, everyone one of them has chosen to follow him on their own.

The Case Against Us

What’s the case against us? We believe God can do anything. In fact, it’s His nature to do miracles in and through His people. Wow, where do you see that in the Bible?

We believe God is better than you could ever imagine and He loves you more than you can fathom. Yikes…that certainly sounds like heresy!

We believe that the born again experience saves and transforms us into a new creation; with a new heart, mind, and a new nature…that the old man died in the baptismal tank. Oh no…come on let’s be realistic…people are all prone to evil! NOT!

We believe the kingdom of God includes righteousness, peace, and JOY! That grouchy is not spiritual and is not a fruit of the Spirit. Oh, please don’t forget suffering! We tend to believe that you don’t have to teach most believers to suffer, but learning to be Holy Spirit happy, well sometimes that takes a little instruction.

I will close with this controversial doctrine: we believe that Christians should follow Christ, not just memorize His teaching. For example, loving people by forgiving them, not holding offense against them, and being patient with them shouldn’t be just words on a page, but words that become flesh and dwell within us. There is more, but this is a good start. 

Topics: All TopicsLeadership