Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What Do You Tell the Children?

Someone asked about resources which might give insight into how to explain all this to children.

Anyone have any ideas?

1. Have your children asked you about the situation at Bellevue?

2. Have you heard your children and their friends discussing it?

3. Have you discussed any of this with your children? If so, how did you explain it?

25 comments:

BibleFellowshipTeacher said...

I believe you tell them that truth always matters whether you are in the church or outside the church. God is God and man is man. Nobody is perfect but God does hold pastors accountable and to a higher standard. Let them know that God loves everyone and it's His desire that everyone live for Him and serve Him faithfully till Christ comes again. Whether you are a pastor, Bible Fellowship Teacher, or one of the newest members, it's important to be accountable and to hold others accountable in love. Every believer should listen to a brother or sister in Christ when confronted with something that offends them. Transparency is important, honesty is a must no matter where that leads. I'd tell children that pride is something that affects us all and sometimes pride stands in the way of people doing the right thing. I'd also tell a child that God knows everything and that He is in control. I'd tell a child to pray for the pastor and the church that God would always allow truth to shine and not be hidden.

Andrew said...

Love and truth.

Love covers, restores, cares for, embraces even when wronged, builds up another, makes harmful things stop, and so on.

Truth (not to be confused with facts) is absolute, genuine and real.

To the level that children can consider and relate to the above I think this situation is a wonderful opportunity to help our little ones or perhaps older children learn and grow and generally be better prepared for a real world. You might say this is an opportunity to help them sample some meat in their milk diet.

Don't turn them loose in the butcher shop - you must regulate and guide them in their development lest they fall prey to the flesh and its ways.

Andrew

blink07 said...

I tell you a good first place to start would be to get this filth off the internet. Our kids use it and can find it and they sure do not need to read this kind of church and pastor bashing. This is a recipe for sour hearts towards the church and its leadership. I am extremely disappointed in this type of stuff on the internet.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Filth?

Anonymous said...

"Mommy, why did that person say Pastor Gaines manages like Hitler?"

Yes, I'd say that's one example of filth--wouldn't you?

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

I believe you must be referring to the comments on the Commercial Appeal poll which I have no control over. To my knowledge, you're the only one who's used that term on this site.

Memphismom02 said...

While ridng in the car the other day, we were discussing the violins playing in November for the 2007 Love Offering service. One child in the back seat asked, "What ever happened to that tree house they promised us two years ago?" Another child then said, "Yeah, and what about that prayer chapel that was supposed to be built? I earned a lot of money to give for that offering, and there is no prayer chapel yet." These are pre-teens, realising that the money they gave has not produced the promised items. They reckon they have been lied to, so why should they give for anything this year? I think churches can be greedy just like individuals can be greedy.

Anonymous said...

"I believe you must be referring to the comments on the Commercial Appeal poll which I have no control over. To my knowledge, you're the only one who's used that term on this site."

It was on the "old" BBC Open Forum, but it has since been deleted. Seems to happen a lot.

And obviously, I've only referred to it in quotations.

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

memphismom02,

Violins? Tree house? Prayer chapel? Special offerings for the above? All news to me. Can you elaborate?

Memphismom02 said...

The children who participate in group class & take private violin lessons at Bellevue are practicing to play "Jesus Loves Me" for the Nov. Love Offering Sunday. It hasn't been promoted yet, but one mother called the church switchboard to ask if there is indeed going to be a Love Offering Sunday in Nov. this year. The Love Offering for 2004 was supposedly to be for new buses and to re-do the children's section (East Wing). The East Foyer was to be turned into a grand "tree house". That was shown on "the big screen" in church one Sunday. The 2005 Love Offering was to be for a new prayer chapel (as introduced by S. Gaines). There was an insert in the bulletin one Sunday a few weeks ago, when the Long Range Planning Committee was introduced. This Prayer Chapel apparently falls under the heading of "Long Range" plans. I just don't think it's fair for the church to stick out their hand and ask for more money, when what we have already given has not been used for promised items. We're led to believe we are giving for a certain cause, and when it doesn't happen, we wonder just where that money is.....

onlyamember said...

