Along with all the other relationships a person loses in a "church divorce" the ones that are far and away the most painful are the ones a person shares with their Pastor.
If you have been a part of his life and that of his family for any amount of time, the loss of that relationship is deeply painful. Many people have watched the pastor's children grow up and been with him through the thick and thin of raising his family. Not only that, but those people have been an integral part of church life; seeing many phases of the growth of the church. As I said last time, the church becomes your family and can even take the place of your biological family in some cases.
Several have said to me throughout this series that it was not until there was trouble brewing between them did they realize that the love they had for their pastor and the "love" he had for them was very different. The one word that all of those who have contacted me over this blog series have used is, "conditional." They realized the pastor's love for them was conditional on their agreeing with him, performing for him and the church, serving in the church, and being a part of the group that does what is asked and agrees without hesitation or question.
Once they began to disagree with the leadership all the years of faithful service and friendship dissolved. They tell me they feel like outcasts, and are very shocked at how their pastor is reacting and responding to them all of a sudden. This adds to the devastation of the broken relationships.
What can you do? If you can relate to any of these past blogs, I would suggest you make a study of 1, 2 Peter. Drink in the words of the Apostle Peter as he relates his own struggles with unjust accusations, suffering for righteousness sake, unjust suffering, pain, misery and the triumph of going through it all with Christ.
Please dear ones, dive into those epistles and enjoy the Word of God as it washes over your soul.