I’m finding that with a blog one learns flexibility. A person commented on my post “Define Defeat”. It is so powerful I’m breaking some of my own operational rules.

It is long, but I recommend that you read it through. I am posting rather than leaving it as a comment for two reasons: 1. I wanted to slightly edit it (with the author’s permission) because I believe deeply that this experience is widespread, and I wanted to make it slightly more general so that you might find it stirring in your history; 2. I feel strongly it deserves a wider audience than it would get merely as a comment.

So with permission in writing in hand I present this for your benefit, and humbly ask you to accept my editing for the reasons I have shared.


Hey there!

I went through a similar situation. At that time I was involved in many ministries in my church.

Being-RightThen the old leadership stepped down and a new person was approved. Once installed, this person was revealed to be a control freak with identity issues. One by one the council members left, after refusing to be railroaded into doing everything this person’s way…and for this one’s personal glory.

Conversations with various elders, pastors, and other leaders proved to be pointless. Yes, they saw that many were leaving our congregation due to this person, but there was no “sin” involved that they could identify…so they allowed this person to continue. It was sad that I had been hurt…and DRIVEN out of many of the ministries I was involved by the same person. I needed to view this as an opportunity to grow; basically, “get over it.” Oh, and then was told that they love this person because they “get things done.”


Today the ministry has been reduced to tea parties, canned Bible studies (that are cancelled and replaced with more…tea parties), and annual “semi-formal” luncheons. Oh, and bi-annual retreats for the council. My guess is that they need the time to shine up their teapots!

At every opportunity, this person trumpets to the congregation what they’ve been up to…as if they single-handedly did it all alone. I’ve heard this person take credit for things they had no part in whatsoever. It’s pathetic.

Do I sound a little frustrated over the whole thing? I am, because the people I care for most in the world have become “country club” members who are more concerned about their appearance, fussy homes, and social gatherings than their spiritual well-being.

Godly people have come to this council and gone. The dumbed-down, spiritually immature, and “yes” people have taken their places. It is sad, indeed.

So yeah, I get your angst.

English: Resurrection of Christ

Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, many things developed from being shoved out of what I thought was God’s “A-Plan” for me. Among them I write (a direct result of having the newsletter I wrote for our church taken away from me just because my former “friend” didn’t want me to write it anymore), and my blog.

Whereas I once had an audience of a few hundred in a single town, I now reach a few thousand every day…in all but a handful of countries.

Instead of serving at church potlucks, we host one in our home once a week.

Instead of leading worship for the “canned” studies, I now do it for women in recovery (where I am free to teach the women Bible truths), and on occasion at a soup kitchen for the homeless.

For years I’ve seen this person as a weapon in the hands of the enemy, thwarting God’s plan for me. I’ve lost sight of the fact that I don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers…

I’ve also lost sight of the fact that God is the One who is ultimately in control. Perhaps these are things He had planned for me all along. It may well be that this was what it took to move me in these other directions.

I also had to come to grips with the truth that I have as much selfish ambition as this other person has. I don’t like to admit this, but I must. I wanted for myself the recognition and accolades that they receive. It would have been mine, too, if I’d been left alone. That’s why I was pushed out. I was a threat.

Today I’ve concluded that what I perceived to be God’s A-Plan was not His plan at all, but mine. More of my time is devoted to being His hands, feet, and heart to those who are lost – instead of merely preaching to the choir. He’s taken my ministry out of a building and given me the whole world. That’s not so bad!

CSLewisHumilityThe most challenging verse for me in this matter is Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O human, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk HUMBLY with your God?”

It has been humbling to be regarded as insignificant, a “throw-away” member of my church. If I stay, good. If I leave, oh well. It was humbling to be shoved out…which was observed by many and stopped by no one.

It was more humbling to have my passion for the Lord and desire to equip the saints passed over for the sake of a bunch of tete-a-tetes by a self-serving person who has little interest in the spiritual well-being of the people in their care.

It’s been very humbling to realize that this is not about me and my hunger for fame and recognition. I’ve, indeed, had to do some maturing. I’ve had to discover who I am in Christ…and be content with His opinion of me.

I had to repent of loving my ministry serving Christ; get my priorities straight and love Christ…then serve wherever He calls me. This has been the hardest of all. It required a grave.

I’ve learned that when I love Jesus…and serve wherever He sends me…people can take away my ministry without affecting my identity. If I love my ministry – it’s title, respect, recognition, and all the rest – and make this my identity – then every time I’m shoved out, I’ll have an identity crisis. My last major one was three years ago. It was NOT a pretty sight! But at last I understood what the problem was.

Have I “arrived?” No. Does all this still hurt? Yes. But now I understand what God was after in me. He allowed it in my life; that meant there was something in it for me to learn. This continues to be a tough lesson, for I find myself in this position time and again. Each time gets easier, though, and causes me to go back to Jesus and ask, “Who am I?”

To which He replies:

“The blood-bought child of the Lord Most High.

You were chosen, accepted, redeemed, adopted, justified, sanctified, glorified, and are seated in the heavenlies in Me. You’ve been given My Spirit as a deposit…proof of My intention to have you as mine forever.”

They can take away my ministry…but they can’t take away my identity!

Thanks for letting me work this out on your blog. Love covers a multitude of sins.

Sadly, I want mercy for me…but not for this person – at least not yet. Lord help me!

By the way, this isn’t meant as a lecture. What you wrote stirred up all this stuff, and it just sort of spilled out onto the page. Thanks again. (You can delete this post if it’s too long!)

Peace to you, dear brother!