You always tell them the truth. You give them as much information that they can understand and digest, and no more. You don't sway them to one side or the other. You tell them that, just like in other churches or businesses, when you have a lot of people involved, there can be accusations, misunderstandings, disagreements, etc... that need to be discussed and taken care of. That in our case, our pastor has been acused of some things and some people are trying to get to the bottom of it. That we are all human and that we all make mistakes, but it is how we handle them that will be noticed. That we need to make sure that in every mistake we make, that we go to the Father and ask for forgiveness and then we go to the person we have wronged and make it right. That in a church our size, sometimes that is difficult. You tell them that because the people involved, on both sides, did not sit down and get to the bottom of this in the beginning, it has gone public and that is never good. That people are trying to figure it all out on their own and it is making it messier. That is why you don't need to talk about it. That is why we need to pray for our church. We don't want to turn our children away from the church. We don't want them to not trust. But of course, when the truth finally does come out, sit down with them and explain why things were handled like they were, then explain how they should have been handled, from a Biblical explanation and not how we thought they should have been handled. Use this as a teaching tool. With the older ones, you can go in more detail. These are life lessons, just be careful. They are not stupid, it is being talked about in the youth. They understand more than we give them credit. I heard some say last Wednesday night that if Steve would just have the meeting, this could all be over. And this was kids from both sides. I know for a fact that one of the kids in the discussion got their information from chruch and not through parents. Steve is speaking next week to the youth and their Camp pastor this year; some of the kids are excited, but some don't want him there. We need to make sure our kids are being given the correct information when they are able to handle it, so they don't harden their hearts towards leadership.
The fact is, than none of us know the truth. Some of us know some of the truth; but until Steve does the right thing and sit down and have this meeting with Mark and the many others that have facts, and clear them up, one point at a time; this will continue and our church will continue to divide. The fact is, there are many others with facts and questions and not just Mark; but that is not what Steve wants you to see. The fact is, not all the deacons on in agreement on this, like Steve says they are. I have personally talked to four, to date, that I know personally, that have not given the pat answer that they are supposed to give, they are questioning Steve themselves and asking him for a meeting with Mark. I know there are many more deacons, but that is more that what they tried to make use believe. The fact is ,as long as Steve continues to cover things up and make comments like he has to sister churches, he is going to be put in a bad light. You would think, if he loved our church like he says he does, he would have this meeting, just to put it to rest. You would think, with all the problems at his own church, he would want to stay 'home' and mend fences instead of going away so much. You would think, with all the accusations and division in the church right now, the Youth leaders would have chosen someone else for Camp pastor this year (as they have always done); but who chose Steve as Camp Pastor this year?

New BBC Open Forum said...

onlyamember wrote:

"They understand more than we give them credit. I heard some say last Wednesday night that if Steve would just have the meeting, this could all be over. And this was kids from both sides."

Out of the mouths of babes...

"Sides" is such an ugly word.

"You would think, if he loved our church like he says he does, he would have this meeting, just to put it to rest. You would think, with all the problems at his own church, he would want to stay 'home' and mend fences instead of going away so much. You would think... "

You would, wouldn't you?

I've wondered if he doesn't want to be away as much as possible to avoid facing the situation.

NASS

New BBC Open Forum said...

memphismom02 wrote: "It hasn't been promoted yet, but one mother called the church switchboard to ask if there is indeed going to be a Love Offering Sunday in Nov. this year."

What did they tell her?

onlyamember said...

Yes, I agree, that "sides" is an ugly word...but when you have people being so openly antagonistic towards people of the opposite view....I didn't have another word for it. Sorry.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Yes, I know. {sigh} I've had to resort to use of the word myself several times, if nothing else in the interest of brevity. And sometimes, unfortunately, it's been just the right word. Your meaning was clear and not offensive in the context in which it was used.

NASS

MOM4 said...

Question - not actually pertaining to BBC - but possibly could.
I need an answer for ANOTHER struggling church member from another struggling church - same issues as BBC has, except much worse - they have been fighting the same for 2+ years.
The questions is: When there is a vote in the membership, at what age are the children allowed to vote? My daughter, saved at 5, would have been able to prayerfully discern at age 12, however do I know if another 12 year old is voting just because they are a member and can vote, without counsel or discernment - how do we know if they are old enough to understand and are there church voting age requirements within our members. I guess since we have no by-laws, who knows?? But if you do, please let me know! Thanks!

Bin Wonderin said...

When there is a vote in the membership, at what age are the children allowed to vote?

Depends.

Bylaws should spell this out.

If not spelled out in the bylaws then Roberts Rules allow any member in good standing to vote. It does not give an age cutoff.

If you don't think a baptised 7 year old should be allowed to vote then you need to amend the bylaws to reflect that.

I know from friends any baptised member at the recent Germantown Baptist bylaw vote was allowed to cast a ballot. No minimum age. Very few youngsters actually showed up and voted though so I am told.

MOM4 said...

bin,
THanks for your reply. I would think that most young children would vote the same as their parents, mainly because they have heard the "talk' at home. Regarding my question, the last vote at this sister church was 60-30. Out of the 60 nay votes for a new pastor, one of the children (age 12) said that he voted against him because he was old (43)and he did not have any good looking daughters.
This may be something we want to get into when and if we ever get by-laws.

blink07 said...

