John M. Drescher is pastor of the Scottdale Mennonite church in Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

I don't know how long he had been at the church when the members noticed. I'm certain he must have been on his best behavior for at least a few months.

Some members think that the first time they noticed was the night he failed to show up for a committee. The next day he explained to a member that he had met a friend who had invited him to a community activity. "I knew you could carry on without me," he said with a disarming smile.

When he missed the first prayer meeting is a matter of dispute. Some say one day and some another. But all agree that he failed to show up a number of times. Not that he ever failed to provide for a speaker; it was just that, well, people kind of expect the pastor to be at prayer meeting. A member recalls one explanation: " 'A little job I had to get done at home,' he said. 'It wasn't much, but it was bugging the wife.'"

Then it was a Sunday evening he missed. The members do remember that date, because just the week before, he had spoken on the brotherhood of believers and the necessity of Christian fellowship—"so much the more as you see the day approaching," he had quoted. "The fact is," he explained to a member, "I wasn't on the program, and since the whole family was at home for once, I decided to take time out with them. And I was really tired and probably wouldn't have gotten much out of the service anyway."

Probably all this would have been for given if it hadn't been for the morning he arrived ten minutes late far the church service. And that morning he was to be the speaker. He didn't give any explanation just marched up the aisle to the front and went on as if nothing had happened. Be fore long he was late more often than not. It got so you could almost count on his walking in with the other latecomers. When a deacon ventured to speak to him about it, he just said he had gotten into the habit of starting late and it was hard to kick the habit.

The whole thing came to a head the morning he didn't show up for the service at all. On the spur of the moment, members learned later, he had decided to go for a drive, since the fall colors were so beautiful. "Not many more nice days left," he said. "And I thought I'd not be missed, since I met so many members on the way."

Well, it was then that the church board met, talked over what it meant to be a minister in their church, and decided to get a dependable minister.

"He doesn't even know what membership in the church means," said one board member. "He doesn't realize the importance of the church," said another.

The secretary summed it all up in the minutes of the meeting, after the vote to dismiss him had been passed.

"It was clear he cannot be a minister here if he insists on acting just like the rest of the members ..."

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
John M. Drescher is pastor of the Scottdale Mennonite church in Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

September 1979

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Love that will not let me go

In examining Romans 8:38 and 39, the author decides that it is possible to escape God's prison house of love, but it is not easy!

Do Chinese and Hebrews have common roots?—2

Are the components of the Chinese character for righteousness just a coincidence or ...

Pope John Paul II—after one year

The extraordinary events surrounding his election focused the attention of the world on this unusual man. What trends have emerged during his first year in office?

The least enjoyable duty

Speaking to an erring member about his conduct is never easy, but A. D. Inglish provides an illustration of how to apply Biblical principles in this situation.

God's finger wrote freedom

To the nonbeliever, God's law means restriction; to the child of God, it provides safeguards that enable him to enjoy real freedom.

Shepherdess: Trust in Spite of Tragedy

Trust in Spite of Tragedy. Courage rooted in the promises of God enables a missionary couple to face an overwhelming trial.

From the Editor

What is missing in the current practice of Christianity to cause bizarre groups to flourish?

Science and Religion: Fetal Circulation—Design or Happenstance?

A look at the complex system involved provides a basis for evaluation.

Biblical Archeology

Who was the "saviour" of Israel referred to in 2 Kings 13:5?

Health and Religion

People avoid good health habits, convinced what is good for them isn't better but bitter.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - RevivalandReformation 300x250

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - IIW-VBS 2024 (160x600)