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Feeling avoided by Pastor at church, not sure what to feel...PLEASE, no religious bashing

Posted by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:53 PM
  • 31 Replies

So here's my situation. 

About a month ago, my husband was sent home from work a week early and kept home for a month (laid off) due to a lack of work in the oil fields. We are suffering because of the lack of income that is just now hitting us. He is back at work, but won't get paid for a few more weeks. 

I only work part time and the rest of the time I take care of my children. We have been so short on food, gas and money for school clothes for my children, I went to the pastor of my church to ask if there were any food programs that could help us out until we get back on our feet, or at least until I get my small check next week. I was so embarrassed at having to ask for help I broke down from the humiliation. He explained to me that due to the small size of the church and congregation there were no programs available. He did however offer to go through his sons clothes and bring in any that he didn't need to donate to my son who is the same age. I told him I really appreciated that and left his office. 

I have been trying to keep my chin up and pray to God to help me in my struggles, but it has been very difficult. We are living on potatoes, and whatever we have left in the freezer...frozen chicken patties, a couple of Totinos' Pizza's, hotdogs and corndogs, mostly stuff we use for lunches. We are down to 2 Pizza's and 4 chicken patties and then we will be out of any kind of main course completely. 


3 weeks ago, I mentioned to my Pastor, that I would be very interested in helping to organize a type of food pantry at our church to help people out who are in the same situation as myself. I also mentioned that I was interested in getting Baptised. I've been a member at this church for 6 months and since renewing my relationship with the LORD, I feel I need to take that final step to feel "complete" in my new life with HIM. Since then, the pastor avoids me, seemingly at all costs. If I am within 3 feet of him and make eye contact he will move across the room. If I try to approach him, he will quickly strike up conversation with the nearest person to him. I FEEL him avoiding me. He is making it very clear he does not want to talk to me or hear anything I have to say. 


Tonight when I dropped off my son for youth group, I went inside to ask the Pastor if he would see to it that another member who regularly brings my son home, would please give him a ride tonight, and to please get a message to my Bible Study guide at her home that I would not be attending tonight as I just had a tooth pulled yesterday, and my phone had been shut off. (I spent my last $20 yesterday making sure there would be milk and bread and potatoes in the house.) YES, I sacrifice my phone bill in order to feed my children. Their welfare is far more important than my phone to me. 


so, now I am so self conscious, hurt and disappointed, I'm afraid to even return to church. But I will because it means so much to me and to my children! I just don't know what to do, how to act. I am completely appalled that a man who has dedicated his life to teaching the gospel, is acting in such a hypocritical way. I am new at church, and bible study...I am a new believer. That doesn't make me a bad person. I wasn't raised with awareness of the gospel, nor did my parents take me to church regularly. I had to find God on my own, luckily...HE found me! And now I am learning that God does not want us to judge one another, and yet I am feeling "judged" by the very man who is teaching me this? I am so in love with God, but I am feeling more and more that the reputation of the church and it's leaders are true, that it's all propaganda, do as I say, not as I do bologna! I don't want to give up, but I'm not very good at confrontations. 

Advise?

Thanks for listening...sorry it's so long and drawn out!

by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
raegan1221
by Bronze Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:58 PM
2 moms liked this

 I'm so sorry, hon:(. I would probably call up the Pastor or email, and ask for a private meeting with him. And discuss my concerns then. It's not right for you to feel this way especially regarding your Pastor or church. **Hugs and Prayers**

wheresthewayout
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I kinda know how you feel. Our light company was going to shut off the lights on Monday if we didn't have the money. I asked the pastor for a LOAN and he would get the money back in 2 days when me and dh got paid. After that he would look "through me" look "over me" he had nothing to do with me and the other pastor has become rather "dry" with me. I'm thinking of going somewhere else if they are going to act like this.

frndlyfn
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:02 PM
1 mom liked this

Unfortunately all food programs whether they be church based or regular ones are suffering due to economy.  Does your church have an associate pastor you can talk to?   Are you sure he is really avoiding you or just your guilt/shame about the current situation at home is making you feel this?  I would still walk up to him and say "excuse me Pastor so and so, I need to talk to you"  It is his job to tend to the congregation.

Anjlmom32
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:03 PM
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Thank you so much for the prayers and the positive advise. I'm just not really the kind of person who can approach people and straight out ask them why they say/do/react in certain ways towards me. I have very low self esteem and I am pretty shy when it comes to confrontations. Perhaps your e-mail idea would be a good idea, but I'll have to think on it.

Thank you again.  

Anjlmom32
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:05 PM

This is exactly how I feel! Like he's looking "through" me. Not acknowleging me at all! It hurts, and makes me feel so self conscious!

Anjlmom32
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:13 PM


Quoting frndlyfn:

Unfortunately all food programs whether they be church based or regular ones are suffering due to economy.  Does your church have an associate pastor you can talk to?   Are you sure he is really avoiding you or just your guilt/shame about the current situation at home is making you feel this?  I would still walk up to him and say "excuse me Pastor so and so, I need to talk to you"  It is his job to tend to the congregation.

You have a good point. I suppose it could be my guilt/shame due to my current situation. But, then again, he looked right at me last week at church as I walked toward him, moved across the room, looked right at me again when I tried to follow and then started in on a conversation with some of the other parishioners. I really got the feeling he knew I was trying to talk to him and felt very strongly that he didn't want to talk me or hear what I had to say. I just don't know him well enough to know for sure I guess, but I do know how it feels to be intentionally avoided. I've experienced it alot in my life due to my "eccentric" or different personality. 

Malley
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 12:16 AM
1 mom liked this
Two years ago my dh broke his back, and then had a seizure after he had surgery. He couldn't work for some time. The pastor asked at the hospital if the church could help financially and I did eventually have to ask. They decided what bill they would pay and paid directly to the company which kind of make me feel they didn't trust me even though I'm sure that's their policy. I really appreciate the church's help but I feel very awkward now. I've always helped others, not needed it myself. Part of your feeling could be that same awkwardness. I hope things get better for you.
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mitchiesgirl
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 12:22 AM
1 mom liked this
If I were you I'd be looking into a new church. Church is a congregation- a meeting of people coming together for support in their faith. If you don't feel supported, this pastor/church may not be the right one for you. You should never feel like you are purposefully being ignored.
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BaileynMe
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 12:24 AM
1 mom liked this
It could be your own feelings. It could also simply be that the pastor is human and since there wasn't much he could do for you, he's not sure how to react. If I had to turn someone down when they asked for help, I would have a hard time looking them in the eye, knowing they had a need I couldn't meet.
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Anjlmom32
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 12:26 AM


Quoting mitchiesgirl:

If I were you I'd be looking into a new church. Church is a congregation- abetting of people coming together for support in their faith. If you don't feel supported, this pastor/church may not be the right one for you. You should never feel like you are purposefully being ignored.

I've been considering it. But as I said in the OP, my children seem so happy here and have already made friends, I don't want to take them away from that. I feel it would be selfish of me. My kids and I are new at this, and have only been going to church for the last 6 months. I don't want to teach them to just "give up" either. I think I will just wait it out. Perhaps the pastor is having a hard time with something personal and I'm just taking it personally. I don't know, but for now, I think I will just wait and observe. If it continues, then I will look into other churches in the area. Thank you. 

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