Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Truth (Chapter 4)

Denominational Demons - Part Two

Suggested pre-reading, "The Truth (Chapter 3),"“Denominational Demons - Part One.”

I assumed a terribly hurting congregation in our last pastorate. Due to the fragile financial state of the church, I voluntarily took several pay cuts so the church could continue to keep its doors open and pay its bills. As a result, I had to secure outside employment to minimize the negative impact the low salary was making to our personal budget. My job search took me to an employment agency that placed me in a contract position. Going into the job, the recruiter warned me that I was entering a hostile work environment. Man, was she right! Long story short, despite an offer to renew my contract at the end with a 20% raise, I decided not to continue with the renewal.

As it turned out, one of the recruiters of the employment agency was a friend of my denominational district official. After my refusal to renew the contract, my very positive relationship with the district official deteriorated nearly overnight. After several weeks, the truth was revealed. In a very heated, closed door discussion, the district official accused me of being fired and lying about it. He directed me back to his friend to work the situation out. In no uncertain terms, I responded that was no longer an option. Not only had I been slandered, his friend had broken the basics of employment law by discussing my employment relationship, period. The official begged me to keep him out of whatever I chose to do. To which I replied, "I cannot promise you that. You are the one who put yourself into it."

I had no choice but to go to the employment agency to ensure my employment record was accurate. Of course, it accurately confirmed my story. The company graciously issued a letter of memorandum to my defense which I forwarded to the district official. I was totally exonerated. And, the blabbing recruiter found himself unemployed. However, that was the end of that once very cordial relationship.

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