He called the office, hardly able to speak. He was heart-broken, by the bombshell his Church had just dropped upon him. After years of faithful service to the Church he founded, he had been “stabbed in the back” by the Board of Trustees whom he thought were unanimously in favor of him. Pastor J. had recently decided to retire after more than 30 years.
He was turning the ministry over to a younger Pastor who attained 100 percent of congregational support. After the “passing the torch” ceremony, the senior Pastor received well-wishes from the head of the Trustee Board and an envelope. At dinner following the service the retiring Pastor opened the envelope to receive the shocking news that he was now barred from the property and that the Board of Trustees were demanding a complete audit of the books. We have been doing the Church’s books for years and they are spotless. His Church books are legally and ethically compliant.
What caused trouble for the Pastor was the Church By-Laws – the Pastor never thought he needed to adjust the By-Laws he had personally written many years prior to obtaining our services (even though we had encouraged him to do so). The By-Laws he had written were not structured with proper legal language that would support him in the event of situations of which he now faced. Now, after faithfully serving the Church he founded and Pastored for more than 30 years, he was “kicked to the curb,” without his promised retirement in the form of a monthly stipend that had been agreed upon by the Board and himself.