Thursday, July 9, 2009


I can finally be honest. Funny that I just got an Honesty award from my sweet blogger friend Abbie, but today, I can finally be honest about what I have been asking prayer for for the past month.

Today my husband turned in his letter of resignation to the Church Board. For those of you who know is in real life, you probably already knew that Carl has been working for the past two years at my home church as the youth minister. It has been a struggle from the start (isn't all ministry?) with some very bright spots, and some very low moments. We struggled for the first year with combating our full-time minister. Once he quit/was fired, we thought that things would get better, and for a time, they did.

For the past 9+ months, Carl has not been working with teenagers as he did in the first year of his ministry. The teenagers had left the church. The simple truth is this - our church was dying. Carl and I were the youngest people who attended, with an occasional few youth group girls who were younger than us. No one in our church has young or teenage children (or if they do have teenage children, then the children no longer attend our church for various reasons). So Carl was starting this youth group from scratch. He started with what he had, and what he had was 5-10 year old girls.

When he started working with these girls, he was completely at a loss. He was used to working with high school and college age kids, and counseling them. He wasn't used to Hannah Montana and Barbie references. But he quickly fell in love with him, and the youth group was steadily, slowly growing. Some Sundays we would have 1-2 girls, some Sundays we would have 10. It really just depended on what school activities were taking place and what family activities were happening as well. But this Summer we had began to see an increase in numbers. Carl would take the girls to McDonalds to play on the playplace, or to the park. We all made a trip to a local indoor pool, and movie trips were in the making. The girls LOVED it.

Then, because our church is dying, a scapegoat had to be found. That scapegoat was Carl.

Suddenly, the young kids youth group that we had wasn't enough. Why wasn't any teenagers coming? Why wasn't Carl working with teenagers? Nevermind the fact that all the teenagers Carl knew had long since graduated, and that we had no starter teens in the church to build on. If we had a teenage youth group, our church would flourish by leaps and bounds! Families would come POURING in! Even though our elders had stated, time and time again, that they didn't know "how to work with kids" it didn't matter - Carl was obviously doing something wrong.

My Mom was the only support Carl had. She was the youth sponsor who would Go with Carl to youth group so that nothing could be said about Carl being there with little girls. She has worked with the youth group since I was about 5 years old, and for many years she kept it afloat all by herself, when the 5 or so youth we had wasn't enough to warrant a youth minister.

In the past 2 months, the youth group has slowly been taken away from my Mom and from Carl, and given to another member of my family. This would be fine, we wouldn't have cared to have had help, we would have welcomed it! But it was all done behind the scenes. Secret meetings took place, talking happened behind the backs. In essence, we suffered the same back-stabbing and politics that most churches go through.

My Mom has been going to this church since she was in the second grade. I have went there since I was born. This was our family, but sadly, that family is slowly leaving or dying off.

In the past month, my parents were asked to come to a meeting, and then ambushed and treated like criminals by an elder of our board and our interim pastor when they attended said meeting. In that same month, another teenager and my aunt organized a teenage youth group to take place, completely without my mom or my husbands knowledge. The girl is not a baptized believer, and neither are actual members of our church. When my husband confronted the board about it, he found they didn't know about it either (which we aren't sure is true)and that they whole heartedly supported it, but that they wanted Carl to stay out of it. They believe he was "tainted" by our past minister. They also set down a list of rules that Carl would have to follow, or be fired. The list was things like Carl was not allowed to touch the children (i.e. hugs and ruffling their hair), he was to put all trips through the Board, and most trips would, from here on out, be canceled because they are "useless", he was to have my uncle come downstairs every Sunday to teach the kids how to sing, so that they can form a children's choir, and he was told that the kids that are in our youth group right now "do not matter" because their parents already go to church somewhere else.

How do you not touch a child when a 6 year old comes running at you for a hug? My Mom, who was the youth sponsor, and who by a previous board mandate, was the one suggesting the trips for the kids. With this board mandate, she was completely pushed aside and discredited. The youth group money was not being used in ANY of the trips I mentioned. My Mom would put out her own money to buy ice cream for the kids, or to get one into the movie when they didn't have enough, never the church's money. And finally, my Uncle, who is not in any way, shape or form a trained choral leader or really, a musician, was to teach kids who didn't want to learn how to sing, how to sing, when my husband has been in choir for 8 years, private voice lessons for 3+ and is going to college TO BE A CHOIR DIRECTOR... that's just... I can't even think of a word that describes it.

So, today my Mother turned in her resignation as youth sponsor and co-treasurer, my Dad turned in his resignation for Deacon on the board and co-treasurer, and my husband turned in his resignation as youth minister. We are officially done.

We really feel a great deal of peace at this decision. We felt a bit of sorrow and trepidedtion, until we received an email from our former pastor last night, thanking us as a church for financially supporting his daughter as she was youth sponsor for our youth group at KCU's SITS (a week long program for high school students). A) My mom and Carl were completely oblivious to the fact that we had even SENT kids to SITS. No mention was made. B) The daughter that he is talking about is in no way, shape or form eligible to represent our church as a youth sponsor. C) That means our church, or individual members of our church, probably had to cough up over $700 for these three to go to SITS. D) This just prooves that the board, and other members of the church really want my husband and mom to have nothing to do with the church anymore.

So, we now feel totally at peace with the situation. This does leave Carl completely jobless, and us without an income. I'm able to work with my Mom in her quilt shop some, but I'm also attempting to finish up my last college class online, and I'm 5 months pregnant. Thankfully my parents are secure enough financially that they are able to help us cover our rent and bills until Carl can locate another job. We pray that this happens quickly.

So there it is, honest and to the point. We ask for your prayers that Carl is able to find a job quickly, so we don't have to be a burden to my parents for long. We ask that you pray that we continue to be peaceful about this decision, although I don't think that's going to be a problem!

Thank y'all, for listening.



  1. Wow, that is some rough stuff. Churches can be such awful places sometimes, which doesn't even make sense. :( I'll definitely be praying for Carl to find a replacement job soon. Are you going to be looking for a new church? Or have you found one already?

  2. Hey, I know what you mean. The Church just seems to be going down hill.

    Just a side note. The Church did not at all support in anyway the 3 girls in coming to SITS. They were not even able to reg. under the churchs name. They got there through family members.



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