As some of you may remember, I had left my church a couple of months ago and started looking for another one for me and my family. While it has not been all that I hoped it would be and I've gotten more than a little discouraged, I still have faith that we will find the right one.
One of the deciding factors that led me to search elsewhere was that I was not on board with the leadership at my church on many, many levels. I did not rant and rave like a deranged lunatic throughout the church and I feel like my departure was done quietly; only my inner-circle of friends knew of my issue with the leaders.
I work with someone who is going to the Seminary here in town to become a youth pastor. Great guy, very likable and we've had some wonderful conversations about my church hunt, what led to the church hunt and, as a parishioner, what qualities I find are important in a pastor of any kind. These topics were last discussed two months ago.
Last week I got a Facebook message from one of the pastor's at my former church. Nothing major, just a "Hey, haven't seen you around" kind of thing. I didn't respond right away because I felt I might come off as being a little snarky - it can't be helped sometimes. Well, three days later he followed up with a personal email to me. Okay, fine, I get the hint. I replied and told him of all of our struggles these last months with unemployment, finances and my working three jobs to keep us alive and followed it all with the praise of both of us having full time jobs and hope for our future. I did not delve in to my issues with him or the leaders because it wasn't necessary. I don't hate this guy (much) and really, I am moving on.
Yesterday I am sitting at my desk at work and check my emails and there is one from ANOTHER pastor at the church. The first sentence (and I've yet to read further) said how this PERSON that I work with told HIM how I left the church because HE did not follow up with my husband when he was depressed!
I quite literally threw myself over my desk in an attempt to get at this office guy and tell him off.
I confronted him head on with HOW DARE YOU interfere in my family's privacy like this and TATTLE to the pastor's and elders about an issue that had nothing to do with him! I was like "DUDE, what on earth were you thinking???" I almost made him cry. What killed me is that he really saw NOTHING wrong with betraying my confidence and breaching my privacy with him. He could have given the pastor an "anonymous" sort of scenario but no, he thought it best FOR MY FAMILY (his words) to be honest. He is CALLED to be honest.
I know I come for a Catholic background and maybe things are different in the Christian/Baptist realm but all I got out of this is a big fat wad of finger pointing amongst the leaders (this office guy is currently an intern at said former church) and yet ANOTHER reason for me to have an issue with them. This guy rats me out, the pastor rats him out...I mean, where does it end??? And really, by talking about me to people that I have an issue with, when he was not asked to nor did he confer with me about before doing it, in my opinion is gossiping.
I cannot even begin to tell you how mortified I am by this whole situation. I still cannot even bring myself to read the rest of the pastor's email because just seeing his name in my inbox, makes my stomach clench.
So, note to self, be careful what you say to your pastor, any pastor, or pastor in training because clearly nothing is sacred anymore.