Yes filth. It is amazing that this is the chosen path of dealing with church issues. I cannot believe that christians would allow anyone and everyone to comment, pile on and tear down a man of God...whether these allegations are true or not this is NOT the forum. What if your co-workers posted comments about you on open blog sites? "it's different...they can if they would like...I haven't done anything to warrant such comments..." and on and on it goes as far as excuses go but in the end it would not be right for them to do it to you and it is not right for you and others to do it to Dr Gaines. I mean no ill words but quite frankly it makes me sick. It disgust me and discourages me that such takes place. Remember the point is this: whether what is being said is right or not it does not matter this is NOT the place to air your feelings.

New BBC Open Forum said...

jcsuitt,

Wouldn't reading all this "filth" be a sin, too?

New BBC Open Forum said...

bin wonderin wrote: "If not spelled out in the bylaws then Roberts Rules allow any member in good standing to vote. It does not give an age cutoff."

Well, since BBC's bylaws are almost 80 years old and would fit on one side of a cocktail napkin... I guess everyone gets to vote. Not that our votes mean much. Who's going to vote against the crowd in a stand up vote for anything? They probably wouldn't even notice you.

MOM4 said...

NBBCOF,
I am sure I agree with you! I believe that Steve Gaines must be counting on the fact that most folks would not stand up in the crowd - like this may someday come to a vote.
We will be very blessed if we come out with some legitimate by-laws. (One of the items in the Warren toolbox is to change the by-laws - it gives the elder a "legal" rule..and it wouldn't take much effort to change what we have now).
Something does keep bugging me, why would a smaller church in this city have 34 pages and we only have a scrap of barely legible paper? I know the story that has been told, but has any one checked with the state to see what, if anything has been filed?
Just wondering

Ed_T said...

Filth? I think not. Nothing like having a pastor who supposedly "cares" for his sheep go up to a sister church and declare "victory" over the vile, pagan adversaries of the gospel within his flock. (Yes, that was satirical.) See 1 Cor 16:9 - used in the sermon before the "informational" meeting and stated to have been used the following night by Dr. Gaines himself.

Same pastor declared that "all" of the allegations were debunked. Forgive me if my memory fails me, but I seem to remember that at least 3 of the 4 men at the "informational" meeting declared that they hadn't been to "that web site" and that they were giving information to rebut the "allegations" that they were told were on the web site.

So, in essence, they were responding to rumors about rumors. However, I fail to see how they know all the allegations were addressed when they state that they haven't been to the web site to find out what was there? The snow-making machine was working overtime that night.

I know Steve Gaines is a big man, but to call the fence in the now notorious fence incident "itty bitty" is deceptive bordering on just a plain old lie. When a fence is 4-4.5 feet high and you illustrate the height of that fence to the congregation by putting your hand down down about knee level and calling it "itty-bitty", that's not being truthful.

When you tell your congregation you can't preach on Wednesday nights because you've got to be a daddy the rest of the week, but can be scheduled to preach other places a few times a month (some of them out-of-town), how is that being forthright and honest? So you play the "evangelical trump card" - 'the children' - that will get you a standing ovation and let you get away with just about anything. Is someone else's flock more important than Bellevue's to SG? Is it wrong to find this "daddy" explanation as inconsistent with the facts?

Lastly, why would Bellevue ask at least one departing staff member to sign a non-disclosure agreement? I know one ex-staff member was asked to sign one, but refused. I suspect that if the truth be known, all of the recently departed staff were presented with one. What are they going to reveal? Secret church growth strategies? EE secrets? Since one of the core issues here is a lack of transparency, should we not be concerned when the church asks ex-employees to keep their mouth shut?

Trivial, you say? But these trivialities seem to keep piling up into a pattern of bad judgment. The more this drags on, the more I see the pastor as lacking wisdom, sound judgment and statesmanship. Sharpe, Manning, Saba, etc. get blasted for airing the church's dirty laundry on the internet, but SG is given a pass (as far as I know) about giving his account of events to a captive audience at another church.

And now we add Cary Vaughn as the latest staff departure. The list continues to grow, but, of course, EVERYTHING is fine and dandy in the Bellevue world except for the misguided notions of a "handful" of adversaries...yeah, right.

Whew...now that I've vented, I feel better!!!

Good reading about leadership if you are so inclined:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/leaders/newsletter/2006/cln60814.html

Ed_T said...

Sorry....link above didn't get posted completely. Here it is broken into two parts.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/leaders
/newsletter/2006/cln60814.html

New BBC Open Forum said...

xd9x19 wrote:

"Trivial, you say? But these trivialities seem to keep piling up into a pattern of bad judgment. The more this drags on, the more I see the pastor as lacking wisdom, sound judgment and statesmanship. Sharpe, Manning, Saba, etc. get blasted for airing the church's dirty laundry on the internet, but SG is given a pass (as far as I know) about giving his account of events to a captive audience at another church."

Well, that must have been cathartic! I think you made some good points. As for giving Steve Gaines a pass for his words to the Union City congregation, I and a lot of others haven't given him a pass at all. Of course, some people have. I don't understand it, but they have.

NASS